Will machine learning quickly cede way to deep learning in 2017? What happens when artificial intelligence (AI) aces non-verbal voice recognition? Could it be that “read my lips” meets the Minority Report? What are the implications if you and your car become emotionally interdependent? Just remember, breaking up is hard to do.
Those were some of the provocative and unexpected predictions shared by the experts who appeared this week on Coffee Break with Game-Changers 2017 Predictions Special – Part 5 presented by SAP. Host Bonnie D. Graham asked 15 leading experts, academics, and business influencers what they see in their crystal ball for 2017. Each person was given just two minutes to share their predictions for what the next year holds for their industry, business, the world, and technology.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become a key factor as we move toward autonomous vehicles. Cars will learn how to drive. Vehicles will be conscious. The vehicle will become your partner. And your car will get emotionally attached to you. That means breaking up will be hard to do.
– Larry Stolle, senior global director of automotive marketing, SAP
2. New tools and technology for understanding buyer insights will emerge in 2017. This will enable us to build a true map of a buyer’s journey – with alignment to the decision-making process, interaction mapping, free content mapping, and engagement mapping.
– Marisa Kopec, vice president, innovation and product management, SiriusDecisions
3. Sales enablement has to happen in 2017. The role of the sales manager is still underestimated, poorly defined, and not equipped adequately. Sales managers, especially front line, are the most important role in any organization for implementing strategy, including change and transformation. The rubber meets the road there, or it doesn’t happen at all.
– Tamara Schenk, research director, CSO Insights at Miller Heiman Group
4. In 2017, we’ll start to materially see the transition to digital business. With the rate of change and innovation accelerating, people can’t keep up with manual integration anymore. This year we’re going to start to see it with the world’s largest companies moving from old, siloed, static, brittle IT architectures to new horizontal, dynamic and resilient business networks.
– Dave Duggal, founder, EnterpriseWeb
5. We’ll see synergies between the two schools of thought around having three lines of defense versus having greater compliance. We’re going to have to get smarter and more proactive about identifying the vulnerabilities in our enterprise systems and making sure that we put the tools, processes, and people in place to identify, manage, and recover from a threat. As the hackers get smarter, our companies need to be even smarter and more proactive.
– Elvia Novak, Director, audit and enterprise risk services, Deloitte’s Cyber Risk Services Practice
One 2017 prediction: As the hackers get smarter, companies need to be even smarter and more proactive.
6. Big Data will have an impact this year from both a personal and a business standpoint. Organizations are ready to jump in and understand truly what Big Data can do and is doing. Also, more things will be automated on devices and utilized from the business side, not only the personal side – for example, like Amazon’s Alexa.
– Chris Carter, CEO, Approyo
7. Predictive analytics will continue to be a huge area of growth for many organizations. Analytics have already helped companies provide customers with tailored solutions, and engage with consumers in previously unimaginable ways – for example with mobile, TV, computers, watches, and mobile apps – and gather information that can be sold.
– Maria Haggen, account executive, SAP and co-founder, Community Networker
8. For cyber-security in the manufacturing industry, we will start to see the emergence of abilities to protect information assets using AI. But hackers will also use AI to improve their attack capabilities. AI-sponsored attacks and defense could emerge. Also, AI-enabled toolkits will disrupt the traditional cyber-security products, services, and architectures. I’m seeing more startups and ventures that sponsor AI-enabled products for security.
– Carlos Russell, risk management director, Ternium
9. In 2017, the manufacturing sector will transform to a digital enterprise, whereby manufacturing execution is completely intimate and aligned with the business goals. I also foresee direct-to-the-consumer manufacturing industries embrace agile manufacturing, which will enable them to manufacture something to a unit of one, very specific to each customer’s requirements.
–Vic Briccardi, president, RTS Consulting – Automation
10. We’ll see incredible applications where human behavior and human meaning will intersect with AI in completely new ways. We’re starting to now see AI become better than humans at interpreting what humans mean. In the case of lip reading, or non-verbal voice recognition, AI is now almost four times better than the leading world experts. That means not only performing recognition of somebody’s lips, but also understanding the context and the meaning of what people say.
– Rich Seltz, vice president, Digital Transformation, SAP
11. In terms of learning and performance in 2017, we’re going to see a more aggressive shift from an organizational-centric focus to a performer-centric focus. We’ll see that in the tools and the applications that start with the performer first – thinking about how they create their own relevant learning performance support system as an individual or a coordinated performer. With that we’re going to see a reduced emphasis on the elaborate and cumbersome organizational-driven processes and more on the value of the experience and the outcomes at the performer level.
– Matt Donovan, vice president, GP Strategies Learning Solutions Group
12. There will be one platform for common tasks; for example, using LinkedIn for professionals’ profiles. Why have multiple sources of data? Why have multiple user interfaces? Everyone’s trying to get socially engaged at work and investing in social platforms, but they’re having difficulty because there’s a learning curve. If we just used one platform for all those common tasks, things would be much simpler. Platforms like LinkedIn are proving that’s possible.
– Sherryanne Meyer, HR transformation strategist, Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG)
13. Business IT will become a lot safer, but also a lot creepier. I say that because of all the connected devices and we’ll be a lot more open to a “Big Brother” attitude. There will be cameras and devices everywhere that will be spying on us, but the biggest change will be that we will let the spies come in willfully. We’re going to throw all the privacy laws out and we will let devices monitor our presence. Machines will start deciding our fate very soon, before the end of 2017.
– Sathish Gajaraju, chief technology officer, Sensify
14. Computers will “disappear” due to their ubiquity. For computers to disappear, first their boundaries have to blur. There are some ways we’ve seen this happening on the infrastructure side – with physical computers that a company might have owned becoming eventually dedicated, co-located boxes, becoming eventually lease servers, and now virtualized systems. Another example is Amazon’s Lambda, where you can write your software as a set of individualized functions that are each much simpler than a monolithic program running on a computer. When you have your apps using Lambda, it’s like having your software’s consciousness spread out and decomposed across dozens of different physical brains.
– Ken Redler, chief technology officer and partner, cSubs
15. Machine Learning is passé. In 2017 everybody will be talking about Deep Learning for solving big problems. Also, IoT will finally find a scalable problem to solve: we will finally find something in transportation due to all the autonomous vehicles that will be coming online.
– Padman Ramankutty, chief executive officer, Intrigo
You can hear the full show at SAP Game-Changers 2017 Predictions – Part 5
Coffee Break with Game-Changers
For more up-to-the-minute business and IT news, tune in to Coffee Break with Game-Changers talk radio with producer / host Bonnie D. Graham. The show airs live each Wednesday at 11am EST/ 8am PST at http://spr.ly/SAPRadio. You can listen to the show live here.
Editor’s note: The predictions published here have been edited and paraphrased based on the thought leaders’ on-air statements.
Top image via Shutterstock