Hey Alexa, Are We There Yet? A Look at AI in 2019

Sutherland Editorial

At the end of a booming banner-year for artificial intelligence (AI), hundreds of senior executives closely immersed in the technology shared their insights on what we could expect from it in 2019. Now, as we enter Q2, AI is more ubiquitous and widespread than ever.

 AI is already solving complex problems and costing investors billions of dollars across the globe. But, does this progress align with what experts thought at the end of 2018? Or did we expect even more of an impact? Let’s take a look at a few key predictions and where they stand today.

AI Predictions

2019 is set to be the year B2B providers fully embrace the shift to AI… at least, according to last year’s industry roundups. This forecast remains popular as providers look to offer personalized experiences beyond the first customer impression using AI. There’s sufficient evidence supporting this claim as AI’s infiltration of collaborative portals, messaging apps, chatbots and knowledge management tools is fundamentally redefining personalized customer experience journeys.

In fact, a recent study reveals that 80% of marketers plan to start using an AI chatbot in some capacity by next year, further reinforcing the technology’s omnipresent takeover across industries throughout the remainder of this year.

Another compelling opinion gaining industry-wide traction since last year is the concept of intent-based AI and networking. Coupled with pervasive analytics, these technologies could take a leap further in their day-to-day impact on the enterprise. When combined, they highlight the growing emergence of specialized service desks that streamline IT support management and allow for instant knowledge delivery.

This application, aimed at reliably automating enterprise networking tasks, is already showing promising growth in 2019. It represents an advanced approach to IT support, wherein software aides in automatically configuring changes to an existing network and ultimately improving its availability and nimbleness.

The impact, however, is even more valuable to the user experience. IT support professionals are beginning to regularly combine analytics with AI-driven tools to help them create informed, sophisticated service desks. Doing so provides next-generation user experiences and seamless knowledge delivery strategies.

With these intelligent service automation features taking center stage across IT departments, we’re on the precipice of a new era. Thanks to AI, IT support management and service desks are moving from back-office operations and becoming strategic industry advantages for enterprises.

Shifting gears from the more specific impact of AI on different departments, industry leaders late last year were especially keen on embracing the technology’s ability to spread its (artificial) wings and help people at all levels of an organization. Perhaps more than any other 2019 AI forecast, this one is proving more successful than many predicted. 

As AI and humans continue to join forces, the benefits are permeating throughout organizations. From tech operations specialists to the HR department, AI is helping us become more efficient and facilitating entirely new ways to work in our digital-first world. Without question, this is the fundamental value AI brings to today’s workforce.  

While 2018 saw an unprecedented rise of AI as the core tech cultural phenomenon, there is no sign of this mania slowing down in 2019 and beyond. Time will only tell what’s to come next. But rest assured, it’s about to be another champagne year for our favorite technology.