How AI Will Change The Way We Work In 2020

Several ways in which innovation in AI and machine learning (ML) will change our lives in the next five years.

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By Hyther Nizam

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If there is one technology that has become the buzzword of this decade, it would be artificial intelligence (AI).

In the beginning of 2010s, consumer natural-language processing (NLP) allowed us to talk to our phones and control smart home appliances reliably. At the time, a lot of people expected NLP to explode in other domains, but it never really materialized, either because of poor implementations or a focus on other types of development.

However, over the next decade, we can expect to see NLP put to use in complex software to lower the barrier to entry. For example, customer relationship management (CRM) software, which is crucial for any business, is finding higher adoption among salespeople thanks to conversational AI. The application of AI in different softwares also helps in identifying repetitive tasks and automating them, thereby improving employee productivity.

Related: AI: The New Engine Of HR

With AI, business applications will be able to answer questions, or help users navigate interfaces, and cloud vendors will need less support personnel to manage their load. An emphasis on diversity in development will create a landscape where NLP is better at understanding different accents and speaking styles.

When more businesses yield the benefits of NLP-powered analytics and conversational interfaces, the demand for single-vendor solutions will increase. Once C-level executives realize they can ask AI assistants to generate reports for them on the fly, they will want this functionality to work across their business, not just in one department where they've rolled out new technology.

Related: Change Is Coming: Artificial Intelligence Is All Set To Disrupt The UAE Healthcare Sector

The organizations that will be most successful using AI over the next decade are the ones implementing single-vendor technology platforms today. If data is scattered in applications using different data models, it's going to be difficult to work with. But when all data is on a single platform, it's much easier to feed it into a machine-learning algorithm. The more data that's available, the more useful the predictions and machine-learning models are going to be.

There exists a vast scope of innovation in AI and machine learning (ML), which we can hope to see in the next five years, in the following ways:

1. Hyperpersonalization Hyperpersonalization will increase productivity for business software users. This decade saw the rise of algorithmic (rather than chronological) social media timelines, which increased usage. For business software, there is a huge opportunity to create interfaces that intelligently direct the user's attention. Imagine a CRM that learns from an organization's sales history, and guides reps to work more productively based on their work habits.

2. Ubiquitous AI data cleansing A lot more areas will implement AI data cleansing. Smaller organizations will begin to expect AI functionality in things like spreadsheets, where they'll be able to parse information out of addresses, or clean up inconsistencies. Larger organizations will benefit from AI that makes their data more consumable for analytics or preps it for migration from one application to another.

3. Auto-tagging to become the norm Today, smartphones can recognize and tag objects in photos, making the personal photo library much more searchable. Soon, we will start to see business applications auto-tag information to make it much more accessible. Today, business owners can find their top customers in a CRM by running a report, and sorting by revenue. In the next five years, they will be able to search "top customers," and the CRM will know what they are looking for.

Related: The How-To: Using AI To Transform Consumer Businesses

Hyther Nizam

President, MEA, at Zoho Corp

Hyther Nizam is President, MEA, at Zoho Corp.

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