2020 was the year when AI truly started to live up to its hype. It helped biotech researchers to analyze potential cures for the coronavirus. Governments relied on it for matters of public safety like contact tracing. Businesses struggling with lockdown measures used it to augment their workplaces.
All these applications are clear indicators of the immediate future of AI/ML in human life. Given the ongoing nature of the pandemic, these 4 trends are likely to define the course of AI in 2021:
Increased Adoption of AI Enterprise Solutions
Even before 2020, the adoption of AI deployments like chatbots had been on the rise among business organizations. That trend has only amplified in recent months as businesses try to cope with the myriad challenges of a fragile economy and a raging pandemic. Surveys by RLEX indicate that AI adoption has accelerated from 48% in 2018 to 81% in 2021. At least 70% of respondents augmented their AI departments in response to the ongoing crisis.
AI to Augment the Healthcare Sector
From drug discovery to COVID data analysis, the demand for AI will remain astronomically high in the healthcare systems across the world. And this is expected to stay even after the coronavirus has been beaten – experts consider other future outbreaks inevitable. Given the massive troves of data involved, be it in the analysis of pandemic stats or viral DNA, humans simply can’t tackle these issues without artificial intelligence.
Increased Application in Security and Surveillance
Governments and state agencies are also banking on AI technologies like facial recognition in a big way. With masks becoming ubiquitous in public, identification of criminals and other security threats have become all the more difficult. Facial recognition has been used for everything – from identifying people who flout mask rules in China on the one end, to identifying the rioters who entered the US Capitol, on the other end. This trend will only pick pace in the coming years, raising significant concerns regarding ethical implications in the process.
Shortage of AI Talent Will Worsen
Even though AI has been frequently touted as the most lucrative career choice in recent years, a significant talent gap has persisted, according to Deloitte. Given the disruption caused to education in 2020, this is poised to worsen in 2021 as far as freshers are concerned. As for experienced professionals – big data scientists, AI engineers, and researchers – increased adoption of AI by enterprises has made them prized targets. Enterprises will have to focus more on internal training of available starters to get by.