Editor’s Note: You can read our 2017 Ultimate Artificial Intelligence Resources Guide here.
2017 was a big year for artificial intelligence. We saw the first human Go player defeated by a machine (AlphaGo), Saudi Arabia grant citizenship to an ‘empty-eyed humanoid’ named Sophia and – more practically – the expansion of ‘smart speakers’ like Google Home and Amazon Echo.
From agricultural software to B2B marketing applications, from robotics to medical care, last year’s achievements shifted the perception of AI from an emerging technology to a maturing market segment.
There is no doubt that in 2018 the ‘race for AI‘ will continue to guide startup companies and tech giants alike to push to achieve that next big breakthrough.
But, as the focus on AI continues to intensify, one top challenge remains: the already visible shortage of qualified AI talent.
To put this into perspective, a 2017 New York Times article citing Element AI, an independent lab based in Montreal, noted that there are less than 10,000 people, worldwide, with the skills necessary to tackle serious artificial intelligence research. With so few AI specialists, big tech companies are also turning their attention to the best and brightest of academia.
Thus, as reality and sci fi seem to grow closer by the day, we wanted to take the time to provide you with an updated guide to what 2018’s AI ecosystem may look like.
Thanks to Laura Rosca for her help in compiling the following.
Table of Contents
The Road to artificial Intelligence: A Case of Data Over Theory
In the summer of 1956, a collection of scientists gathered at Dartmouth College to invent a new field of science – artificial intelligence. 60 years and many disappointments later, the field of AI seems to have finally found its way. This article takes a look at the historic grounds of AI research and attempts to outline where we’re headed.
Artificial Intelligence Industry – An Overview by Segment
A lay of the land of the AI market, including its various segments and applications – this article compiles some of the existing efforts by media, research firms, and others to categorize the many facets of artificial intelligence.
The Real Risks of Artificial Intelligence
In the last few years, several high-profile voices, from Stephen Hawking to Elon Musk and Bill Gates, have warned that we should be more concerned about possible dangerous outcomes of super-smart AI. But for many, such fears are overblown. Is AI putting us on a path towards Singularity? Maybe not. But AI does have real risks (and benefits, of course). Those are explored here.
Artificial Intelligence: A Critical Overview of Where We Are Today
Deus ex Machina, super-computers and the imminence of Singularity – these themes periodically emerge, sprouting fear. But what are the true capabilities of AI? Read on for a more ‘immediately realistic’ look at some of the classic sci fi themes AI has been predicting for years.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in 6 Charts
AI received $974M of funding as of June 2016 – a year that saw more AI patent applications than ever before. Take a look at the rise of AI in six charts in this article.
Artificial Intelligence: the next digital frontier?
AI and the future of business: how technology will continue to disrupt future business models.
Valuing the Artificial Intelligence Market, Graphs and Predictions
An overview of AI’s growth and market value in the coming decade, with ample references available for further exploration for those who aim to go deeper.
Google’s AI Makes Its Own AI Children – And They’re Awesome
The future is here: Google is betting big on artificial intelligence , and it’s clearly paying off. Apart from offering up collections of code that best the world’s board game champions, Google has also managed to create an AI that, in effect, designs its own AI – and its creations have gone from analyzing words to disseminating complex imagery in a matter of months.
Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries for Scarce AI Talent
Nearly all big tech companies have an AI project, and they are willing to pay experts millions of dollars to help get it done. But with fewer than 10,000 AI professionals, worldwide, industry giants and startups alike are forced to look for new talent in somewhat unusual places.
Building AI That Can Build AI
Google and others, fighting for a small pool of researchers, are looking for automated ways to deal with a shortage of artificial intelligence experts.
Microsoft launches new healthcare division based on artificial intelligence software
Microsoft is setting up a new healthcare department at its Cambridge research facility as part of the company’s plans to use its artificial intelligence software to enter the health market. Learn more in this article.
Facebook rolls out AI to detect suicidal posts before they’re reported
Facebook’s new “proactive detection” AI technology will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, and when necessary send mental health resources to the user at risk, their friends, or to contact local first-responders. The social media giant previously tested AI to detect troubling posts and more prominently surface suicide reporting options to friends in the US – now the company is looking to expand AI-powered content analysis around the world.
Google AI invents its own cryptographic algorithm; no one knows how it works
AI technology is developing and fast. The leading companies are pushing AI towards new horizons. A look at open-sourcing machine intelligence designs here.
IBM Gives Watson a New Challenge: Your Tax Return
In its broadest deployment to date, IBM’s Watson will assist H&R Block’s 70,000 tax professionals at 10,000 branch offices across the United States to help more than 11 million people file their taxes.
Current Use Cases
5 Artificial Intelligence Companies to Watch in 2018
From agriculture to medicine and beyond, plenty of startups are using AI in innovative ways. Here are five companies you should expect big things from in 2018.
Why the Secret to Making Customer Service More Human Isn’t Human at All
Is AI able to impact the way we see and assess basic human traits such as empathy? Certainly, according to Joshua Feast, co-founder and CEO of Cogito (an OpenView portfolio company). Discover here how this Boston-based startup uses modern software programming to measure and improve the quality of certain key conversations, such as sales and customer-service calls, in real time.
A robot that once said it would ‘destroy humans’ just became the first robot citizen
Saudi Arabia is the first country to grant citizenship to a robot – Sophia, an ’empty-eyed humanoid’ built by Hanson Robotics.
Applications Of Artificial Intelligence in B2B Marketing
AI is being used more and more in B2B marketing applications. Although digital marketers have already begun exploring the benefits of machine-learning algorithms, the opportunities for implementing AI in B2B marketing are yet to be exhausted. Take a closer look at some of the new marketing areas beginning to explore AI capabilities.
Emotional intelligence is the future of artificial intelligence
Will emotionally intelligent AI emerge as the technology’s next phase? Seems likely according to this researcher.
Forecasts & Trends
Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018
AI, immersive experiences, digital twins, event-thinking and continuous adaptive security create a foundation for the next generation of digital business models and ecosystems. The ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025. Explore Gartner’s 2018 top 10 AI and machine learning trends in this article.
13 AI trends that will reshape the economy in 2018
While the biggest controversy around AI is its potential to replace jobs, the technology will affect other aspects of the economy in major ways. A recent report from CB Insights highlights some of the key AI trends worth paying attention to in 2018. From robot babysitters to government-sponsored cyber security, from voice software expansion towards non-English speaking markets to edge computing, this article takes a look at some of the trends set to reshape the economy this year.
Artificial intelligence will create new kinds of work
Machine-assisted work has always been cause for anxiety when it comes to the shape and future of the labor market. But while some jobs are assigned to robots, mainly due to their repetitive character, others emerge along with the development of niche technologies. Here, a more optimistic take on technology’s impact on the job market.
10 ways AI will impact the enterprise in 2018
Is 2018 the year companies begin more strategic implementations of AI and start realizing its true benefits?
Artificial Intelligence Market by Technology
A global forecast to 2022 estimates the AI market could grow to more than $16 billion. Learn more here.
The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics
Might AI raise ethical questions and moral concerns? This research seems to think so. Find out how AI and Cybernetics are moving beyond the realm of science fiction and why that matters to you.
Risks & Limitations
Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence
The advances that AI is bringing to our world have been a half-century in the making. But AI’s time is now. Because of the vast amounts of data in our world, only the almost limitless computing power of the cloud can make sense of it. From home thermostats to self-driving cars – AI is embedded in today’s reality. But what’s next? Find out in this article.
You Will Lose Your Job to a Robot—and Sooner Than You Think
There’s no doubt about the impact of robot labor on life today – but where are we headed? Will future employers conclude that robots are just better at your job than you are? A darker look at AI’s potential impact on the labor market here.
Elon Musk warns: Artificial Intelligence is highly likely to destroy humans
Is humanity headed towards the war against machines? Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, argues that AI is likely to become a threat to mankind.
These are three of the biggest problems facing today’s AI
Does AI lack humility? Signs point to yes. Here’s why that’s a problem and other issues we face with today’s artificial intelligence.
The rise of robots: forget evil AI – the real risk is far more insidious
“When we look at the rise of artificial intelligence, it’s easy to get carried away with dystopian visions of sentient machines that rebel against their human creators.” However, the real risk posed by AI – at least in the near term – is much more insidious. It’s far more likely that robots would inadvertently harm or frustrate humans while carrying out our orders than they would become conscious and rise up against us. Learn more here.
Artificial Intelligence Startups list
A comprehensive list of AI startups.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: Top 100 Influencers and Brands
Who are the individuals, brands and companies influencing AI now? Find out here.
AI concept/process historical perspective
A brief history of artificial intelligence from ancient history to today.