After an investment of over $12.5 billion, across different industry domains, AI systems are establishing themselves as a core component toward industry growth. This investment figure has nearly doubled from the year before, and industry professionals are now keen to see what lies in the future for AI. Let’s take a look at top influencer’s predictions for the near future.

Continual Rise in Spending:

Increased spending on investments in AI systems is poised to rise over the next year, either at the current rate of growth or even higher, touching almost $50 billion by 2020. “Intelligent applications based on cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, and deep learning are the next wave of technology transforming how consumers and enterprises work, learn, and play,” announced David Schubmehl, Research Director, Cognitive Systems and Content Analytics at IDC (via Yahoo Finance). He further added that, “These applications are being developed and implemented on cognitive/AI software platforms that offer the tools and capabilities to provide predictions, recommendations, and intelligent assistance through the use of cognitive systems, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Cognitive/AI systems are quickly becoming a key part of IT infrastructure and all enterprises need to understand and plan for the adoption and use of these technologies in their organizations”.

 David Schubmehl, Research Director, Cognitive Systems and Content Analytics at IDC


Popularity of Cognitive Applications:

Within this arena, cognitive applications that mimic human intelligence and behavior seem to be taking the lead. Marianne Daquila, Research Manager, Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC says, “Double-digit spending growth is expected for cognitive and artificial intelligence systems across all industries, but growth varies depending on how well particular use cases solve existing and future business priorities.”

“Heavily regulated markets such as retail banking and securities investment services are among the early growth drivers. Collectively, these two financial industries will represent a quarter of worldwide spending on cognitive/AI solutions. Stringent compliance requirements are key drivers for these industries as they seek new innovations in fraud and risk detection. Additionally, companies in

this sector are adopting cognitive-based program advisors and recommendations to better match products with clients. Elsewhere, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare industries are also expected to see very strong spending growth over the forecast period,” she added.
 Marianne Daquila, Research Manager, Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC

“2019 will be the year of specialized AI systems built by organizations based on their own data. Given the realization that organizations sometimes have only limited amounts of data, but also require specialized data, organizations will come to realize that they need tools to easily create quality AI data internally. This quality over quantity approach will require organizations to take stock of the data they have and ask themselves key questions: is this data representative of what I’m looking for, and does it match my goal? Will the production data match this training data? Did I strike a balance between repeatability of images and variation? Is my dataset diverse? Taking new approaches to data strategy will be make-or-break for overcoming the challenges of AI’s data problem, to develop AI that works in the real world”.

Max Versace, PhD, CEO and co-founder, Neurala

Educational Wave in AI:

Recently, CAMBRIDGE, MA – MIT, or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced an investment of $1 billion towards a new college aimed at specialized AI computing education. This investment signals the continually growing requirements and opportunities in the space of AI technologies.  This investment stands among the highest ever made towards AI by an educational institution in the USA, signaling the speedy pervasiveness of AI.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif

“As computing reshapes our world, MIT intends to help make sure it does so for the good of all. In keeping with the scope of this challenge, we are reshaping MIT. The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will constitute both a global center for computing research and education, and an intellectual foundry for powerful new AI tools. Just as important, the College will equip students and researchers in any discipline to use computing and AI to advance their disciplines and vice-versa, as well as to think critically about the human impact of their work.”

Stephen A. Schwarzman, the eponymous benefactor of the college, said that “There is no more important opportunity or challenge facing our nation than to responsibly harness the power of artificial intelligence so that we remain competitive globally and achieve breakthroughs that will improve our entire society,” he said. “We face fundamental questions about how to ensure that technological advancements benefit all – especially those most vulnerable to the radical changes AI will inevitably bring to the nature of the workforce.”

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone Group

“2019 will be the year of the death of the data scientist. In 2019, everybody is going to start learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the domain of data science will no longer be a purist data scientist. There are only about 5,000 folks who are data scientists and we can’t rely on them to lead an industrial revolution. Everyone within an organization needs to have AI skills, from product managers to business analysts. The death of the data scientist is the pinnacle of this revolution”.

Aman Naimat, CTO, Demandbase

Merging of AI and the Human Workforce:

With the continual hype of AI and its universal presence, startups, vendors and enterprises are grabbing technologies for improvisations. However, the fear among the working class and employees is one that needs to be addressed.

“Some AI Applications will not live up to the hype, and that’s OK. People have been planning to have self-driving cars for a while. Some still fear an AI take over might be just 20 years away but the truth is we’re still a long way away from truly autonomous cars. And as for an AI takeover, that will only exist in SciFi movies for the foreseeable future. My prediction is that our expectations for AI and the reality of its capability will meet somewhere in the middle. The next 5 years will look a lot like they do now, but our day-to-day will become more and more efficient in subtle, yet significant, ways. AI bots will get better at answering questions and vetting customer service cases, smart assistants will be more equipped to complete tasks and self-driving car features will continue to improve, but they will not take over the road”.

Richard Socher, Chief Scientist, Salesforce

Pervasiveness across Industry Verticals:

The AI influence has spread through all sectors with features such as customized search engine results, social media personalization, e-commerce benefits and AI based algorithms. It is the new boom and is geared to be lapped up by one and all. Machine Learning (ML) has provided an opportunity for every industry to move toward automation and customization.

“The adoption of artificially intelligent offerings will continue to scale into different verticals from manufacturing to education, retail and more in 2019. In the healthcare sector, for example, AI-enhanced applications have the capability to reduce emergency waiting room times and even free up doctors’ time through the use of AI in detecting and diagnosing tumors. As new advances and applications make their way into various verticals, expect to see accelerated adoption as technology costs come down and organizational and business outcomes improve. At Lenovo, we’re already using AI in our supply chain and parts planning process so that we can better develop best in class experience for customers also keen to transform their business with artificial intelligence”.

Gianfranco Lanci, Corporate President and Chief Operating Officer, Lenovo


2018 was the year of experimenting with AI. With that being completed, businesses now have a broader understanding of the benefits and opportunities of these technologies and their meaningful applications. 2019 is set to be the year of a consistent and viable adoption of AI. Everyday life will continue to be subtly optimized through multiple technologies build through Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP).  The oncoming year is predicted to witness breakthrough opportunities with tangible benefits through AI adoption.


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