It's that time of year again.
We're not referring to the holidays.
It's trend forecast season, when everyone releases their top trends lists and predictions for the next year.
Gartner, the large technology analyst firm, has already released multiple 2017 trends lists.
Machine learning and AI is their 1st trend, which is no surprise. It is a very hot set of technologies
What is a bit of a surprise is that 6 out of the remaining 9 trends are related to machine learning and artificial intelligence.
For example, adaptive security systems (trend 10) are adaptive because of their use of machine learning techniques.
So it's safe to say Gartner considers machine learning and AI to be the key technologies to watch in 2017.
Gartner also released a 2017 Top 10 Strategic Predictions list. It's quite interesting and the projections are also quite bold. These include:
- By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality.
- By 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen, mostly due to voice interactivity
- By 2022, IoT will save consumers and businesses $1 trillion a year in maintenance, services and consumables.
But the most interesting prediction, at least from our perspective, is:
- By 2020, algorithms will positively alter the behavior of billions of global workers.
Key quote on what this means:
Employees, already familiar with behavior influencing through contextual algorithms on consumer sites such as Amazon, will be influenced by an emerging set of “persuasive technologies” that leverage big data from myriad sources, mobile, IoT devices and deep analysis. JPMorgan Chase uses an algorithm to forecast and positively influence the behavior of thousands of investment bank and asset management employees to minimize mistaken or ethically wrong decisions. Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic uses influence algorithms to guide pilots to use less fuel. By year end 2017, watch for at least one commercial organization to report significant increase in profit margins because it used algorithms to positively alter its employees’ behaviors.
The use of the word "positively" is why we find this so interesting.
Does this mean positive for workers, businesses, or both?
Or, do they simply mean they are positive that algorithms are going to alter the behavior of billions of workers?
Regardless of what they mean, we're sure they mean algorithms that are based on or use machine learning and/or AI techniques. Yet more proof Gartner is into machine learning.