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AI tipped as top tech trend of next decade

In 2010, social, cloud, analytics and mobile were tipped as megatrends – now Gartner sees artificial intelligence as the emerging tech trend with the biggest potential

Analyst Gartner has predicted artificial intelligence (AI) will become the biggest megatrend of the next decade, seven years after it identified social cloud, analytics and cloud as megatrends.

While the worlds of cloud, social, analytics and mobile have influenced the nature of the web and IT systems in recent years, Gartner analysts claimed AI, augmented reality (AR) and digital platforms would represent the next era in IT.

Gartner predicted that the combination of radical computational power, near-endless volumes of data and unprecedented advances in deep neural networks would enable organisations to solve problems not previously encountered.

It urged enterprise architects to start following the key AI technologies, including deep learning, deep reinforcement learning, artificial general intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing and conversational user interfaces. It also regards commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – or drones – and autonomous vehicles, smart dust and smart robots as part of AI.

The analyst firm also cited more down-to-earth technologies such as enterprise taxonomy and ontology management as important for the development of AI.

The second big emerging technology highlighted by Gartner was immersive experiences. It claimed technology would evolve to become more human-centric to the point where it could introduce transparency between people, businesses and things.

“This relationship will become much more entwined as the evolution of technology becomes more adaptive, contextual and fluid in the workplace, at home, and in interacting with businesses and other people,” the analyst noted.

It urged enterprise architects and CIOs assessing transparent immersive experiences to look at 4D printing, augmented reality, connected home and virtual reality (VR) technologies, along with human augmentation, nanotube electronics and computer-brain interfaces.

The third megatrend – digital platforms – concerned ecosystem-enabling platforms that are laying the foundations for entirely new business models, which Gartner predicted would form the bridge between humans and technology.

It identified 5G, digital twins, edge computing, blockchain, IoT platforms, serverless platforms as a service (PaaS) and software-defined security as the key technologies CIOs should be looking at. Other emerging technologies related to digital platforms include neuromorphic hardware and quantum computing.

“In addition to the potential impact on businesses, these trends provide a significant opportunity for enterprise architecture leaders to help senior business and IT leaders respond to digital business opportunities and threats by creating signature-ready actionable and diagnostic deliverables that guide investment decisions,” said Gartner research director Mike Walker.

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