Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to have a massive impact on our daily lives — from enabling hyper-personalisation to saving huge amounts of time on routine tasks, new tools will fundamentally shift the way we interact with technology.
These are among the findings of the latest in the Futurist Report series from Ericsson, the AT&T Foundry and RocketScape.
The impact of AI is already being felt in sub-Saharan Africa, with start-ups developing solutions that have the potential to impact key socio-economic issues.
For example, a Cape Town-based company created an AI system to assist farming consultants in Africa to identify problem areas in crops such as wheat, macadamia nuts, citrus and sugar cane. This technology will enable farmers to develop variable rate fertilisation application maps, predicting the yield of crops and identifying problem areas.
“According to our latest Mobility Report, Mobile Broadband subscriptions in Middle East and Africa are expected to grow by almost three times between 2016 and 2022,” says Rafiah Ibrahim, rresident of Ericsson Middle East and Africa. “This clearly illustrates the potential that AI will have across the region with the ability to impact growth in key areas that are critical for economic progress including agriculture, healthcare, education and infrastructure development.”
According to the report, about 1 500 companies in North America are developing AI applications including leading companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Amazon. This number is only expected to grow as institutions embrace AI’s ability to increase productivity through intelligent automation, labour and capital augmentation, and innovation diffusion through AI partnerships.
Experts also forecast that annual global revenue from AI products and services will grow from $643,7-million in 2016 to as high as $36,5-million to $100-billion by 2025.
With the promise of revenue, investors have become keen on the AI space as well. Consistent investments has seen global AI funding increase from $95-million in 2011 to over $1-billion in 2016. Last year, more than $5-billion was invested in 658 companies – a 61% increase from 2015. And it is expected to will grow another 300% in 2017.
The Future Report anticipates that AI will affect the consumer experiencec in five ways:
* Humans will have more room to be human.
* People will bbe everywhere, as data will be everywhere.
* Connectivity will instantly power individual adventures.
* Consumes will soon go from one click to zero clicks.
* Ethical AI will control for bias.
The report concludes that, as AI becomes normalised, industry leaders must be cognisant of the ways it is implemented so that consumers from all ends of the spectrum can benefit.
This will involve optimising data storage and transfers at the backend to create fluid experiences; and ensuring that AI rolled out to the public has accounted for the systemic biases that can aggregate within algorithms.