More people are coming to accept AI technology and its prevalence in everyday applications, from chatbots in customer service to surveillance robots in shopping malls. But much of what we think about artificial intelligence continues to stem from a dystopian outlook shaped by pop culture and movies like Blade Runner 2049 and Ex Machina (both great movies, by the way).

We’ve got a long ways to go before replicants assimilate into mainstream society. But as this year comes to an end, I can’t help but wonder what kind of AI software trends will take hold in the new year.

So, here are our picks for the top 5 AI software trends to watch in 2018:


“Human-Like” Help

In a recent Forbes article, contributor Daniel Newman states, “Humans simply can’t keep up with the speed at which technology—and customer demands—are moving. That’s why more and more businesses are moving toward harnessing the power of conversational AI chatbots and other virtual assistants to manage the day-to-day flow of work.”

As we move deeper into a customer-empowered marketplace, this trend is not all that surprising. In fact, Gartner predicts that in the next two years, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human.


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Explainable AI

According to PWC, there are scores of machine learning algorithms in use that sense, think, and act in a variety of different applications. Yet many of these algorithms are considered “black boxes,” offering little if any insight into how they reached their outcome.

Explainable AI is a movement to develop machine learning techniques that produce more explainable models while maintaining prediction accuracy. AI that is explainable, provable, and transparent will be critical to establishing trust in the technology and will encourage wider adoption of machine learning techniques.


Prescriptive Analytics

This emerging solution category goes beyond insights provided by typical, descriptive analytics that study past events or predictive analytics that forecast future events. Instead, prescriptive analytics goes so far as to the answer the question, “What should be done?” by taking into account a myriad of different factors to optimize the objective or desired outcome. 

Businesses will incorporate more prescriptive analytics tools that will recommend actions to optimize business processes, marketing effectiveness, ad targeting, and more.


Immersive Experience

According to Gartneraugmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality are changing the way that people perceive and interact with the digital world. Combined with conversational platforms, a fundamental shift in the user experience to an invisible and immersive experience will emerge. Application vendors, system software vendors and development platform vendors will all compete to deliver this model.

Be on the lookout for hardware devices that will create an immersive experience in which the user interacts with digital and real-world objects.


Mobile AI

The next generation of smartphones will integrate more AI technology, making these devices smarter and faster than ever. The recent release of Apple’s iPhone X features the new AII bionic neural engine chip, which according to the Verge, “is actually a pair of processing cores dedicated to handling ‘specific machine learning algorithms.’ These algorithms are what power various advanced features in the iPhone, including Face ID, Animoji, and augmented reality apps.”

Nothing like using your $1,000 phone to send your friends a little piggy animoji.


Interested in learning more about AI technology? Check out Conversica Chief Data Scientist, Dr. Sid Reddy, discuss the basics and design of conversational AI:


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