By 2021, algorithmic and anti-bias data auditors emerge to tackle “pale, male and stale” artificial intelligence, reveals CCS Insight in its predictions for 2020 and beyond.
At its annual Predictions event in London last week attended by over 400 delegates from more than ten countries, CCS Insight analysts are being joined by executives from TCL, Qualcomm, Intel, Amazon and Sunrise to discuss current trends in the connected world. This year’s predictions include:
• By 2021, algorithmic and anti-bias data auditors emerge to tackle “pale, male and stale” artificial intelligence
• In 2020, Apple launches its “Apple Privacy” brand to protect its users’ private information
• By 2030, high-speed communications satellites offer a competitive alternative to 5G networks
• Artificial intelligence replaces referees in a major sporting event by 2022
• Samsung launches Galaxy Glasses in 2022
• Amazon buys 5G mobile spectrum in 2021 for its own use in at least one market
• Psychometric testing of software developers becomes commonplace by 2023
• Environmental pressure sees virtual reality displace 20% of business travel by 2029
Covering topics from the future of 5G, through the rise of bias testing in AI and the digitising of sports, the CCS Insight Predictions event is increasingly becoming one of the most highly anticipated conferences on the digital calendar, helping guide and influence the thinking of top and emerging technology companies around the world.
The predictions from CCS Insight’s own expanding team of analysts cover a range of topics, including a deep dive into the 5G market, a future gazing look at the next 10 years, and a session exploring how artificial intelligence, the digital workplace, and security are transforming industries.
During the conference which is being attended by over 400 delegates from more than 10 countries, CCS Insight analysts will also be discussing current trends with some of the biggest names in the connected world including Kevin Wang, CEO at TCL Holdings; Daniel Rausch, VP Smart Home at Amazon; Cristiano Amon, President at Qualcomm; Olaf Swantee, CEO at Sunrise; and Asha Keddy, Corporate VP and General Manager, Next Generation and Standards, 5G, plus Caroline Chan, Vice President and General Manager of Network Business Incubator Division at Intel.
CCS Insight’s top predictions are:
1. By 2021, algorithmic and anti-bias data auditors emerge to tackle “pale, male and stale” artificial intelligence. Skilled women and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the artificial intelligence industry and there is an overwhelming amount of data, the fuel for artificial intelligence, that excludes women, ethnic minorities and others. Additionally, regulatory pressure is growing. In 2019 an algorithmic accountability bill was introduced to the US Congress that would require certain algorithms to be regularly reviewed for signs of bias. The need to resolve data and compliance challenges sparks the emergence of “artificial intelligence economy” firms such as algorithmic auditors and companies that help source high-quality, diverse and unbiased training data.
2. By 2023, psychometric testing of software developers becomes commonplace. As data and technology underpins all aspects of the modern world, greater scrutiny is put on those building the software. This affects hiring policies, and ethical psychometric testing appears more regularly as part of the interview process. This is already the case in security-sensitive roles, but expands into all other sectors. Demonstrating support for an ethical code of conduct drives organizations to be more rigorous during the initial stages of creating software solutions. This leads many to embrace more instinctively the ethos of “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should”.
3. By 2021, Amazon buys 5G mobile spectrum for its own use in at least one market. This allows Amazon to take end-to-end control of the technology when using it for various applications including Amazon Web Services, warehousing and delivery. It mirrors Amazon’s desire to oversee every aspect of its operations, for example its development of drones and robots for last-mile delivery.
4. In 2020, Apple launches its “Apple Privacy” brand. The company’s stance on protecting its users’ private information prompts it to adopt a formal brand, Apple Privacy, and communicate it more directly to consumers. The move follows prominent scandals involving companies such as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Apple’s belief that personal data should remain on the device and not be used for advertising or shared with third parties becomes more visible on its products and services.
5. By 2021, a Premier League football club launches a facial recognition ticketing system. Facial recognition becomes an acceptable and widespread method of authentication for organizations not affiliated with state or local authorities by the end of the 2020s. Initially introduced as an adjunct to an existing ticketing system, the technology receives a boost in 2023 when a major sports stadium moves to 100% biometric ticketing. Privacy concerns are answered with claims that the system identifies troublemakers and makes entry quicker and more convenient.
6. Artificial intelligence replaces referees in a major sporting event by 2022. Artificial intelligence systems take responsibility for overall refereeing in a sport such as tennis, where decisions tend to be binary. Amazon’s deep investment in rights to broadcast tennis matches leads to an “umpired by Alexa” exhibition tournament. The success of this initiative leads to the technology being adopted more widely in sporting events, for example the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028.
7. Samsung launches Galaxy Glasses in 2022. After years of development Samsung unveils Galaxy Glasses. The product offers a wide variety of capabilities, including video viewing, audio, notifications and turn-by-turn directions within users’ line of sight. It grabs a 50% share of the nascent market for augmented reality glasses. In 2023, Apple’s first augmented reality glasses arrive using a new VisionOS platform. Apple’s debut product sets a new benchmark for smart glasses and rapidly becomes the market leader.
8. Environmental pressure sees virtual reality displace 20% of business travel by 2029. The use of the technology for enterprise collaboration is prompted by the spiralling cost of business travel and the advent of more environmentally aware young people in the workforce.
9. By 2025, one in 50 households in affluent markets owns a domestic robot. The success of robot vacuum cleaners sees households embracing more-advanced products to help with household chores and other functions such as security, entertainment, monitoring pets and providing companionship. Amazon becomes a major player in this area, having unveiled an Alexa-powered robot, which evolves its highly successful Echo devices with the addition of mobility.
10. Brain–computer interfaces evolve beyond medical applications into commercial offerings by 2027. The ability to control devices using your brain is improved. They develop to a point where they can be used as an additional user interface for several commercial applications. Usage eventually spreads from business environments to consumer settings.
11. By 2023, a lack of diversity in data sets pushes a wearable device maker to pay users for their data. Users of wearable devices in underrepresented demographic groups are given incentives to share their information. The move aims to improve the quality of research and data for training of artificial intelligence models.
12. Oversupply of 5G smartphones in 2020 sees prices plummet. By the end of 2019 there are more than 50 5G devices on the market, despite 5G still being in a very early phase of maturity. Supply outweighs demand, leading to widespread price cuts. Competition among semiconductor suppliers and the advent of second-generation chipsets drives down prices even further in 2020. The additional impact of subsidized devices accelerates uptake of 5G subscriptions, especially in China and Japan. By 2022, adoption of 5G outpaces that of 4G during the first three years of each technology’s existence.
13. In 2020, at least five operators start to offer subscribers an annual smartphone “health check”. The need to regularly update smartphones’ operating systems, apps, battery health and more provides a hook for operators to contact subscribers and arrange in-store sessions to ensure their mobile phones are in optimal condition. This ensures the best performance of devices on the network and also gives operators the chance to upsell and cross-sell on a more regular basis.
14. “Deep fake” detection technology emerges by 2021. The era of neural disinformation arrived in 2019 as “deep fakes” — doctored and convincingly realistic videos created with artificial intelligence — made the rounds on social media. These videos and fake content bots like Grover take society’s current challenges with fake news to a whole new level. In a landmark case, a celebrity sues a news organization, hosting provider or software creator for damages caused by a faked video. The ubiquity of these videos and the need to tackle the risks they pose to elections, governments and businesses mean that security and fake-detection systems, currently in research, gain commercial popularity. Also based on neural networks, the technology uses techniques such as digital watermarking to help spot manipulation and validate authentic content.
15. Netflix is forced to look for new growth strategies from 2022. Apple spends heavily in marketing its new Apple TV+ service. New streaming users, disappointed with the Apple service after the free trial period, turn to market leader Netflix instead. However, this growth masks underlying issues at Netflix and by 2022 a price increase, the continuing trade war and competition cause the growth in Netflix subscribers to stall. This is exactly when Netflix shareholders are expecting improving financial metrics and a reduction in the company’s debt. Netflix hurriedly starts to look for other revenue models, including greater emphasis on sports and music programming.