AI Predictions for 2019: Artificial Intelligence Boldly Goes Where No One Has Gone Before

February 26, 2019 | 4 minute read
Kate Farrow
Senior Marketing Manager
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Artificial Intelligence came a long way in 2018, and now increasing numbers of C-level executives are wondering what lies in store for AI in 2019, and how they can leverage it to their advantage.

Gil Press, writing in Forbes magazine, cites predictions from 120 AI leaders across a wide range of fields. While each has their own unique perspective, there is an overwhelming consensus that this will be a watershed year.

AI in 2019 is predicted to:

  • Evolve into considerably more practical and personalized applications
  • Have a major impact on IT security
  • Rapidly permeate and enrich a wide range of industries and business functions - providing a noticeable competitive edge to early adopters and pioneers
  • Increase the demand for highly skilled IT professionals substantially in a global labor market that is already short of AI talent

Let’s take a closer look at what the experts say.

AI Becomes More Practical, and Personal

Where 2018 was the year of excitement and publicity in the AI sphere, specialists agree that 2019 will be the year that AI becomes practical, efficient, and personal.

“2019 will be a pivotal year for AI in the workplace - the year we move from conversation to impact,” said Oracle’s GVP of HCM Strategy, Gretchen Alarcon.

Ram Menon, Founder and CEO at Avaamo, agrees. “AI will get down to work beyond the hype and headlines. Practical AI will rule and augment workplace productivity in new and interesting ways.”

Sean Byrnes, CEO and Co-Founder of Outlier and Yaron Hadad, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Nutrino, among many others, concur that this year AI is entering the age of real-world application.

However, a large part of AI’s practicality in 2019 will be down to its ‘human’ touch. “Vendors will focus more on humanizing AI with empathy,” explains Dr. Rob Walker, Vice President of Decision Management and Analytics at Pegasystems.

This is because customers demand to be seen as individuals and not simply data records. And it is this quality of empathy on which it will be judged, notes Rana el Kaliouby, CEO and Co-Founder of Affectiva.

Most believe that AI will succeed in taking great strides in empathy and personalization in 2019. “This year, someone will finally know if that special someone really wants a fruitcake or power washer,” said Alan Conboy at Scale Computing.

AI Advances across Industries and Functions

AI’s footprint will greatly expand in 2019, with many predicting exponential growth in fields where it has already been tried and tested - such as automotive and finance.

This is especially true in the healthcare sector, where giant leaps are predicted in disease prediction, prevention, diagnostics, and management - particularly in the areas of oncology, radiology, drug development, diabetes, and mental health. By combining data from various sources - including wearables, voice and video, and VR, AI will create a more holistic picture and help deliver more individualized care, wherever the patient happens to be.

Across all industries, an AI boom is predicted in key business functions including HR, marketing, sales, customer service, and supply chain. There will be a widespread development of AI empathy in chatbots, while AI will continue to innovate within the IT industry itself.

“We expect that by 2020, all development will be assisted by AI co-developers that understand developer intent, suggest next best patterns and detect problems before applications go into production,” forecasts Antonio Alegria, Head of AI, OutSystems.

Re-evaluating Data and Security

Considering 2018’s high-profile data breaches, increased data protection regulations, customer privacy concerns, and the prevalence of hackers, information security officers in 2019 must become experts in leveraging AI to repel all threats. These officers must add AI technologies to their arsenals of attack

Nadav Zafrir, CEO at Team8 points out that automation enables attackers to use simpler tools to infiltrate networks - which poses extra problems due to the limited pool of skilled security talent on the labor market.

Setu Kulkarni, Vice President of Corporate Strategy, WhiteHat Security, predicts that a new breed of security data scientists will emerge in 2019 - to prepare, process, and interpret the data so that AI can optimize and automate security in real time.

Organizations are also likely to re-think their data and security strategies, as more data becomes available from more sources. Specifically, they will need highly skilled AI practitioners, who know how to ask the right security questions and how to leverage internal and third-party data sets and AI for specific business needs.

AI Learning for All

This year, humans and AI will work closer together than ever before. Both IT and non-IT staff must learn more about AI to maximize business opportunities. There will continue to be a lack of qualified AI specialists witin all markets; as a result, organizations must look to constantly develop AI talents of its own employees to bridge the skills gap.

“In 2019, everybody is going to start learning AI,” says Aman Naimat, CTO, Demandbase. “There are only about 5,000 data scientists and we can’t rely on them to lead an industrial revolution. Everyone needs to have AI skills, from product managers to business analysts.”

Johnny Ghibril, VP of Data Science & Solution Architecture at B.Yond agrees. “There is a shortage in talent that will affect everyone and strain companies’ ability to deliver.” Ghibril suggests that junior data scientists can help with the deficit, but that “the learning curve will be felt in 2019.”

As artificial intelligence becomes an increasingly important part of our personal and professional lives, AI learning will spread throughout society itself in the year ahead. As Josh Feast, CEO and Co-Founder of Cogito puts it, “In 2019, society will push for the demystification of AI and demand a better understanding of what technology is being built.”

It’s not easy to foretell the future, but at Oracle University, we predict boundless success in 2019 for all those trained and qualified in AI.

Kate Farrow

Senior Marketing Manager

Kate Farrow has worked for Oracle University for many years and has a passion for transferring knowledge to others. Her favorite quote is by Albert Einstein:

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge

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