The world of academia as well as business is zooming in on Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2014, Stanford University launched an ongoing study for monitoring and anticipating developments in this area of computing over the next 100 years. This study will be a key to understanding the progress and possibilities of AI, while also highlighting risks and challenges as we enter into the next generation of computing.

The dangers of AI

Already, there are voices in both business and education being raised on the topic of dangers involved when developing this technology. Stephen Hawking famously stated that humans, limited by slow biological evolution, would not be able to compete against its digital counterparts and would be superseded by artificial intelligence. He is joined by Elon Musk and Bill Gates in the concern over developments in the intelligent computing, particularly as it is increasingly becoming a part of military strategy. Regardless of these fears being expressed, developments in AI continue to impact how we engage with each other and how we do business.

AI in the business world

When it comes to our everyday lives, many of us are already becoming used to elements of speech and face recognition as well as virtual assistants in the form of Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. We are also at the mercy of many more intelligent systems at play behind the scenes – such as behavioural pattern analysis of credit card activity or GPS route changes based on preferred options or traffic updates.

As for how AI is expected to impact the business world over the next 100 years, there is of course a great level of speculation from a wide range of analysts and trend gurus. We have already seen an incredible exponential curve when it comes to processing power, size and affordability of computer devices, which was impossible to predict 20 years ago. This development makes it difficult to paint an accurate landscape of what the next generation of computers will look like, but we are seeing some clear indications of where the biggest impact will appear for businesses.

  • Intelligent apps
    The key drivers behind new app development in the business world will continue to revolve around saving time, saving money and improving productivity. As long as the functionality encompasses these factors, businesses and individuals will continue to invest in them. The biggest developments will be in automation of routine tasks, predicting revenue and streamlining the use of facilities, software and hardware. The use of virtual assistants is also likely to increase as these will be capable of learning tasks and integrating with a wide range of other information systems.
  • M2M and Internet of Things
    Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications will continue to develop with the increase in connected, intelligent devices. Autonomous vehicles, white goods, security systems, delivery drones – the computer of the future will no longer look like a computer. We will likely see a great deal of experimentation in the area of device connectivity where human interaction is entirely redundant. We are already noticing an increase in use of remote energy management, which is a first step towards the complete automation of the home, where all devices are interconnected to create the seamless experience of an intelligent environment.
  • Smart factories
    For decades, we’ve seen how robotics and automation have revolutionised productivity in manufacturing and contributed to creating a workforce where staff are increasingly tasked with managing and maintaining systems instead of carrying out manual labour. This development will continue into the next generation of smart factories where entire manufacturing chains can be planned and monitored using intelligent combinations of algorithms predicting optimal performance and output. Processes such as purchasing, shift scheduling, logistics and bespoke reporting will all be possible to do quicker and more effectively, leaving management to instead focus on product development and customer experience – raising the standard for business excellence across entire industries.

We will keep a close eye on Stanford University’s findings, but we’d also love to hear your views on where you see AI moving to in the future! Share your thoughts and comments on how your business can benefit from the growth in intelligent systems.

For more guidance on how you can make your current software estate work more intelligently, contact us to arrange a review of the systems you use today and where you may need to invest in the future.