Canadian Underwriter

AI, “transparently immersive experiences” and digital platforms three megatrends that will allow businesses to survive digitally: Gartner

August 15, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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Artificial intelligence (AI) everywhere, “transparently immersive experiences” and digital platforms are the three distinct megatrends that will enable businesses to survive and thrive in the digital economy over the next five to 10 years, Gartner, Inc. has reported.

The Stamford, Conn.-based research and advisory company released its Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017 report on Tuesday, garnering insight from more than 2,000 technologies. The three megatrends “will provide unrivaled intelligence, create profoundly new experiences and offer platforms that allow organizations to connect with new business ecosystems,” Gartner suggested in a press release. The report specifically focuses on the “set of technologies that is showing promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years.”

According to the report, artificial intelligence technologies “will be the most disruptive class of technologies over the next 10 years due to radical computational power, near-endless amounts of data, and unprecedented advances in deep neural networks; these will enable organizations with AI technologies to harness data in order to adapt to new situations and solve problems that no one has ever encountered previously.” Gartner suggested that enterprises seeking leverage in this theme should consider the following technologies: deep learning, deep reinforcement learning, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, cognitive computing, commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), conversational user interfaces, enterprise taxonomy and ontology management, machine learning, smart dust, smart robots and smart workspaces.

The second megatrend – transparently immersive experiences – refers to technology that “will continue to become more human-centric to the point where it will introduce transparency between people, businesses and things,” Gartner explained in the release. This relationship will become much more entwined as the evolution of technology becomes more adaptive, contextual and fluid within the workplace, at home, and in interacting with businesses and other people, the company said. Examples of this technology include: 4D printing, augmented reality, computer-brain interface, connected homes, human augmentation, nanotube electronics, virtual reality and volumetric displays.

“When we view these themes together, we can see how the human-centric enabling technologies within transparently immersive experiences – such as smart workspace, connected home, augmented reality, virtual reality and the growing brain-computer interface – are becoming the edge technologies that are pulling the other trends along the Hype Cycle,” said Mike J. Walker, research director at Gartner, in the release.

The final megatrend – digital platforms – involve emerging technologies that require revolutionizing the enabling foundations that provide the volume of data needed, advanced computer power and ubiquity-enabling ecosystems. The shift from compartmentalized technical infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platforms is laying the foundations for entirely new business models that are forming the bridge between humans and technology, Gartner said. Key platform-enabling technologies to track include: 5G (fifth generation mobile or wireless networks), Digital Twin (a virtual model of a process, product or service), edge computing, blockchain, Internet of Things platforms, neuromorphic hardware, quantum computing, serverless platform-as-a-service and software-defined security.

“These megatrends illustrate that the more organizations are able to make technology an integral part of employees’, partners’ and customers’ experiences, the more they will be able to connect their ecosystems to platforms in new and dynamic ways,” Walker concluded.

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