Originally published for the Forbes Agency Council here.
AI is not new. In fact, it was invented in the 1950’s but has only recently become widely accepted in modern business.
Despite this, the AI industry moves in waves and trends just as fast as any other. This makes it crucial that a business stays up to date on what’s working and what isn’t. Doing so gives a company a competitive advantage while improving marketing and advertising performance.
With that being said, today I will be sharing emerging trends in the AI industry that you need to be aware of moving into 2020.
1. Predictive analytics and marketing
You don’t need a crystal ball to know the future. You just need predictive analytics. This is the process of using machine learning, historical data, and other processes to predict future outcomes. A company can then take advantage of patterns and trends to improve everything from its advertising to security.
Not only is it becoming more widely used, but it is also helping businesses increase their bottom line while gaining an advantage over competitors thanks to:
- A lower barrier to entry with easy-to-use and affordable platforms.
- Increased amounts of data and analytics from tools and other channels.
- More market saturation forcing companies to find a way to differentiate.
Moreover, the predictive analytics market is forecasted to hit $10.95 billion by 2022. It has experienced 21% compound growth since 2016 and appears to be trending in that direction, making it a lucrative AI trend worth keeping on your radar.
2. Higher use of anomaly detection
Budgeting mistakes being made, data being interpreted incorrectly, and forgetting to turn off (or on) ad campaigns are just a few of the daily woes an agency faces. These are all human mistakes and completely normal, too. However, they can have a high cost.
That’s why anomaly detection is becoming more widely accepted by organizations to find problems before they happen. This AI-driven procedure compares historical, current and future data to highlight data sets that stand out. These can be isolated to discover flaws in digital ad performance, website functionality and many other areas of business.
Not all is grim, however. Anomaly detection is also capable of uncovering advantageous opportunities for business. This can be anything from the most profitable creative approaches to untapped SEO keywords or customer segments. Ultimately it allows agencies to focus on what humans do best while AI assists with optimizations in the background.
3. Machine learning-driven cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a growing concern globally. Losing a customer or proprietary data is the last thing you want for your business. In fact, 62% of businesses experienced phishing or a cyber attack in 2018. That’s why we are seeing an increase in cybersecurity driven by machine learning models.
These tools use AI that continually runs in the background as a business operates, spotting threats before they cause damage. It enables an organization to run smoothly while having peace of mind they’re protected
Microsoft’s Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, or ATP for short, is a prime example. This software built into Windows 10 devices deploys cloud AI and machine learning algorithms to detect threats and misconfigurations that can cause harm.
4. More user-friendly AI platforms with increased adoption
Artificial intelligence can seem intimidating. It’s complex and newer technology, making it more difficult and slow to become adopted by agencies. However, things are changing. 37% of businesses have implemented artificial intelligence into their company and this number is rising.
Take the virtual technology company VMware, for instance. As they began to scale their operations, they struggled to meet targets and quality standards at the same time.
This is why they opted to integrate an AI-driven content solution which automated basic tasks like editing, corrections, and others. With over 100 writers and several editors, these small tasks were piling up and getting in the way of high-grade activities.
The saved time from the AI solution was spent on training more writers, onboarding new members, and creating better systems. 73% of the company’s employees had used the software and 60% agreed it made them more efficient at producing content.
5. AI used to improve productivity and work balance
When you think of artificial intelligence, it’s easy to think of data, machines, and algorithms. Yet, we’re starting to see an increase in AI technology being used to improve the human element of a business.
AI, as discussed with anomaly detection and cybersecurity trends, is capable of processing tasks in the background as an organization operates. This allows the computers to do what they do best — processing, optimizing, etc. — while the people running a business tend to their talented areas. Remember, AI isn’t made to replace an operator, founder, or VP of marketing per se. Rather, it’s best suited to quietly conduct computer-related activities faster than we can.
Take for example that PwC estimates AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. They believe that most of this increase will be a result of stimulating consumer behavior, enhancing products, and improving labor productivity.
Final thoughts on emerging AI trends
AI is a game-changer. Despite it being many decades old, it’s only recently become globally adopted by a wide range of businesses and industries. Identifying and capitalizing on AI trends will keep your company one step ahead of competitors while achieving a higher level of productivity.
One of the first trends to consider leveraging is predictive analytics. Through the use of big data and machine learning, this is helping companies forecast better solutions and decisions.
Similarly, anomaly detection is being utilized to find opportunities and weak points in an organization to thrive and protect assets. Cybersecurity is also taking a likewise AI approach with machine learning to get smarter at detecting threats.
As artificial intelligence becomes more adopted, we’re seeing case studies and examples of how it not only enhances complex operations like these but the day to day human side of running a business, too.