According to Gartner, during 2019 the most relevant technological trends will focus on Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, quantum computing and Blockchain. Of these, Artificial Intelligence trends will be among the most significant.
The growing need to automate business processes to ensure the sustainability of operations and maximize profitability, along with the digitization, has increased technological investment in solutions based on Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics. Artificial Intelligence has assumed a leading role in sectors such as banking, insurance, transport, retail, health, energy and tourism. There is no sector that has not joined the AI.
Gartner points out as Artificial Intelligence trends that will be key during the year: self-driving cars, virtual agents, text analysis and NLP, robotics and biometric technology.
Leading companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Volkswagen, Renault or Toyota are working and investing in autonomous vehicles. These cars are capable of circulating autonomously by incorporating sensors and Artificial Intelligence systems. A fully autonomous vehicle could greatly reduce the costs for logistics companies. For example, they could make journeys 24 hours a day, without hours of rest and breaks established for drivers.
Currently, six levels of self-driving cars have been created based on their degree of automation. Going from level 0, vehicles that have no built-in automation system; up to level 5, fully autonomous cars that can circulate independently of context and external conditions.
Although only level 2 autonomous cars (with temporary autopilot or full assisted parking) are available for sale, level 3 and 4 prototypes already exist, but are still being tested. An example is Waymo from Google, which tests self-driving cars in some U.S. states.
Level 5 is still an objective to be achieved, that is why the big automobile and technological companies will continue working on this Artificial Intelligence application in 2019.
Virtual Agents are a new customer relationship channel thanks to their ability to automate the conversation process. They are currently used to provide technical assistance, recommend products and services or manage bookings. They have also been incorporated into domotics as intelligent home assistants, such as Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod.
Different Artificial Intelligence techniques such as Machine Learning or Natural Language Processing (NLP), allow man-machine communication both in written and spoken form. They incorporate abilities to analyze the tone of a conversation or its intentionality.
The scale-up advantages of the support service, its availability 24 hours 365 days a year and its impact on cost savings, make virtual assistants once again one of the key Artificial Intelligence trends for this year.
Business processes are becoming increasingly complex in all business sectors. The sustainability of companies depends on ensuring increasingly demanding service levels and ensuring the profitability of operations.
Applying intelligent tools to different business processes helps quantify the effect of future decisions knowing what will happen and why. In order to automate decision making, identifying the best of all possibilities.
Minimizing costs, maximizing productivity and improving the final profitability of the business. That’s why companies will continue to bet on it during 2019.
Biometric verification systems consist of techniques such as recognition through voice, fingerprint, face, iris, retina, palm or signature. These intelligent systems are one of the Artificial Intelligence trends most being developed and used in 2019.
These systems identify and measure the physical characteristics of the human body, its structure and even certain behaviours, allowing natural interactions between humans and machines.
They are normally used for attendance verification, access to physical locations, access to applications or information, or communication with virtual assistants.
More and more connected devices (Internet of Things, IoT) incorporate voice recognition systems. It is expected that in a few years humans will manage all actions with devices connected through voice. That is why companies are investing in these systems so that they are capable of effectively understanding natural language and reproducing it in an identical way, and not just understandable.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is another application expected to grow during the year. Some analysts mistakenly include it in the Artificial Intelligence trends.
They are mainly used to automate simple but repetitive tasks based on rules and only occasionally are supported by Artificial Intelligence techniques. Therefore, they should not be considered AI solutions. The process uses pre-built scripts along with the association of mimics to automate tasks in the same way people do.
It is clear that they are key to automating repetitive tasks, and that they save costs and effectively support human skills. In fact, they are expected to penetrate companies over the next few years due to their low implementation cost.