Businesses adopting artificial intelligence, chatbots get smarter, and ethical AI goes global.

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2018 was the year that artificial intelligence seemed to really take off, with AI startups popping up everywhere and businesses looking to adopt the technology into everyday practices. But studies from Gartner and PwC show that only four per cent of technology executives successfully implemented AI this year in their businesses. In 2019 I predict that AI will be everywhere and more enterprises will be able to successfully adopt the technology to help improve business practices. For example, Deloitte Global projects that 70 percent of companies using AI will gain access to it through cloud-based enterprise software and services.

My second prediction is that we will be interacting more with AI as an increasing number of chatbots and virtual assistants pop up on our screens. And it will be smarter. AI is already actively interacting with humans in the form of virtual assistants for customer service for example. And AI technology continues to pop up in more places, like cars for example thanks to the release of Amazon Echo Auto that brings Alexa to your car (though not in Canada just yet). As AI continues to interact with humans it will get smarter and the lines between knowing when you’re interacting with a human or AI will continue to blur. Though things won’t change overnight and AI still has a long ways to go in being fully human-like with its interactions, 2019 will see more chatbots that are smarter than ever.

My final prediction is that ethical AI will go from global discussion to global policies. Governments, especially in Canada, have become increasingly aware of AI as a disruptive technology and the need to make sure it is governed by globally recognized ethical policies. The federal government this year created guiding principles for the responsible use of AI and prime minister Trudeau along with French president Emmanuel Macron committed to creating a global study group in ethical AI. As AI interacts with more people and is involved in making more decisions that affect our lives, ethical AI is an important discussion that needs to be had to ensure that it is responsibly implemented without bias towards the people it is interacting with. 2019 will see more international governments stepping up their efforts to work with businesses and organizations to develop and implement these ethical AI policies.

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