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AI is no longer Artificial Intelligence

Strategic predictions are always an interesting quandary to wrestle with. How far do you back medium-term predictions given today’s technology landscape is dynamic and continually evolving?

At the Gartner IT Symposium this year there was, of course, the usual analyst session on “top strategic predictions for 2019 and beyond” and like most people I had the usual healthy scepticism around where this would go and how pertinent it was to what we do as service providers.

However, there was one trend that I found resonated with me not just as a member of the technology industry but in the real-world application and impact on our everyday life. Most of this was very positive, but it comes with a warning around the need to understand the balance between the impact on personal privacy and the betterment of the greater collective. It’s refreshing that use cases for Artificial Intelligence (AI) have rapidly matured and it’s no longer simply technology searching for a problem and we’re now talking about Augmented Intelligence. This has a profound shift away from the interpretation that AI was all about replacing human thought processes and displacing people from jobs to now being more about adding greater value to complimenting and challenging that human thought process to create a greater integrated outcome and societal benefit.

Within the diagram below I have circled three interesting AI trends predicted to come from the evolution of AI:

Gartner strategic predictions 2019

Each one of these trends came with an intrinsic promise of life improved as well as a reserved warning around the challenges of integrating the augmented reality within a human legal and political framework. So, what did that look like?

AI Alchemy Limits the Scale of Projects

Gartner predicts: By 2020, 85% of CIOs will be piloting AI programs through a combination of buy, build and outsource efforts - what will hold them back?

This revolved around the thought that we all struggle with the adoption of new technology. It is difficult to succeed immediately with emergent technology, as it’s inherently new, and this manifests as a skills shortfall. The velocity of change will only continue to increase, so attempting to ‘skill up’ in the way we’ve done before is insufficient.

Key takeaways:

  • Have the vison to recognise that AI skills and AI enhancements will be essential to the future direction of your organisation. Investigate how AI can shortcut the acquisition of new skills to enable you to exploit “what’s next”
  • Apply the necessary effort to the focus on language processing and machine learning.
  • Invest in data science and evolve your computer engineering and DevOps experts.

Smart organisations should recognise this early and find ways to develop capability to evolve their teams and people with Augmented Intelligence.

AI Face Recognition Finds Missing People

Gartner predicts: By 2023, there will be an 80% reduction in missing people in mature markets compared to 2018 due to AI face recognition.

Interesting fact: up to 70,000 children go missing annually in China, suspected of being sold into illegal adoption or slavery. Chinese authorities are at the forefront of applying AI facial recognition capabilities to resolve such missing person’s cases far quicker than human efforts alone could achieve. In 2018 a Chinese man was identified having previously gone missing 27 years earlier as a five year-old.

Key takeaways:

  • Facial recognition will solve the problem of scale in finding missing people.
  • To achieve these benefits the majority of effort needs to focus on improvements in facial recognition, sample size and collection points.
  • The industry and political law makers will need to prioritise demographic differences and restrict privacy concerns with public engagement and declarations.

Political landscapes, policy and personal expectations are all going to have to evolve in line with advancements in monitoring and surveillance. As AI technology evolves and brings advances in threat protection and prevention it also can and will become more invasive – where do we strike the happy balance between protection and privacy, and how much are you willing to give up?

AI Health Drives Reductions in Emergency Room Visits

Gartner predicts: By 2023, emergency department visits will be reduced by 20 million in the US due to enrolment of chronically ill patients in AI enhanced virtual care.

Whilst primarily targeted at the enormous burden on the American health systems, there is no doubt that AI enhanced healthcare will have a significant global impact. Take as an example our own backyard made up of a widely geographically dispersed population. How will this change the way we provide medical services to small towns and remote communities? How will it evolve the way the RFDS is able to improve (their already outstanding) health services?

People dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, debilitating back conditions will no longer need to unnecessarily present themselves to hospitals or clinics and be inconvenienced by travelling thousands of kilometres from home to participate in health monitoring and management plans. Hospital emergency departments will benefit through focusing resourcing where they need to be vitally applied and not dealing with conditions that are being unnecessarily presented to emergency rooms due to the inability to appropriately manage chronic conditions.

Key takeaways:

  • AI monitoring will drive preventative and reactive care.
  • Virtual care will be the future of connecting patients and care providers.
  • Virtual care will enable a more integrated care and AI will allow wellness and preventative care to scale.

It is important to understand the virtual care will not replace human interaction but will increase the manageable patient load and ability for practitioners to interface and diagnose changes in conditions or treatment plans.

So what does this all mean for us in the technology community?

The reality is it’s about embracing the opportunities within the future of Augmented Intelligence, pushing and leading the charge with our clients. Human and machine together are the future of how we make the most of Augmented Intelligence. Yes, the role we play will change and the skillsets required and jobs in demand will evolve, but the quality of the data and the outcomes generated will always be driven by the human need and hence our ability to maintain control of the destiny and benefits.

In his book “Hit Refresh”, Satya Nadella stated that he wants AI to help not replace humans and that AI can make the world a more inclusive place, but the efforts to maximise AI’s potential will require more work than the first trip to the moon. Seems to me a dream well worth pursuing!


This blog is part of the #cxreimagine series. For more experts' insights, clients' experiences and to download the whitepaper, click the banner.

For more experts' insights, clients' experience and to download the whitepaper, click the banner #cxreimagine

Posted by: Brett Gresele, General Manager, Strategic Deals and Alliances | 12 November 2018

Tags: Cloud Platform, Digital Transformation, Continuous Service, Gartner, #CXreimagine

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