EP 03: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #3. AI will Accelerate
Artificial Intelligence – simply known as “AI”, is intelligence demonstrated via processing by machines, particularly, computing systems. Remember the fear many years ago, “will robots replace humans”? Thankfully, that won’t happen anytime soon – or hopefully, ever – but AI is growing aggressively, becoming one of technology’s great disrupters of the new millennium.
AI is everywhere, used by almost everyone, every day. Familiar with Apples’ personal assistant, Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa? Sure, you are – that’s AI working for you. Have a NEST thermostat in your house, then you’re no doubt aware of how it constantly adjusts its settings based on historical data – that’s called behavioral algorithms that “predictively” learns from prior heating and cooling settings.
Other examples of commonly used AI platforms are Tesla, Netflix, even music giants Pandora and Spotify. In fact, many of the initial wave of IA tools have been based on behavioral algorithms that essentially analyze data and then provide the user with what many call a “unique user experience” based on their prior actions. But that’s just the beginning of AI, it’s going to absolutely explode in the coming years, with big changes on the horizon for 2021 and beyond.
By 2021, artificial intelligence (AI) augmentation will create a $2.9 trillion of business value and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally, that, according to Gartner, Inc. So, what’s “augmented intelligence”? According to Gartner, it’s “…a human-centered partnership model of people and AI working together to enhance cognitive performance,” which includes decision making and new experiences.
According to Gartner, “Augmented intelligence is all about people taking advantage of AI…As AI technology evolves, the combined human and AI capabilities that augmented intelligence allows will deliver the greatest benefits to enterprises.” Furthermore, Gartner also notes that ““Digital workplace leaders will proactively implement AI-based technologies such as virtual assistants or other NLP (Natural Language Processing)-based conversational agents and robots to support and augment employees’ tasks and productivity…However, the AI agents must be properly monitored to prevent digital harassment and frustrating user experiences.”
AI is permeating every conceivable industry, no question about it, and by 2021, estimates are that approximately 75% of enterprise applications will use AI.
The IDC also predicts that by 2021, 15% of customer experience applications will be continuously hyper personalized by combining a variety of data and newer reinforcement learning algorithms.
There’s also benefits when it comes to AI and cybersecurity as many of these systems can “learn” and adapt in helping keep organizations safe and secure. Specifically, cyber security firms are now front and center in building and configuring AI systems that can detect, identify, quarantine, and ultimately thwart cyber-attacks from both external and internal threats.
But AI could potentially be weaponized for what many see as disastrous consequences. Everything in technology seems to have a double-edge sword, and AI is no different. Currently, both the US and Chinese military (with many other countries fast on their heels) are testing what’s known as “swarming drones” – inexpensive, unmanned aircraft capable of overwhelming enemy targets, and more. A report from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a research arm of the US intelligence community, noted that “China is no longer in a position of technological inferiority relative to the United States but rather has become a true peer that may have the capability to overtake the United States in AI.”
In the United Kingdom, tests are still underway for an eventual fully operational combat aerial vehicle – the Taranis drone – that is expected to be fully operational by 2030, effectively replacing human pilots flying the Tornado fighter planes that are part of the Royal Air Force. And South Korea uses a Samsung SGR-AI sentry gun that is capable of firing autonomously to police its border. The machine-gun wielding robots, built by a subsidiary of Samsung, have heat and motion detectors to identify potential targets more than 2 miles away. These are just a handful of examples of the almost endless uses of AI in today’s ever-changing military apparatus. But what if the weaponization of AI falls into the wrong hands? It’s only a matter of time, according to industry experts, who say the genie is out of the box when it comes to smart technology, especially AI.
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