The applications of AI across business segments just seems to keep increasing. More and more businesses are turning to AI to handle, in some form or another, their business operations and processes. AI’s ability to accurately access, store and process vast amounts of data to gain meaningful insights make it an ideal and cost-effective solution. Moving forward into 2021, we can expect that the potential applications of AI and its tools will only increase as businesses all over the world will look to scale and capitalize on growing markets after the COVID restrictions die down.

Here are some of the AI trends to look out for in 2021:

• Making way for IPA (Intelligent Process Automation)
IPA is designed to automate specific tasks using artificial intelligence. Whenever there is the need for more machine learning algorithms to sort data, Ai recognizes it requires intelligent processing to handle it. For example, in OCR technology, AI utilizes traditional RPA processes to read unstructured data stored within scanned documents.

• AI-enabled chips will boost performance
Still considered to be an emerging technology, AI-enabled chips improve applications that require AI to process things like object detection, computer vision, facial recognition, NLP etc. by enabling them to seamlessly and quickly connect to each other.

• The Evolution of Data Highways
The amount of data processed, stored and accessed by businesses is only going to grow tenfold. For businesses to stay competitive, they must adopt advanced analytics and adapt dynamic business models. It is vital for a business to consider establishing a specialized team of data scientists to properly manage and process company data. It is also important to reconsider overall strategies to keep up with competitors.

• AI for Cybersecurity and data breaches
Due to growing networks and easy access to the internet, data is now more accessible than ever before. This also means that it is that much more vulnerable to hacking or phishing attacks. In the coming year, artificial intelligence will be key in helping prevent cybercrime while also improving cybersecurity measures. Cybersecurity systems powered by AI can spot suspicious or illegal digital activity or transactions and trigger the alarm before the defenses are broken and save sensitive data from being stolen.

• The emergence of a Hybrid workforce
After lockdown ends, in most countries it is expected that businesses will look to implement cognitive AI and RPA based applications to process high volume, repetitive tasks. Humans will work in tandem with automated bots and as a result, will create a workplace shift to a more hybrid workforce environment. In this future, this will lead to more collaborative AI applications.

• AI-based monitoring for business processes
Cognitive automation projects coupled with hyper-automation helps businesses to integrate AI-based tools that will change the way business processes function in real-time. In the future, AI-enabled process and content intelligence applications will give digital workers access to imperative skills to automate natural language, reasoning, judgment, establishing the context and creating data-driven insights.

• Automated machine learning and the rise of Data Scientists
Businesses are relying more on automated machine learning than ever before, to the point where even non-experts can easily utilize machine learning algorithms and techniques. The popularization of ML tools has created a path for data scientists to become an enticing career opportunity. These tools also allow businesses to facilitate customization of business processes without needing to understand the ins-and-outs of ML. In 2021, we can expect many businesses to implement ML in some form and also cloud systems providers for their AI tools.

• The confluence of the IoT with AI
IoT and AI when deployed together are capable of producing new and key insights. Sensors using AI to run predictive maintenance will become more common in manufacturing. Expect smart home devices to get even more popular.