Chapter 11. The Future of AI

When you work in a nascent technology field like AI, people are forever asking you what the future holds. It often seems as though they’re expecting to hear something that would come from the pages of a science fiction novel. But although it’s fun to let our imaginations run wild occasionally, we usually try to stay grounded.

IBM employs futurists to “blue sky” the things that may await us 15 or 20 years down the road, and we share some of their visions here. But we’re not novelists, and the kinds of things we like to talk about aren’t based on unfettered imagination so much as extrapolation of actual current trends, plus the research going on in IBM’s R&D centers.

Along those lines, the future of AI is mostly about making existing products better and, ultimately, helping clients put those products into production. But we have also identified a few major trends, or themes, that we feel will shape the way AI will evolve over the next five or so years. We’ll cover those themes in this chapter. We’ll also talk about some of the biggest business use cases we think we’ll see AI being applied to in the future. Finally, we’ll wrap up the chapter by taking a look at what the future of human work will look like in an AI-driven world and how the shift to edge computing might change things.

AI Themes to Take Us Through the Next Five Years

Where is AI going to take us by 2025? We’ve identified five different themes about the way in which AI will continue to mature, ...

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