Addressing the skills gap, cyber wars and a new wave of immersive intelligence -- AI predictions for 2019


Artificial intelligence has been 'the future' for quite a long time, but it seems that the potential of the technology is at last starting to have an impact on the real world.

What do industry experts think will be the things we'll see from AI in 2019? We've put together some of their opinions below.


Huw Owen, head of EMEA and APJ at Couchbase says, "The opportunities and need for artificial intelligence and machine learning are well understood: with projects such as IBM’s Watson already showing its potential. With this groundwork already in place, 2019 will be the year where we see more real-world applications of AI, as businesses begin to ask the big questions around 'how' AI will impact their operations. For instance, how will organizations determine what questions are used to train their AI implementations? How will they address potential ethical challenges, such as the introduction of bias into the equation? Will consumers ever truly trust the technology? 2019 will see businesses and academia working together to determine the answer to these questions: working towards a trusted approach for developing AI and allowing it to find its place in the mainstream."

AI is often seen as way of being able to address shortages of human skills. Don Foster, senior director of worldwide solutions marketing at Commvault agrees, "The IT skills gap will require progressive enterprises to implement new, innovative solutions that automate complex operations. Machine learning and artificial intelligence will become key requirements for new IT solutions to help businesses close the skills gap through smarter operations and modern IT solutions. Enterprise software firms will force their strategic vendors to integrate AI and ML into their existing offerings to provide a more efficient operating model and a higher level of success for meeting their desired outcomes."

AI will be key to the recruitment process too, thinks Sofus Macskassy, vice president of data science at HackerRank. "The human element in recruiting is critical and artificial intelligence will be added to this process to augment and support the recruiter and hiring managers. AI will become more influential in managing sourcing and outreaches, such as who to reach out to and better messaging. We are already seeing AI helping to tune job descriptions to avoid biases -- this trend will continue to tune job descriptions to be better at attracting the right candidates. Assessing candidates will continue to be a critical aspect -- in tech recruiting we expect the demand to continue to grow and many companies are still learning how to hire tech talent. Recruiting platforms will be instrumental in guiding hiring managers on how to assess candidates and providing deeper reports on the strengths and weaknesses of candidates to make sure the process becomes more data-driven. This ecosystem is growing rapidly, and I would expect AI to also help on standardizing what skills different types of developers ought to have to help not only the recruiting side but also provide feedback to the candidate side on where their weak points are and how to improve."

The use of chatbots is another often touted use for AI, but Neil Kinson, chief of staff at Redwood Software thinks businesses need to be more realistic in their expectations. "In recent years, organizations have been racing to implement AI into their business functions. As vendors have touted the possibilities, expectations were often extremely high for what this technology could achieve despite its infancy. After early exploration and investments with limited ROI to show, the hype and myths that surround AI are evaporating. 2019 will see businesses give themselves a reality check on AI and set more realistic and meaningful expectations for their return on investment."

Doug Hillary, strategic adviser and board member at Fractal Analytics thinks that AI is going to make all of our lives easier. "The next wave of 'immersive intelligence' will make lives easier as consumers. Augmented Reality will merge with machine learning, virtual assistants and wearable devices to make it easier to connect, shop, play and perform tasks around the home, as well as to manage wellness with health care providers."

Data protection has been in the news for much of 2018 and Oussama El-Hilali, VP of products at Arcserve thinks AI has a role to play here too. "Organizations will be looking for data protection solutions to predict when an event might cause a system failure. By using artificial intelligence (AI), organizations can achieve just that. It can also help them better determine which pieces of data and systems are most important and help determine future storage needs."

Of course the good guys aren't the only ones who are going to be using AI. High-Tech Bridge's CEO, Ilia Kolochenko says, "Cybercriminals have attained a decent level of proficiency in practical AI/ML usage. Most of the time, they use the emerging technology to better profile their future victims and to accelerate time, and thus effectiveness, of intrusions. As opposed to many cybersecurity startups who often use AI/ML for marketing and investor-relationship purposes, the bad guys are focused on its practical, pragmatic usage to cut their costs and boost income. We will likely see other areas of AI/ML usage by cybercriminals. We will probably have the first cases of simple AI technologies competing against each other in 2019."

Which are the areas where you think AI will have the most impact in 2019? Let us know.

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