In 2021, we expect to see tremendous demand and an accelerated increase in artificial intelligence (A.I.) and industrial automation technology. As production and supply chains turn to full service, human resources deficiencies will become a critical issue. With the help of A.I., automation will be a dangerous alternative solution to operate manufacturing.
According to Forrester, the next decade will require CIOs to respond to digital acceleration and proactively handle risk, all with the ethical application of Artificial Intelligence.
In the past, companies that utilized Machine Learning and other Artificial Intelligence technologies were not much preoccupied with their ethical significance. Today, however, things have developed. Values-based consumers and employees expect companies to embrace A.I. responsibly. Over the following few years, firms will willingly prefer to do business with partners that perform data ethics and use data handling practices that reflect their benefits and customers’ values.
The Growth of RPA and AI-Driven Automation
With the pandemic making us all keep a close eye on budgets, companies were turning to RPA and IPA to do tasks in order to free up employees to do other more complicated things. This isn’t going to reduce in 2021 with the growth of RPA companies like UiPath.
One company, Automation Anywhere, has produced a digital assistant, AARI, which goes beyond consumer use cases to help employees learn to “connect the dots” in business methods to help increase automation. Scaling has traditionally been a challenging process for robotic process automation (RPA), with only 15% of companies practicing it scaling past 50 bots.) AARI also encourages employees to get more comfortable operating alongside AI, enabling them to make their work lives better.
A Consistent and Accelerated Shift Toward Cyber Security and AIOps
Heading into 2021, we’ll definitely be seeing AI used particularly for preventative cybersecurity and automated resolution of IT issues through AIOps. That’s huge, especially in a period when we’re observing even more employees working from home—often on unsecured devices. Various companies like HPE have set their sights on developing AIOps to deliver what consumers need. At the securities analyst meeting in October, HPE CEO Antonio Neri reaffirmed the company’s purpose to continue to improve HPE InfoSight, the AIOps platform that can currently predict and fix 86% of issues. And they’re not the only ones obtaining headlines in the field.
It’s clear that several innovative tech companies worldwide are doing investments in this area, showing strong momentum in this space.
Confluence with the IoT
It took a while, but we’re definitely starting to see seamless convergence between AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), which has been slow to take up on its feet, at least in the form most of us originally imagined. With AI’s prevalence of sensors and its immediate ability to offer actionable insights, we’ll likely see a strong foundational increase in the IoT in the coming year. Certainly, in the past, the IoT may have been able to observe and store data—sometimes allowing some type of process or automation to happen.
This will scale to smart buildings, cities, retail environments, and more, as the capabilities are similar, but the data can be obtained and applied uniquely to give everything from greater security, and increased sustainability practices, to enhanced customer experience and real-time offer optimization.
Personalized AI for Marketing
AI requires data. Marketing requires data. Put those two together, and you start up a world of possibilities. Much like how AI+IoT can utilize data for customer experience, the intentional application of personalized AI for marketing will use this one step further. As more data continues to be gathered and optimized about a customer, the capability to predict the next best step or the perfect offer will continue to grow. Add more data, and AI can acquire and further infer user preference. This cycle remains, and over time, the delivery of best in class personalization is the end outcome.
If one thing is clear, AI is seeing important momentum across use cases and is becoming an increasingly “normal” part of human life, also in a year that is anything but normal. From where we are standing, at least from a technology viewpoint, 2021 looks to be another year of great adoption and growing use cases for artificial intelligence.