I am not a fan of yearly technology predictions but they seem to be inevitable this time a year even though technology markets constantly defy the logic of analysts.
Instead of writing general predictions about the technology market, during the holidays I’d summarized a series of somewhat obvious predictions for individual tech markets that drove in 2016 such as artificial intelligence(AI), blockchain, cyber-security, internet of things(IOT) and a few others. By somewhat obvious I am referring to predictions that can be clearly backed up by market signals today and don’t rely on a lot of speculation. I’ve divided the predictions between general market analysis and predictions relevant to a specific company or product. Today, let’s start with the AI market.
2016 was a really active year for the AI space and 2017 promises to be very exciting as well. Here is my list of obvious predictions for AI in 2017
Obvious Predictions about the AI Market in 2017
1 — AI M&A Continues to Grow: Market consolidation and acquisitions should continue trending up this year. Acqui-hires and talent-related acquisitions might be more common than product-IP related acquisitions.
2 — AI Platform Incumbents Increase Their Market Share: The AI platform space seems to be a big boys game. In 2017 incumbents such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM should increase keep distancing themselves from other competitors.
3 — AI Hardware Becomes a Relevant Trend: In 2017 vendors such as NVidia, Intel or ARM-Softbank should achieve certain level of mainstream adoption of their AI-first hardware technologies. Similarly, we should see more innovation in the space.
Let’s now look at some of the obvious predictions for AI vendors
1 — Azure ML Goes On-Premise: In 2017, Azure ML should be included as part of the Azure Stack hybrid cloud
2 — More CortanaPowered Devices: This year we might seen a new generation of devices powered by Cortana digital assistant.
3 — Office365 and Dynamics365 Launch AI Capabilities: Somebody has to compete with Salesforce Einstein.
1 — DeepMind Releases More Tools and Frameworks: Alphabet cares deepely about developers embracing DeepMind technologies.
2 — TensorFlow Distances Itself from Other Deep Learning Frameworks: Better toolit and algorithms will help TensorFlow distance itself from competitors such as Tehano, Caffe, Torch, etc.
3 — New Cognitive Services: We should expect to see more cognitive services in Google Cloud in 2017.
1 — Watson Keeps Going Vertical: We should expect IBM to cnotinue Watson’s verticalization efforts this year.
2 — More In dsutry-Specific Acquisitions: IBM is likely to continue acquiring boutique consultancies to train Watson on specific industries.
3 — New Cognititive Services & Training Tools: In 2017, IBM should add more congnitive services to Watson and release additional training and management tools.
1 — New Alexa-Powered Hardware: We should expect to see new devices powered by Amazon Alexa very soon.
2 — New AWs Cognitive Services: Amazon released its first group of cognitive cloud services at AWS re:Invent. In order to catch with Microsoft and IBM, we should expect new services to be added to AWS cognitive portfolio in 2017.
3 — AWS ML Gets an Upgrade: The AWS ML platform is long overdue for an update.
1-New Facebook Messenger cognitive Services: Wit.ai was incredibly successful in 2016. New cognitive services are likely to join the family this year.
2- Facebook Digital Assistant: Is not crazy to envision Facebook working on a digital assistant similar to Echo or Home but focused on social interactions.