This post is part of our new AI Influencer series where we interview the world's leading AI experts to get their take on the state of the industry, the top trends to watch for, and what the future holds.
1. What are the top trends you have noticed in AI?
CI: AI itself is a significant trend, and I see it more as an enabler technology than a standalone solution. AI is not a product that can be completed and shipped. I believe a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence is currently leading to trends in robotics, transportation (including logistics), media (content creation), customer communication (chatbots), defense (traditional and cyber-defense), and healthcare.
2. What applications for AI make it a game changer in the tech sphere?
CI: At this moment, autonomously driving vehicles are changing the game at least for some parts of our lives. There is still a lot of work to be done until we no longer need to drive on our own, but the development is progressing very fast, and the last hurdle here will be to get insurance companies and governments to give their okay for self-driving cars and the likes. AI, just as much as 5G and other IoT tech stacks within smart cities, will help to get the show on the road – excuse the idiom.
3. What is, in your opinion, the industry in which AI has the greatest disruptive impact?
CI: I think that AI has a great potential in the healthcare industry, next to multiple other industries. Learning about health and healing in a broad sense could not only prevent human error on treating patients but could also unlock new remedies by analyzing big data patterns. I think this is the industry with the most substantial disruptive potential. There is a lot to improve in this space in my opinion.
4. Would you say that the AI industry is evolving as rapidly as you anticipated, less rapidly, or about as expected? What makes you say this?
CI: I think the AI industry itself is progressing as anticipated but there is a lot of marketing noise around it that makes it seem almost omnipresent in the media. It is a buzzword that can sell products a lot better right now, so often the term is misused for solutions that are not that much related to a form of artificial intelligence or only remotely considered as AI. The hype might cool off, and that could impact investment behavior but the actual science and development that drive AI progress will proceed to enable solutions that start to be attractive to investors again.
5. What do you see as the most difficult-to-overcome limitations for AI?
CI: I think that currently there are some critical remarks by expert computer scientists around the globe who warn about possible dangers that could come hand in hand with evolving AI technology. I believe the usage of AI will improve many aspects of life, but we need to make sure that technology considers humans relevant to its existence and beyond. Science fiction often shows us the bad ends of such a scenario when not paying attention to what we build. I think we should learn from the fiction and think twice about what we are building, why we are building it and how we are building it. It sounds like sensationalism or drama but getting this first step wrong, could seal our fate.
6. What’s the future of AI?
CI: In the short-term future, I believe AI can be heavily leveraged to support systems and enable solutions in B2B, B2C but just as much in consumer and entertainment space. A good example will be how our smartphone assistants will develop over the next months and years. Contextual data will be collected and calculated, and based on that, users will be provided with information that is relevant to them, even if they don't know it is going to be relevant to them before they receive it.
Predicting the far future of AI is somewhat tricky. Talking about decades seems like writing science fiction novels. Everything we can imagine right now is based on the thoughts and experiences we already had. I'm loosely convinced that AI in healthcare and MedTech could extend human lifetime. That sounds good at first but might be problematic thinking about the increase in population numbers.
💡 Also, we need to remember what Andrew Grove, former CEO of Intel once said. A quote of his was, “Technology happens, it's not good, it's not bad. Is steel good or bad?”.
Moreover, I keep thinking that every white hat technology is usually pursuing a further developed black hat technology. Perhaps we need to think about an AI police or another body that regulates the research. I do not want to talk too negatively about AI, on the contrary, I am entirely welcoming the technology, but I want to remind everyone that these developments can also wipe us off the planet in the future if abused – and it is certainly not just a marketing buzzword.
If the readers would like to check deeper into the subject, I would invite them to also visit one of my latest articles on the matter on TechAcute.