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Will AI investments crash and burn in 2019?

  • The past few years have seen an unprecedented leap forward in emerging Artificial Intelligence technologies, with neural networks and deep learning becoming incredibly powerful tools for new tech development. Northern Ireland's tech scene has seen some impressive applications of the technology such as NeuroCONCISE's non-invasive wearable brain computer interface, and some of the applications worldwide have been incredible.

    We watched the early successes of the technology as computers learned to create convincing artwork, track people through CCTV more effectively than a human, and make phone calls that could fool a person on the other end of the line. We saw AI solve creative problems that we previously thought required a human, and jobs we thought were safe from automation moved one step closer to oblivion.

    Every amazing advancement in AI was made possible by the hard work of academics backed by investors willing to take the risk that research into AI will pay off in the long term, and not all of those investments have paid off yet. Throughout 2018 we saw countless startups promising to use AI to revolutionise one thing or another, but the truth is that not all problems are actually suited to being solved by AI and those that are suited to it are still extremely difficult.

    Wired UK published an interesting piece on this issue today asking if AI is failing to live up to the hype and whether investments will flop in 2019. Autonomy Corporation co-founder Mike Lynch believes that many investments in AI will fail in the coming year because AI is still very difficult to do, and that many of the companies that secure investment for AI actually have an extreme lack of understanding. A trial-by-fire may be coming for firms making promises on AI, and many investments could crash and burn.

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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