2017 could be the year that Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and chatbots go truly mainstream. Telenor Group’s Research arm published the key global Tech Trends identified for the coming year.
2016 was in many ways a precursor for what Telenor Research believes will continue to materialize and solidify in 2017. The search to digitize activities in our daily lives and in business will only accelerate now that technological platforms are maturing and moving into test mode.
“Last year we highlighted several important developing trends and predicted that these would gain speed and attention during the year. IoT is on our list again for 2017, but we also claim that social media fatigue could be starting to appear, that chatbots are hot, that 5G will show itself in demos and pilot installations long before the standard is ready, and that the ethics of AI will be a hot topic,” says Bjørn Taale Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research.
The trends were identified through observations, patterns and supporting data from the continuous research conducted by Telenor’s scientists in select expert fields.
Telenor Research has identified the following five important trending areas believed to have the most substantial impact in 2017:
Keeping AI ethical
Applications using Artificial Intelligence technology are increasingly common. It will soon be difficult to imagine a ‘dumb’ digital service, one that does not tailor itself to your needs and preferences or takes into consideration the specific context in which the service is used. Currently it is challenging to explain exactly why AI systems make the recommendations they do. Keeping AI ethical in terms of transparency and customer privacy is critical to move the technology forward.
On the verge of social media fatigue?
Flight mode: On. As social media starts to feel more dominated by questionable news and “friends'” facades of perfection, millennials are starting to long for breaks from the never ending social updates and could log off more.
All rise for IoT
From sensor technologies, IoT service delivery platforms and services themselves, to radically new business models, 2017 will be a landmark of innovations within the IoT ecosystem. It will shape the way businesses, consumers and governments interact in the physical world across multiple sectors, such as manufacturing, the connected home, transportation, utilities and agriculture.
Chatbots + customers = BFFs
This year you might chat with a robot – without knowing it. In 2017, we believe we will see increased experimentation with computer programs able to carry out a meaningful conversation. Chatbots -or artificial intelligence interacting with humans – will be used increasingly often to serve customers online.
5G: Testing 1, 2, 3
2017 will be a year of trials – 5G trials, that is. This year, lots of them will take place, all claiming to test 5G technology as a step towards 5G’s commercial launch. Some will focus on technology capabilities while others will focus on system aspects for vertical eco-systems and new market opportunities offered by 5G verticals. These could fall within sectors such as health, automotive, and energy.
“These trends will offer some very exciting technology developments in 2017. We’ll experience crucial progress within areas such as AI, IoT and 5G, and in other areas, a possible change in direction as millennials may begin experiencing social media fatigue. And underlying all of this should be the awareness of ethical and regulatory considerations, which will be evermore crucial in how we can experiment with- and apply these new technologies in our increasingly digital lives,” says Sandberg.