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Artificial Intelligence

AI in 2019: Three trends to watch

By Fountech Ventures
February 27, 2019

Earlier this month we posted a blog examining the state of the artificial intelligence market. To summarise, it focused on the lack of maturity that exists in the AI space – we’re currently in a position where expectations are sky high, but the actual tools being implemented are failing to live up to the hype.

It begs the question, therefore, of what we can expect from the AI market in the near future. Indeed, there are few people who deny the transformative impact this technology will have on our day-to-day lives, but exactly how the industry will evolve in the coming months remains unclear.

So, here are three key AI trends to watch out for in 2019:

1. You’ll read about AI… a lot

The first (and perhaps safest) prediction to make is that AI will remain a hot topic; it will be high on the agenda within the media, technology events and business meetings.

Why? Because the AI market is set for huge growth.

Just look at some of the stats: there have been over 154,000 AI patents filed worldwide since 2010, with this figure growing by 34% annually between 2013 and 2018 (IFI Claims Patent Services); according to PwC, AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030; and KPMG suggests that investment into AI is set to rise from $13 billion last year to $230 billion in 2025.

From startups and VCs to governments and enterprises, everyone is looking at how AI could make their organisation better, faster, more competitive. In 2019, we can expect to read a lot about artificial intelligence, whether that’s a new business innovating with the technology, or world-leading universities offering courses in AI.

This should be welcomed – after all, creating an open dialogue about AI and its practical applications will help improve people’s understanding of what such advances could mean for them.

2. Certain industries will pave the way

The evolution of any new technology requires front-runners; trailblazers who set the example for their peers to follow. Invariably this involves particular industries leading the way and showing others how it’s done.

In AI there are already a number of sectors that have stolen a head start on others. Financial services is one such example – big banks and payment platforms have already begun implementing AI to cut down on fraud, vet applications and protect against cyberattacks.

Our CEO Nick Kairinos recently offered his insight on this topic for Fintech Capital Markets: How AI has disrupted the financial sector.

One of the more exciting industries to watch, however, is education. Due to tighter budgets and often more risk-averse mentalities, educational institutions are not well known for being early adopters of technology. Nevertheless, education is one of the areas that could experience the greatest benefits from AI, and not just in the classroom.

AI tools such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Classification, Clustering, Recommender systems and Reinforcement methods are all changing the way that people around the world are able to learn. And this is an area that Fountech itself will be keenly focused on over the coming 12 months.

Last week, Nick wrote about the impact AI could have within the education sector in an article for Education Technology.  

3. We will need to learn to trust AI

One of the greatest barriers to AI adoption is not the technology but our mind-sets. In short, many people do not trust artificial intelligence.

A combination of apocalyptic sci-fi tales regarding ‘the rise of the machines’, combined with more immediate concerns about the way AI can access and use our data, has led to mistrust among some parts of society. This is likely to be a key AI talking point in 2019.

This comes back to an issue around the maturity of the market and people’s understanding (or lack thereof) when it comes to AI. To overcome this, it’s important organisations are open in their use of AI; there will naturally be fears about losing competitive advantage by revealing too much, but people must see the way that AI is actually being used.

Only through transparency and education will people appreciate the nature of AI tools and how they are being utilised. Furthermore, this can reassure society that AI is being used in completely legal and ethical ways – this will be a vital step in enabling artificial intelligence to reach its potential and begin making a meaningful impact on the world around us.

Fountech Newsletter

In other news, just this week Fountech has launched its new Monthly Newsletter, which will share the latest news about our own projects as well as providing valuable insight into what’s happening in the world of AI.

Click here to read the inaugural February 2019 Fountech Newsletter, and be sure to subscribe to automatically receive future editions!