2020s: The decade we solve the unstructured data challenge

By Asheesh Mehra, Co-founder and CEO of AntWorks

Isaac Asimov, the acclaimed writer and roboticist, wrote in his novel I, Robot in 1950 that robots and AI were banned from Earth in the year 2030. Instead of banning them, we’re likely to see huge advances in these fields by 2030.

According to Tech Nation, AI investment in the UK reached a record high in 2019, rising from $1.02bn in 2018 to $1.06bn in the first six months of 2019. This follows the worldwide trend we’ve observed across the world that suggests AI technologies are becoming more important as we creep closer toward a new decade.

Another area that is attracting more attention is intelligent automation, a market that is expected to grow from $8bn in 2019 to $14.4bn by 2024. From offering a viable climate change solution to combating cybercrime and attacks on democracy, this technology, leveraging the potential of fractal science, can change our world for the better during the 2020s.

There are ten separate ways in which I envision these technologies changing the way we live our lives, each with specific use cases and scenarios in which AI can be deployed.

The job marketplace will continue to be disrupted and governments and the industry will need to work hand in hand to solve this challenge

People are definitely concerned about their jobs being lost to automation, but I believe that jobs will be looked at differently over the course of the 2020s. Those who are working in admin and data entry/business processing jobs will not only need to be upskilled, but in some cases reskilled within their organisations.

Climate change is going to be a significant topic of discussion in 2020 and AI will play a critical role in combating it
Climate change is one of the biggest issues of our time and AI has the potential to combat it over the 2020s. From using predictive analysis to predict flash flooding and other meteorological events, to robots that use AI to clean air particles, new tech is the next front line of defence against climate change and we will see companies and governments use it at scale to clean the planet.

Organisations will continue to use AI to enhance customer satisfaction

There is a growing demand from consumers for convenience across all sectors. The use of chatbots has exploded over the last few years, and it is clear that consumers are happy to engage with chatbots. 40% of consumers do not care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them, as long as they are getting the help they need. As chatbots can save companies up to 30% in customer support costs, the use of chatbots and AI solutions to enhance customer satisfaction that also support companies’ revenue goals will continue to increase during the 2020s.

AI will improve the efficiency of drug discovery in a more cost effective manner

The next decade will see more and more diseases become immune to treatments like antibiotics, which means the race to find new drugs and treatments will be well and truly on. Drug discovery is a very costly endeavour, with each new drug development programme costing approximately $2.6bn. AI will help drug developers in their search for new drugs.

Intelligent automation based on fractal science can analyse unstructured data of all forms, like paperwork, books, forms and research papers, and then predict what formulations can be developed to tackle certain issues, based on the data it analyses.

Using multi-tenancy bots – a system that uses hundreds or potentially thousands of bots per automation system instead of one – can also dramatically increase a researcher’s productivity by analysing huge sets of data for them. This will save time for the researcher, will speed up the discovery of drugs, and save research and development and pharmaceutical companies millions.

We expect to see researchers using AI at scale to find new drugs in the next decade, and thanks to this technology we will find the drugs that certain areas of the world need to tackle the public health issues of our time.

Medical imaging and diagnostics utilising AI is going to explode

Utilising AI and intelligent automation to process patient data could mean that patient only has to wait two days to see the doctor rather than two weeks, as intelligent automation that is built on fractal science can deal with unstructured data like paperwork, emails and patient forms, much more effectively than other forms of automation. This all means that doctors will no longer have to deal with admin work, which currently take up as much as half of doctors’ time. All this time can be reused by doctors in seeing more patients and focusing on care, and we will see the benefits that this tech will reap on medicine within the next decade.

AI will enable better imaging for doctors too, which means faster and more effective diagnosis and decreasing mortality rates across the globe.

Cyber threat/security as an industry will grow by leaps and bounds, leveraging AI technologies

Cybersecurity is another issue of our time which can be tackled with artificial intelligence. Deep automation technologies have the capacity to essentially see events before they happen by analysing all possible scenarios in real-time and preventing such scenarios coming to fruition.

However, it is a race against time between governments and companies developing and deploying this preventative technology and the bad actors that would use it with malicious intent. This is a huge concern given that all major cybersecurity firms anticipate a big ramp up in AI-based cyber attacks in the next few years.

The use of AI to (ironically) combat automated cyberattacks will become necessary, not a nice-to-have.

Surveillance using computer and machine vision is another space that will see accelerated growth

Surveillance using computer vision will see huge growth in the 2020s as governments and institutions focus on making their societies more safe and secure. The challenge for governing bodies will be in implementing these technologies ethically. In October 2019, the US expanded its trade blacklist to include top Chinese AI companies, including video surveillance companies and facial recognition technology firms, due to fears that these technologies can be used to track and monitor people and their lives in minute detail.

These fears underpin the need for all companies and governments to ensure that the technologies they advocate and deploy are ethical and do not compromise people’s privacy, safety or security.

Enterprises and governments alike will use the power of AI to uncover the large unstructured data challenge

Sectors which will most benefit from AI, such as financial services, banking and healthcare, will be transformed thanks to solutions that use intelligent automation that uses fractal science to deal with unstructured data, which includes data like emails, paperwork, images and video. However, government entities, experts and authorities first need to inform enterprises about which type of automation is best for them so they can reap the full benefits of automation technology.

Given that unstructured data will make up 80% of the world’s data by 2025, we will see deep automation tools, like integrated automation platforms (IAP) that use fractal science, become the benchmark for business processes in companies and governments worldwide, to deal with vast unstructured data in day-to-day business workings.

Ethics regarding the use of AI in all industries will be in the limelight throughout 2020s

AI clearly presents huge societal and economic benefits, but it can also pose a danger if used by bad actors. From undermining democracy by skewing election results to the jobs market, governments and companies need to make sure that automation and AI does not put endanger society, which is why we predict that regulations will be enforced within the next few years to ensure that workers misplaced by AI are reskilled and upskilled, and to provide a framework for how it is used in organisations and governments to protect its use from malicious intent.

The global GDP of countries will grow dramatically thanks to the AI revolution

AI will usher in a new era of economic prosperity thanks to the productivity and cost saving benefits it can provide. The McKinsey Global Institute expects that around 70% of companies will adopt at least one type of AI technology by 2030, and AI may deliver an additional economic output of around US$13 trillion by 2030, increasing global GDP by about 1.2 % annually.

Let’s not ban them, let’s embrace them

By 2030, we will see bots being deployed at scale using fractal science, and they’ll revolutionise how industries across the board work. Let’s not ban robots as the world in I, Robot did, let’s invite their potential to every corner of the world with fractal science.