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ServiceNow 2020 Predictions: Six Trends Shaping the Future of Artificial Intelligence

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Dave Wright, Chief Innovation Officer of ServiceNow

Six Trends Shaping the Future of Artificial Intelligence

AI and Machine Learning are very hot buzzwords in tech and big business these days, and for good reason. Business leaders fully understand that AI and ML have the potential to transform everything about the way we conduct business today. As we enter 2020, AI will become a top investment priority for most CIOs.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some predictions on how AI will impact businesses in 2020 and throughout the next decade. 

  1. AI will go from identifying trends to making intelligent decisions. AI will begin to drive real-world productivity across all aspects of business in 2020. As companies start using AI to gain deeper insights and understand trends, the technology will lead to more prescriptive actions and further automation of tasks. As AI continues to improve, we will see AI taking automatic actions that are "intelligent." As humans become more familiar with this newfound "intelligence," they will remove themselves from the equation, and businesses will benefit from greater productivity gains. For example, right now AI can predict when a printer needs a new toner cartridge, but taking a step further, AI can order the toner before it runs out, creating a seamless experience.

  2. Work will get faster...much faster. AI is dependent on processing power and data and as both increases, the rate of its evolution will grow exponentially. We can expect the advances in AI to allow companies to drive more focused outcomes and enable them to become more efficient, faster and more controlled. The current rate of change makes it impossible to predict what the state of AI will be in 10 years, but it is possible to identify the trends that it will influence areas related to manufacturing, healthcare and security.

  3. Chatbots will be your new assistant. The advancement of Natural Language Understanding (NLU) will make bot-to-bot communication so effective that human involvement will no longer be required for several business processes. Enterprise-grade bots can automate time-consuming tasks such as ordering supplies, paying vendors, and invoicing clients by using a messaging platform to manage these activities. Chatbots powered by AI will make it possible to give every employee a personal assistant to help with tasks such as booking business travel, scheduling meetings, and managing to-do lists. Whole departments will rely on chatbots as part of their larger digital transformation strategies.

  4. AI will be seen less as a threat and more as an enabler. The impact of AI on jobs and the workforce cannot be overlooked and I'm hearing far fewer conversations about people being replaced by AI these days. Rather, business leaders and employees are realizing the potential of AI to not only replace redundant, menial tasks, but to augment new skills for employees. Forward-thinking organizations will hasten programs to reskill and repurpose employees to enhance organizational agility, productivity and experiences.

  5. Augmented reality will actually be the reality in the next decade at work. The world of augmented, virtual and mixed reality is progressing rapidly. We are starting to see early uses of augmented reality appear in multiple areas from field services to medical applications. Over the next few years, haptics and robotics will allow us to get closer to a point of using mixed reality on a more widescale level, wherein we will not only view a virtual environment, but interact with it.

  6. Predictions will be possible by 2030.  In 10 years, AI will allow us to not only understand trends, but to predict events before they happen, using mathematical modeling. By analyzing previous problems and their eventual solutions, AI will be able to make recommendations to avert crisis scenarios and maintain normal operations within an organization and its network. Predictive AI will greatly benefit critical areas of business, including cybersecurity and customer services.


About the Author

dave wright 

Dave Wright is Chief Strategy Officer at ServiceNow, and serves as the company's evangelist for how to improve workplace productivity. He enables ServiceNow customers to eliminate their reliance on email, spreadsheets and other manual processes so their employees can work smarter, not harder.

Over the course of his more than 25-year career, Wright has worked with thousands of organizations to implement technologies that can create efficiencies, streamline business processes and reduce costs. He also saw how those same technologies can become a roadblock to growth, and cites email as a primary culprit for what he calls the "Productivity Paradox."

Prior to joining ServiceNow in December 2011, Wright spent more than six years with VMware, Inc. as vice president of Technical Services for EMEA. From 2003 to 2005, Wright headed up the technical division for Northern and Southern Europe at Mercury Interactive. Prior to that he spent six years at Peregrine Systems, Inc., where he held a variety of senior technical and marketing positions. Wright also worked for Boole & Babbage, Inc. and Candle Services (later acquired by IBM).
Published Wednesday, January 29, 2020 6:22 AM by David Marshall
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