Big Tech's AI Predictions for 2017

Big Tech's AI Predictions for 2017
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For the final Cognitive Business post of the year, I asked artificial intelligence centric Fortune 500 leaders for their 2017 enterprise AI predictions. Microsoft, IBM, Baidu, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, GE, SAS, and Oracle responded. What they had to say is exciting.


“The proliferation of services like Siri, Alexa and Cortana has definitely accustomed consumers to using voice as an input method and AI technology is finally getting to a point that will allow these systems to listen, truly understand and provide pitch-perfect insights and answers. With the mobile AI wars just beginning, 2017 is shaping up to be extremely competitive, but will finally have us really talking to our smartphones.” – Patrick Eggen, Qualcomm Ventures


Source: Qualcomm

Baidu AI Lab

"2017 will see product developers rapidly adopting the latest AI-powered voice recognition technology. This will largely be driven by newly made available Speech APIs and tools that are now free to use. I expect usage of speech products to continue exponential growth next year. At Baidu, we expect the speech traffic to double in 2017.” – Adam Coates, Director of Baidu Silicon Valley AI Lab


Baidu Speech Developer & Traffic Data | Source: Baidu AI Labs


"Electric utilities are already using AI to better optimize power generation and the grid. In 2017, we can expect to see AI solve more complex problems. Whether applied to data from wind turbines as a way of automatically increasing renewable energy output, or used to pilot autonomous drones inspecting power infrastructure in remote areas, the further application of AI has the potential to improve the energy industry at a global scale." – Ganesh Bell, GE Power’s Chief Digital Officer


Source: GE Power

IBM Watson

“Developers will continue to be one of the driving forces transforming industries and society in 2017. This is a creative and passionate audience, and where we've seen some unique ideas for how to apply our Watson technology to a wide range of use cases. At IBM we're taking a self-service approach to AI, focusing on equipping developers with the tools they need to quickly and easily bring those ideas to life, with a strong emphasis on enhancing capabilities in areas critical to engagement, like conversation, speech, vision, language and empathy.” - Rob High, IBM Fellow, VP, CTO IBM Watson


Source: IBM

"Next year we will see AI breakthroughs with Video Comprehension, where it will increasingly emphasize multi-modal analysis of vision, language, speech and sound. This will give new cognitive capabilities for Video Comprehension to enable rich descriptions, such as automated captioning for the blind, automatic compact summaries, such as sports highlights and movie trailers, and deep comprehension of video content." – John R. Smith, IBM Fellow, Multimedia and Vision IBM T. J. Watson Research Center


Source: IBM


“In 2017 we’ll see increased acceleration in the democratization of AI for every person and every organization. With advances in technology, computers will gain even greater ability to see, hear and understand our world – to make us more productive, to have more fun and also enable greater strides towards solving some of society’s most pressing challenges like fighting disease, ignorance, and poverty.” – Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research group


Source: Microsoft


“AI incorporation into technology will be a marathon – not a sprint. We expect that more CIOs will incorporate AI technology—such as machine learning and neural networks—into their app development and IT strategies during 2017 to remain competitive. However, as AI enterprise technology becomes more pervasive and mainstream, businesses also need to ensure they are taking into account the importance of building trust between AI and the people who use the systems.” – Jack Berkowitz, VP of Products and Data Science for the Adaptive Intelligence Program at Oracle


Source: Oracle


“In 2017 there will be a chatbot that passes the Turing test, exhibiting responses so human-like that an average person wouldn’t be able to tell if it’s human or machine.” – Jim McHugh, Vice President and General Manager at NVIDIA


Source: NVIDIA


“In 2017 we will move from the silent AI that supports search, image, speech and text analytics behind the curtain to the embrace of embedded, yet visible AI. We will begin to expect smarter devices, smarter appliances and smarter conversations that anticipate and address our needs with situational awareness. Cognitive abilities of software and analytics will be key.”– Oliver Schabenberger, SAS EVP and CTO


Source: ©Getty Images

The facts are clear, AI is sticking around for next year. Buckle up and get ready for an augmented ride.

“Cognitive Business” is an interview series featuring awesome people in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) world. Written by Lolita Taub and written for business people.

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