CognitiveScale CEO: What to expect in AI in 2018

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By Akshay Sabhikhi, CEO & Co-founder, CognitiveScale

AI Will Not Be Commoditized

Only one in 20 companies has extensively incorporated AI in offerings or processes. Less than 39% of all companies have an AI strategy in place. According to MIT Sloan Review, the largest companies — those with at least 100,000 employees — are the most likely to have an AI strategy, but only half have one.

Despite claims that AI is already being subsumed into an array of applications, we’re not there yet and won’t be in 2018. It is still the early days of adoption, and those companies that are implementing AI now will see the biggest competitive value.

Funding for AI Will Move From Innovation to Operations

In 2018, we will see budgets for AI shifting from innovation to operations as more companies realize the transformative benefits of moving AI out of the lab and into practical operations within their organizations. Because there will be this shift, chief data/technology officers will serve a more important role within their organization as they take experimental AI and make it “real” business.

AI Will Be a Critical Part of Compliance

Companies in many industries, particularly financial services, must follow government and industry regulations. As a means to ensure compliance while simultaneously reducing the effort that’s involved, we will see a new interest in machine readable policies. AI will automate the labor-intensive process associated with compliance, freeing humans to focus on business-building efforts instead.

AI vs RPA: AI Will Win

Robotic process automation (or RPA) is an emerging form of clerical process automation technology based on the notion of software robots. However RPA has very little ability to actually learn, which will keep it focused on mundane, rules-driven, repetitive tasks.

While serving this need will keep RPA growing in popularity through 2018, true AI, driven by machine learning, will produce the greatest ROI. These two technologies will be mentioned together often in 2018, but for ROI, AI will be seen as the clear winner.

Ai Will Drive Cloud Adoption

While many companies long ago adopted cloud, there are still many businesses figuring out the right mix of cloud and on-premise. AI will cause them to make those decisions more quickly and aggressively. Many will choose to go all-in on the cloud right away. The promise of AI in the cloud – all the benefits combined with greater affordability and faster implementations – will drive overall cloud adoption rates even higher.

Two Worlds Collide: Software Development and Data Science Will No Longer Be Separate

There will be an expectation for software developers to have basic data science skill sets. Data science and software development within an enterprise remained very separate until the adoption of AI. As AI moves away from experimentation and into operation, developers with these skills will be in high demand.

Universities and developer training programs will adapt their curriculums to foster these skills.

Hardware Vendors Will Throw Their Hats in the Ai Ring

In 2018 we will see more hardware manufacturers (including chipmakers) invest in AI. By allowing machine learning to happen not in the cloud but on mobile devices, data is more secure and the benefits of AI are realized without depending on an Internet connection and processors in a remote data center.

Hardware vendors without an expressed AI strategy will fall behind.

For more information, go to CognitiveScale.