The year is almost at an end, and so it is once again time for the obligatory trends articles (Trends for 2022). We already know that AI is impacting every industry. In past articles I have covered “The tipping point”, the fact that AI is already immersed in our daily lives and with no end in sight. Here I outline seven areas where we can expect a greater involvement of AI in the lives of all of us, in 2022.
AI thrives on data, and the rise and ubiquity of AI has placed a yet greater emphasis on the value of data as both a competitive advantage and a core asset to companies and countries alike. This in turn has risen to privacy laws and efforts to educate the public on how their data can be used. These efforts are geared towards giving individuals agency in exercising their data rights. The confluence of these factors is already leading to data marketplaces. Data marketplaces are online venues where individuals and corporations can buy and sell data. Data marketplaces have the potential to combine democratized access, privacy controls and monetization models to enable data owners to benefit from data use.
AI meets the Metaverse
There has been a lot of news lately about the metaverse, a combination of virtual reality, augmented reality, online worlds, personalized experiences and games, that make it possible for individuals to interact, do business, and build personas entirely online. Many companies are racing to develop and own parts of the metaverse, with instances already available to users in popular apps like Roblox. What does this have to with AI? AI has many roles to play in the metaverse, from generating synthetic characters, to creating stories, to optimizing VR experiences.
The AI Enabled Practitioner
Gone are the days when only data scientists needed to understand AI. Now, with AI being in every industry, AI strategies developed by every country, and new laws emerging to govern AI and related aspects such as privacy, AI is now a learning requirement for many jobs. I expect we will see the rise of the AI Enabled Practitioners, individuals who understand the role of AI in their jobs, whether those are jobs in medicine, law, human resources, sales, or anything else.
Some of the great commercial successes of AI have been in areas such as recommendation systems and dynamic pricing. As AIs learn more about us, we can expect this trend to continue, with everything we receive online (whether it is a sale, a coupon, recommendations, prices, etc.) to be personalized to us as individuals. We can also expect more data about us to be gathered online, through chatbots, digital assistants, etc. This can be an exciting concept for some and a concern for others.
New Education Standards
It takes a while for education standards to catch up with technology trends, but we are already seeing that in AI. Countries such as India have created AI test standards for K-12 students, providing guidance to teachers on the importance of AI as a subject and how it should be introduced in K-12. We can expect to see growth in this area next year as more K-12 schools start introducing AI concepts to their kids and more AI education standards are introduced.
Digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri have been with us for some time, but how about home robots? AI powered devices are not necessarily new to the home, (for example Roomba) but this year has seen the arrival of more general-purpose AI powered robots for the home. For example, Amazon recently announced Astro, a robot that can follow you around in the home, connect to Alexa, monitor security etc. I expect these will become as common in households as Alexa is today.
AI has demonstrated impressive capabilities related to creation, from being able to compose music, to the ability to write poetry or to make paintings. How can this benefit the average consumer? Expect to see AI augmented creativity in your favorite apps, from apps that design presentations for you, to those that create recipes for you!
In summary, the past few years have seen explosive growth of AI, as both a technology as well as a force for industry growth. As AI-powered products make their way out of the prototype labs and into the hands of consumers, we can expect more AI trends to affect our daily lives. Should be a fun year in 2022!