Tech Predictions for 2016: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Andy Friedman
American Marketing Association
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Key Takeaways

What? Big Data meets Big Computing in a whole host of areas.

So what? Entire systems that learn about consumer behavior in real time are ramping up.

Now what? Marketers should consider investments in analytical and predictive technology to optimize customer experience.


Bots will have real-time smartphone conversations with you. 

Algorithms will predict how voters will act at the polls.

Computers will ingest data and write 2,000 news stories per second.

Welcome to 2016, courtesy of the high-tech predictions forecast by Amy Webb's Webmedia group. 

In fact, as Webb points out, many of these trends have already begun, and are set to dramatically expand in the coming year. Her lengthy 2016 Trend Report explores everything from wearables to the Internet of Things. In all, there are 81 key insights.

The report also comes with a word of caution:

"As human beings, our evolutionary response to complicated technologies we don’t understand is either to ignore them or to fear the worst. As a result, 2015 was a year marked by poor decisions made by several companies and governmental agencies, many of which advocated for short-sighted policy... Technology can be simultaneously exciting, bewildering, thrilling, confounding and terrifying in the present. We must continue to think ahead to how our actions (or lack of actions) today will impact the future of our societies, businesses and global communities."

Among the predictions in the report:

  • 2016 will bring a host of "bots" that will supercharge our productivity, keep us company and possibly even help us fall in love. You'll be able to use and program them yourself.

  • Algorithmic discrimination may become a social issue. For example, in 2015, Google was criticized for showing high-income job ads to men six times more than women. 

  • Algorithms are being used to assess personalities and predict behavior. Insurance underwriters are already known to toll your social media presence to determine how much risk you may present.

  • Algorithms have a profound effect on the news media. Stories are written with no human intervention and media sources like Facebook use formulas to choose what you'll see and what you won't.

  • Facial recognition: You see it now on Facebook as photos are shown with suggested names already on them. Next, robots will be able to recognize people based on their facial characteristics.

  • Cognitive computing will further develop and complex systems now run by teams of people will be automated. Computers are already doing the work of trained radiologists to analyze medical images. In Australia, one system will be used to manage natural gas facilities. 


 Webbmedia Group - 2016 Tech Trends


Author Bio:

Andy Friedman
Andy Friedman is the Associate Editor for Marketing News. He occasionally contributes material to Marketing News.
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