Artificial intelligence (AI) has been changing the way industries operate for over a decade, but it has by no means reached its full potential. AI is developing and evolving all the time, and its influence will continue to spread throughout more industries and sectors throughout the 2020s.

And, while it is impossible to predict with 100% certainty what artificial intelligence will look like in the future, there are some things that we should all be aware of.

Businesses will improve productivity

The smarter AI gets, the more capable it will be at helping firms to complete menial tasks that, traditionally, would have required an employee. Automation of processes will free up a company’s employees to carry out creative tasks that can benefit the broader business in the long term.

Increased levels of personalisation

Companies such as Amazon are the masters of personalisation; they can assess your data, understand it, and then offer you recommendations based on past purchases or shopping habits. The retail and predictive analytics companies that will thrive in the years to come will be those that are capable of giving added value to consumers, and that will mostly come in the form of personalised offers and deals.

Devices will auto-update themselves

AI doesn’t allow computers to think for themselves in the same way that a human does. Still, it will enable them to work along set parameters, and that includes being able to download software updates and patches as soon as they become available online. Smartphones, and smart wearables, for example, will, therefore, continue to advance without any need for user interaction, giving the user a better experience.

Enhanced cybersecurity

Hacking and phishing scams are becoming increasingly more intelligent, and therefore we need smarter solutions to ensure our devices remain safe, and our data doesn’t become compromised. AI is capable of spotting the signs of suspicious activity far more quickly and efficiently than a human. AI should ensure that whenever you are online, you are either kept safe immediately or are made aware of the potential dangers that your device may be facing.

And, the future impact of AI on the automotive industry?

Over the next several years, researchers will attempt to expand the so-called ‘Weak AI’ to be able to complete a higher number of tasks within a single algorithm. The ultimate goal being General AI: equal to the diverse intelligence of the human mind.

AI is being trialled on various aspects of the automotive industry today, but how could AI and mobility converge moving forward?

Autonomous vehicles could be decades away

Predictions from tech and automotive CEOs for driverless car domination have been and gone. It looks like we are decades away. Developing any cutting-edge technology is very costly and more complicated than first thought. AI isn’t good enough, for now.

Developers currently build separate AIs to learn how to interpret data from each different type of vehicle sensor, and for different control system functions. This brings inefficiency. Over the next decade, coders will look to reduce the number of AI applications, until one AI algorithm can rule them all.

Thousands of autonomous vehicles

The optimisation of fleets of vehicles, be it delivery vans, ride-hail cars or drones, autonomous or conventional, is an area ripe for AI.

Thousands can be operating on, for example, a future 5G network – all at any one time. AI programmes will be used to allocate subsequent jobs, and therefore journey times, to each vehicle, which means the most efficient use of future vehicle fleets.

The ability to predict variables such as weather, vehicle locations, customer demand and location, journey time and traffic congestion is vital for mobility optimisation. Separate AIs are currently being developed to improve each of these tasks, but in time companies hope to build fewer different AI algorithms, if only for more efficiency.

These data predictions will be fed into an optimisation ‘engine’. Competing objectives could be at play, e.g. minimise fuel/battery use and minimise pick up time. Managing the trade-offs between competing objectives is another job for more and more powerful AI.

AI will continue to advance, and its influence will spread further and further into our lives as it improves, and as we rely more upon computers and smart devices daily.