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Are you ready for the robot revolution?

If Big Data was the hottest topic of 2016 then Artificial Intelligence (AI) is jumping into the lead this year, not only in technology circles but in general society in 2017. The fear, versus possibilities and opportunities this advance will create, has caused huge debate. One of the key enablers for this quantum leap in Technology is most definitely Big data. 

If we rewind 10 years, it was still the stuff of fiction. Think ‘I, Robot’ and more recently ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Her’, a love story between humans and their operating systems – again perhaps not as far-fetched as you would initially think! Predominately, fiction has centred on AI (Robots) taking over the world.

Now the reality is that driverless cars are already in production with Uber’s self-driving fleet in Pittsburgh and Google has developed a machine-learning platform that has beaten AlphaGo (a game more complex than chess), ten years ahead of predictions. On a practical level, DeepMind (Google’s platform), provides the opportunity for any organisation to gain insights, improve relationships, increase sales or be competitive at a specific task. What business wouldn’t want this?!   

The explosion in the machine-learning market and knowledge-based modelling methods, will be a significant trend in 2017. According to a Narrative Science survey last year, nearly 38% of enterprises already use AI with this predicted to grow to 62% by 2018. There has also been a predicted 300% increase in investment in AI in 2017 compared with 2016, and IDC estimate this market will grow from $8B in 2016 to more than $47B in 2020!

So what does this mean for us?

Ever since the first foray into AI within fictional movies, there has been this fear of a revolution. Computers take over the world (think Terminator) and humans will be relegated to scurrying around in underwater drainage systems. Or even worse, the human race will be eliminated entirely!

Already, there are debates that it is the end of capitalism, Robots will take over most jobs, and that there will be no one controlling this “super intelligence”. Technology will extend lifespans which will have massive implications for the economy and society at large.

One of the most compelling arguments relates to cybersecurity, and at a time when Cisco estimate that one million cybersecurity jobs are unfilled worldwide, it is a real threat! 

What does this mean for the technology industry?

Most obviously, cybersecurity will need to be automated in some way and cybersecurity analytics will become a huge market for blending human expertise with AI. Big Data has been a driving force behind AI’s rise and as enterprises become more reliant on analysing their customer’s trends and patterns, building automation has become essential for greater efficiency.

Security is complex and hard to manage, companies will need to beef up their security defences. While most companies have invested heavily in security products, many are not getting enough value.

In the future, we will see the role of managed security service providers as increasingly important in helping organisations reduce the risk of security breaches and this will facilitate a large influx of start-up MSPs to accommodate demand.

Big Data is a core enabler of AI and early adopters of machine-learning in analytics will get a jump start. The sooner their systems begin learning about the context in which they operate, the sooner they will get to work mining data to make increasingly accurate predictions.

This will remain true across any environment; from an on-line retailer wanting to offer personalised recommendations, better diagnosis, detection and preventions for cancer in healthcare, or an airport seeking to prevent terror attacks.

This is just the start of a much bigger discussion, I'd love to hear your ideas and comments below, no matter how weird, wild or crazy, in order to create a fun debate about how you envisage the advance of AI impacting your world. Use your imagination and get creative!