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Artificial Intelligence Trends of 2019

Artificial Intelligence received a lot of attention in 2018. There were as many technological advancements as there were controversies.  Accordingly, AI has been a constant talking point in the media. From major advancements in facial recognition software to the creation of realistic “deepfakes,” it has become more than just a buzzword. In this article we will take a look at what we can expect on this exciting forefront of modern technology.  

An Increase in the Number of Jobs

In the long term there are still a lot of uncertainties in regards to AI and job creation. Despite some of the forecasts predicting human unemployment in a future where nobody has to work, in 2019 AI will most likely create more jobs than it will steal.

Based on the predictions from Gartner, a research company, there will be more than 1.8 million jobs lost to automation, mainly in the manufacturing industry. However, AI is expected to create an additional 2.3 million jobs – most of them being in education, healthcare, and the public sector.

In manual jobs AI will continue to replace a lot of workers, but when talking about doctors and lawyers, AI will work alongside humans. AI will do the repetitive part of their work, while the professionals focus on creative solutions and decision making.

AI will Have a Major Role in International Politics

In 2018 we saw countries increasingly trying to protect their national interests in terms of trade and defense – especially two of the biggest AI superpowers, USA and China. The US government is enforcing many tariffs and restrictions on goods and services necessary for AI development. Therefore, it is not surprising that China is looking more and more towards becoming self-reliant in areas of AI research and development. For example, the Chinese company, Huawei, has announced they will develop their own AI processing chips, reducing their reliance on US chip technology made by Intel and Nvidia.

This situation presents two major concerns. The first one is that AI can be used by totalitarian regimes to limit access to freedoms such as privacy and free speech. Another concern is a possible lack of cooperation between industrial and academic organizations. That cooperation has been crucial in the rapid progress of AI to the point it is today. Protecting the national AI programs is likely to slow down its overall development. This primarily applies to the development of common standards around AI.

Automation in Everyday Business

Last year companies attained a better understanding of AI capabilities. If the previous years were all about testing out AI in different areas, 2019 is the year when the companies go ahead with proven concepts, advancing from test phase to AI deployment.

The integration of technology varies from sector to sector. In financial services there are thousands of transactions regularly examined by machine learning algorithms. The retail industry is also constantly improving its algorithms to figure out consumer habits and increase their sales. This year we are likely to see the wholesome deployment of AI across all business sectors. AI will serve as a support to human resources, while at some other places already making logistic decisions.

Another prediction is seeing an increase in businesses using big data to create new revenue sources.

Creating big databases of transactions and customer activity can offer a serious opportunity in every industry. Offering a data-based service has transformed many businesses. A good example is John Deere, a company that offers agricultural analytics to help farmers increase their harvest. This year we expect more companies to follow suit in many different industries.

A Move Towards Transparency

In order to fully incorporate AI into our daily lives, we have to understand and trust the technology behind it. We need to know what AI is doing with our data and how its decision-making process works when it comes to important matters. This is very difficult to achieve considering one of the main benefits of AI is its ability to draw connections and make conclusions not obvious to the human mind. Furthermore, trust in AI is not only a problem within the public. There have been many cases of companies hesitant to fully deploy some of their AI technology due to fears that they could face future liabilities in the case that their AI is later ruled to be unethical.   

In 2019 we will most likely move towards increased transparency in AI. Some companies, like IBM, have already started working on transparency. With their AI OpenScale software, they are able to trace their AI’s decision-making process.  With the European General Data Protection Regulation, it is likely that more and more companies will be encouraged to move towards more transparent AI models.

Artificial Intelligence and News

With AI increasingly present in our daily lives, it is not a surprise that it has also been used to influence public opinion. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the creation of scarily believable “deepfakes” and fake articles, AI is already widely used in an effort to alter our social and political landscape.

That’s exactly why at BLOCKBIRD we are actively working on fake news discovery methods, creating a hybrid system of community and AI. We are observing the community response, source reputation, content processing, and pattern repetition of the spreading news. The blockchain technology allows us to enhance our product by enabling the credibility of our users’ votes and ratings on the platform. When we store the rating results on the distributed ledger, we make sure they are transparent and immutable. If you are interested in knowing more, read our blueprint and become a part of the BLOCKBIRD movement!



March 18, 2019, Maks Levstek