AI is changing the future of work

The term Artificial Intelligence was originally used by a Stanford Professor John McCarthy more than 60 years ago, at what is now known as The Dartmouth Conference. He described the concept of AI as a process in which machines learn new concepts, form abstract thoughts and use language “to solve problems now reserved for humans and improve themselves.” Things have come a long way since the 1950s and today, AI is starting to change the world.

Technologies such as AI and cognitive computing have risen to prominence recently by enabling machines to interact with users in human-like ways. And per the latest Tech Trends report, IMB’s Watson is the single most important innovator to watch. In popular culture, however, Watson is still best known as the system that managed to defeat the reigning champion on Jeopardy back in 2011. But in those short five years, Watson has evolved into a dominant, commercially-available range of services.

Combining Watson with MobileFirst

In October 2016, at IBM’s annual World of Watson event, the company revealed some cutting-edge innovations. For starters, IBM’s new business apps can now embed a wide range of APIs, such as Watson-enabled speech interaction and language processing function. These features will enable professionals to interact with their apps, using nothing more than their voice. Thus, users will now have a hands-free solution at their disposal, when they need it the most.

For instance, a technician in the field will be able to verbally interact with their mobile device. They’ll be able to ask the Find & Fix app for advice, while they’re busy servicing broken equipment. Furthermore, a technician will also be able to modify the day’s remaining schedule of tasks and ask for different suggestions on how to solve their problems with the equipment just a few moments later.

What Are the Upcoming Trends?

Cognitive Tech in the Enterprise

The new API economy is also opening doors that will surely disrupt several industries across the globe. Modern companies can either be part of the transformation, or allow themselves to be consumed by it entirely. According to Deloitte Global, 95% of the top 100 enterprise software companies will probably have AI systems integrated into their products by 2020.

Relationships with Consumers

Back in March, before the merger of Watson and MobileFirst was even revealed to the public, IMB showcased another example of cognitive computing at their InterConnect2016 Conference. The event featured a live demonstration of their health care AI software – Sophie – designed by iDAvatars. This mobile app showed a powerful representation of what AI could do for improving the quality of our lives. The app doesn’t just dispense useful data – it also creates a genuine relationship with the user.

Drawing Insights with Deep Learning

Watson does more than just voice-recognition, it also teaches computers to recognise faces, translate both written and spoken language, and much, much more. Currently, the system is helping a car-manufacturing company to identify potential safety issues with specific vehicles, and discover the potential causes of various accidents. This means that companies will soon be able to proactively fix most of their issues, before they lead to a costly recall.

Keeping up With the New Generation

The term Generation Z describes those born anywhere between 1995 and 2014. By the end of the decade, more than 30 million Generation Z’ers will be employed in the United States, and this generation doesn’t know anything about living in a world without the Internet. For the most part, they are in tune with the latest trends (including AI, of course), and if modern companies want to keep up with them, they’ll have to show interest in all those technological trends we mentioned above.

What All of This Means for Our Future?

Technology entered our homes, cars and offices long time ago, but as more of our everyday lives are supported and assisted by cognitive systems, other questions arise. Of course, the biggest question is – will Artificial Intelligence eventually become so cerebral that it will replace us completely? In short, per a clear majority of researchers and scientist, the answer is – no.  However, some tasks will undoubtedly be automated.

According to recent Forrester research, roughly 25% of all jobs will go to customer service automation, physical and software machines. This means, AI will impact all of us in some way or another in the not-so-distant future. While this may sound bleak and discouraging at first, you have to be aware that automation will ultimately create new occupations. In fact, the study predicts that AI will create almost 14 million jobs over the next decade.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, there is just so much to be achieved when we discover solutions we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own. These days, we produce 2.5 Exabytes of new information on a daily basis, and as IDC’s latest Digital Universe study suggests, that number will increase to 44 Zettabytes in the next three to four years. These new algorithms that can learn and act upon new information are the building blocks of our future.


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