What brands to look out for in 2020 for AI technology?
The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) was once thought to be only exclusive to the cinema world and no common man could have imagined using self-learning automated devices in his daily life. But today, each one of us deals with at least one AI-based technology on a daily basis.
Popularity of AI has grown at a tremendous rate, driven by its capabilities. The term ‘artificial intelligence’ was named amongst the top 100 search terms on gartner.com in January 2016, while it climbed to the 7th position by May 2017. Wow! That’s a huge jump, don’t you think?
More and more companies are investing in either developing or adopting AI solutions for improving their business efficiency. The true potential of AI is yet to be realized and the hype around the technology is not going to subside anytime soon.
As we prepare to step into the year 2020, analysts at Gartner Inc. predict that the AI technologies will find their way into almost all software products and services in the year. AI will also be one of the top five investment priorities for over 30% chief information officers by 2020 .
Glimpse of the AI Market
According to IDC’s report, the global AI market is projected to reach $47 billion in 2020, which is far ahead of the previous predictions, which have pegged the market to reach $8 billion. This signifies the penetration of AI technologies and the fast adoption of AI-based solutions across industries, which have come to realize the potential of AI, its future and the repercussions of delaying the adoption of the technology, which is truly disruptive in nature.
As AI finds its way into almost all the categories and functions across manufacturing, HR, healthcare, finance, supply chain and beyond, the technology has attracted a lot of investments. Major companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Intel are at the forefront, as they each try to tap the potential of AI to develop a solution that will give them a competitive advantage over everyone else.
Here’s a list of some major artificial intelligence companies we should be watching in 2020
The search engine giant has an official division called Google AI or Google Research that looks after the development of Google’s AI applications. Google has always been one of the major players in the AI market, right from the launch of its virtual assistant- Google Assistant. Moreover, the establishment of Gradient Ventures –Google’s AI-focused venture fund- in 2017 is a sign of the company’s increased interest in AI. Gradient Venture has invested in 31 AI start-ups, as of October 2019, with the latest investment in supply chain company Unioncrate on 4 Oct.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon has been an active investor in the fields of deep learning and machine learning and has been leveraging the solutions to deliver high quality customer experience and improved user engagement. It uses AI for optimizing its warehousing and logistics, forecasting product demand and enhancing the performance of its voice-powered Amazon Alexa virtual assistant. Amazon is also leveraging its AI and ML technologies to power its upcoming drone delivery service, Prime Air. Furthermore, Amazon’s subsidiary Amazon Web Services also offers a wide range of machine learning and AI services for businesses, including pre-trained AI services for computer vision, recommendations, forecasting and language. It also offers Amazon SageMaker that helps in quick development and deployment of machine learning models at scale.
Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook has developed an internal group called the Facebook AI Research for delivering new AI solutions and tackling AI challenges. The company has embedded various AI technologies to enhance the performance of its namesake social media platform, including algorithms that are capable of screening fake news and hate speech. The company uses over 10,000 AI models for dealing with trillions of tasks on a daily basis. The company has very recently announced its decision to open-source its AI reasoning platform, ReAgent, which is available on GitHub. Meanwhile, the company has also recently acquired hybrid chatbot developing start-up, Servicefriend- ahead of the launch of its cryptocurrency Libra in 2020.
IBM’s Watson has gained a lot of popularity over the years, for all the things it could do, especially in the field of healthcare. The technology has application across a multitude of categories apart from healthcare, including retail, finance, marine studies and more. The firm gas recently collaborated with a consortium of partners, led by ProMare, to construct a completely-autonomous ship called Mayflower Autonomous Ship, which will be embedded with IBM’s cloud, AI and edge computing technologies. The ship will sail across the Atlantic in September 2020. The company is banking on its AI solutions, as its Cloud & Cognitive Software segment continues to see growth in revenue, driven by significant revenues from its hybrid cloud, IoT and AI platforms.
The blue-chip, semiconductor company Intel Corp. has been involved in the AI and ML scenes both directly and indirectly. While the company has been an active investor in the ML and AI technologies and has acquired AI companies like Saffron Technology and Vertex.AI, the firm has been providing the hardware to some of the world’s biggest AI companies for supporting their AI-based technologies and processes. For example, Microsoft runs its deep learning models on the cloud, using Intel’s field-programmable gate arrays, while Fero Labs uses Intel Xeon processors to accelerate the speed of its algorithms that process sensor data collected from industrial units to prevent machinery breakdown and boost industrial output.
Microsoft is one of the most valuable tech companies in the world, and without doubt, has expanded its presence in the proliferating AI sector. The company Azure cloud computing service is the core of several AI-driven tools catering to medical imaging, robotics and other sectors. The company is set to release an extensive range of features and applications under its Dynamics 365 CRM and ERP portfolio between October 2019 and March 2020, with several of these launches powered by different Microsoft Azure AI technologies. The company has also invested recently in the San Francisco-based AI research firm, OpenAI for development of artificial general intelligence- a technology, which can learn any intellectual task that a human can.
NVIDIA is a tech company, known for its designs graphics processing units –the same GPUs, which are used by several major technology companies to power their AI servers. The company’s AI solutions include computer chips and ARM/ GPU-embedded platforms, with the chips already being used in intelligent medical devices, driverless cars, drones and supercomputers. The company could likely launch the next-generation GPU dubbed Ampere in the first half of 2020, replacing the older 12 nm-based Turing graphic cards.
Search engine giant Baidu is a major technology company in China, specializing in Internet-related solutions and artificial intelligence. One of the major players that can help China in attaining its target of creating a $22 billion AI industry by 2020, Baidu has invested significantly in AI-driven industries including smart cities and autonomous driving. The company initiated a pilot test of self-driving taxi service in the Chinese city of Changsha in September 2019 and plans to expand the AI-powered robotaxi service further. It has also invested over $202 million in industrial AI firm Neusoft Holdings for development of smart cities and AI cloud infrastructure for education sector and hospitals.
Some other companies to watch in 2020 include:
SenseTime: A Chinese artificial intelligence SaaS company, SenseTime offers innovative deep learning and computer vision technologies. It has evolved from an academic project into one of the world’s most valuable AI companies, at a valuation of $4.5 billion, as of September 2019. The company is now the biggest provider of algorithms in China and is working with the Chinese government on the Made in China 2025 initiative.
Determined AI: An early-stage startup venture of Neil Conway, Evan Sparks and Ameet Talwalkar, the company aims to offer software solutions that can help in reducing the time-to-market of AI models by increasing resource (GPU) utilization and developer productivity. The company has recently raised $11 million in a Series A funding round, led by Google Ventures.
Quill: Automated content creation tool, Quill uses NLP machine learning models to create personalized stories and insights. It is a product of Narrative Science and caters to the slowly strengthening demand of AI-based content creation tools, which are being sought out by several marketing companies for creating highly engaging and effective content, quickly.
Cerego: An adaptive learning technology platform based on the principles of cognitive science and neuroscience, Cerego leverages ML and AI to make learning possible for anyone by offering learning experience that meets every individual’s needs.
AI gets stronger in 2020
Several market research studies and reports have projected that the year 2020 will see an increased number of AI rollout, which will align with the trends that are slowly gaining momentum. With more advanced AI solutions coming to market, more and more companies will adopt AI-powered human resource management solutions, NLP and speech recognition chatbots, deep learning and surveillance solutions, all to make tasks easier and more efficient. Watch out for the aforementioned companies in the AI space for some remarkable technologies.