2018: The Year of AI?

Posted Date 01/08/18

Everybody is writing and talking about AI (when they’re not writing and talking about bitcoin, of course) and this year this will continue as will major investments in the technology and further developments. This is the central outtake from a list of 18 predictions for this year, made by strategist Azeem Azhar for the MIT Technology Review.

Noting that innovation will continue to take place all over the world, not just in Silicon Valley, and some innovation hubs could even overtake the cradle of tech innovation this year, Azhar focuses several of his predictions on AI.

AI, according to him, will continue to diverge from traditional software this year. This divergence concerns several aspects, including novel interface mechanisms, specialist hardware, and cloud-to-edge computing, which taken together will bring us closer to the formulation of a new paradigm of software development.

For large companies, Azhar says, AI will be a priority investment area. This will benefit AI startups that are currently in the process of maturing and it will also benefit the investing firms, save those who see AI as a means of reducing costs only.

Simultaneously, we will begin to see more and more instances of the growing importance and adoption of artificial intelligence, including, says Azhar, evidence of the power of AI-augmented humans. Still, this year will not bring us closer to human-like artificial intelligence or consciousness.

Besides AI, Azhar is optimistic about cryptocurrencies, which, he says, this year will finally start showing signs of utility. He believes this year will see more activity in decentralized applications and protocols, with those who actually know what blockchain is all about beginning to use it to solve real problems.

Of course, it would only be a matter of time to marry AI and blockchain and 2018 may see the start of this marriage. Among the possible combinations would be using blockchain protocols for machine-to-machine communication and building data commons to stimulate data sharing.

On the bad news front, machine learning could be used for cyberattacks this year. These could utilize natural language generation or chatbots, taking devices hostage, or using adaptive, non--detectable systems.

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