5 Trending Artificial Intelligence Technologies of 2018

5 Trending Artificial Intelligence Technologies of 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage right now and there is little chance of it dying down anytime soon. We all have knowingly or unknowingly incorporated artificial intelligence into our day-to-day activities like communication, transportation, and operations. In this article, we shall talk about the 5 trending Artificial Intelligence technologies in the year of 2018.

For the uninitiated, Artificial Intelligence is the science of developing machines to interact like humans. This paper by Stanford describes the AI technology as “the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior” or ‘an agent’s ability to achieve goals in a wide range of environments”.

It was an area that excited interest first in the 1950s-1970s as a technology that can be used to develop “thinking machines”, transitioned into something called “machine learning” in the 1980s-2010s and in present day is driven by the concept of “deep learning”.

In terms of AI capabilities, undeniable success has been demonstrated through collaborations with health care, retail, sports, legal assistance and manufacturing, amongst many others. The amazement that AI’s success demands reaches a new height every day and constant research and innovation in AI technology has led to several new projects. To serve as a quick recap of the first quarter of the year that has been, here are the trending AI technologies of 2018:

1. Virtual Agents

Virtual Agents, varying from simple chat bots to more complex technologies with interact and network with humans, has been termed by Forrester as “the current darling of the media”.There’s no denying that virtual agents (or “chat bots”) are experiencing a tremendous resurgence in interest, and along with that, a rapid advance in innovation and technology.

They are being currently used as chat assistants for customer service and support on platforms like Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, etc. or as Smart Home Managers like Alexa, first used in Amazon Echo. Virtual Agents have quickly become an integral part of any consumer-catering industry and shows no sign of extinction.

2. Natural Language Generation (NLG)

This can be plainly understood as producing text from computer data consisting of patterns and commands. It is described by Techopedia as “the idea that computers and technologies can take non-language sources, for example, Excel spreadsheets, videos, metadata and other sources, and create natural language outputs that seem human, given that humans are the only biological creatures that use complex natural language”.

As consumers become accustomed to simple conversational interfaces, like Siri and Alexa, application developers are turning to look at modern AI natural language processing technologies (NLG is a subset of NLP technologies) to deliver even more robust conversations and content generation systems.

This paper talks about how leading vendors have started developing more advanced NLG technologies capable of generating—rather than selecting—context-appropriate natural language reports and responses from rich data models and streams. Why this matters is because NLG technologies make data comprehensible and useful, saves time and resources, and improves customer communication.

Service providers of NLG include Attivio, Automated Insights and Cambridge Semantics.

3. Speech Recognition 

Speech Recognition (also known as Automatic Speech Recognition or Computer Speech recognition), as the name suggests, means recognition and translation of spoken language into text ad commands by a machines and computer applications. As of now, they are being used for interactive voice response systems and in mobile applications. Being a feature that has more utility than most, work has already been started to incorporate speech recognition into more advanced systems for innovation and it will make for an interesting watch in the future.

Assistants like Alexa, Siri and Cortana use speech recognition software to discern what you’re saying and then take action. The same is true of tools or software that transcribes your actual words into text on the screen.

Some examples of service providers are OpenText, NICE and Nuance Communications.

4. Biometrics

To talk of the interactions between humans and machines, mediums other than audio have also started to emerge. It is a technology that enables a machine to identify a user by recording and verifying their unique physical attributes like thumbprint, face structure and eye-detection.

This allows for a broader spectrum of means of communications between machines and humans, spanning across touch, speech, image and body-language interactions. Since the biometric data is unique to one’s body, it serves as a better security mechanism than lock-codes or passwords.

Not only is this technology expected to become more intricate and reliable but it is also probable that it will be used with artificial technology and automation. This integration will help create things even smarter and better than a huge, biometric-locked money cash locker. You may want to refer this paper that talks about something called ‘biometric money’.

As of now, most of the forms of biometrics are being used only for market research. Some of the vendors are: FaceFirst, Sensory, 3VR and Tahzoo.

5. Robotic Processes Automation

Ah, this one’s the most fantasized of by anyone who is even minutely fascinated by machines or artificial technology. This is process that is used in AI for making machines into what we know as ‘Robots’.

They are mostly used as labour force when hiring humans for the task is/has become too expensive or ineffective. This is to facilitate better utilization of human resource by putting them to better- more creative use. An example of Robotic Processes Automation used in an industrial setting for labour is Adext, a platform that automates digital advertising processes through artificial intelligence technologies, saving businesses from devoting hours to mechanical and repetitive tasks. Amazon has already adopted this technology as a part of his management in terms of robots as work force.

This technology works on scripts and methods that mimic and automate human tasks to support corporate processes. Examples include smart speakers, robot vacuums.

Examples of some suppliers are: Blue Prism and WorkFusion.

These were the trending artificial intelligence technologies the first quarter of the year 2018 and are something to look out for. Do you think we missed out any? Let us know in the comments below!


By Rishabh Bhatnagar:
Rishabh is a law student with a passion for Blockchain / Cryptocurrency, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Startups. He is an avid reader with a taste for writing. He likes learning about new things and is a writer at TechSutram. You can contact him at our contributors' section.Opinions expressed by techsutram contributors are their own.

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