AI Trends to Watch in 2018

AI breakthroughs are piling up rapidly, one after another. Here are three trends that we predict for the coming year. 

Intelligent Apps

Gartner says that one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018 is “intelligent apps and analytics.” They believe that within the next few years every application and service will use AI in some way.

AI is playing a larger role in many of the fraud prevention systems and applications you see today. Fraud prevention traditionally involves rules-based machine learning systems that provide merchants with risk scores or recommendations for each new order. But fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated — and faster. AI allows applications to learn and detect fraudulent behavior and activity automatically, and in real time.

AI-powered machine learning along with advanced analytics can be used to build intelligent applications that automatically detect a variety of security threats such as credit card fraud, payment fraud, account takeover, and fake accounts. Some insurance companies are using AI and machine learning for automating risk assessment, flagging suspicious claims, and other processes.   

AI Chatbots

Another top strategic technology trend for 2018 is conversational platforms. The number of chatbots that exist today is staggering. Facebook Messenger alone is home to more than 100,000 chatbots. Kik, Slack, WeChat, WhatsApp, are also examples of popular chatbot platforms.

Chatbots are popping up everywhere. You can find chatbots on websites and applications in a variety of industries: health, travel, social, financial, and the list goes on. Some banks are using chatbots for customer service, credit scoring, fraud prevention, and other business processes. Banks often use chatbots to send customers notifications of suspicious credit card purchases and to prevent different types of credit card fraud.

Grand View Research forecasts that the global chatbot market will reach $1.25 billion by 2025. Gartner says that a key chatbot platform differentiator will be “the robustness of their conversational models and the API and event models used to access, invoke and orchestrate third-party services to deliver complex outcomes.” And AI is critical when it comes to building chatbots capable of human-like intelligent conversations.

Shortage of AI Talent

It’s well known by most in the tech industry that there is a severe shortage of AI talent. A recent report by Tencent says that millions of AI engineers are needed to meet market demand, but there are only about 300,000 AI engineers worldwide. According to a recent New York Times article, AI solutions provider Element AI estimates that fewer than 10,000 people have the skills necessary to conduct AI research. The article also says that the demand for AI talent is so high AI specialist salaries are starting to skyrocket. Salaries for AI specialists, even those with little experience, typically range from $300,000 to $500,000 a year.

The big tech companies are snatching up potential AI talent leaving legacy banks few options. Element AI Co-Founder and CEO Jean-Francois Gagne says per a company press release that “there’s a war for talent going on and most companies are being out-gunned by the tech giants leaving traditional organizations defenseless. Our mission is to bring entrepreneurs and academics together and help them incubate advanced AI-First solutions.”  

The AI talent shortage is a trend to watch in 2018, and the lack of qualified AI experts presents a problem that will not be solved anytime soon.

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