Hyperautomation topped the list of 10 most important strategic technology trends for next year, US research and advisory firm Gartner Inc said yesterday.
“The ultimate goal of hyperautomation is to automate anything that can be automated, everything from single tasks to entire business operations,” Gartner senior executive partner Michael Kung (龔培元) told reporters at a news conference in Taipei.
The path to hyperautomation starts with task automation supported by robotic process automation, which is then enhanced through a combination of tools such as chatbots, smart speakers and virtual assistants, Gartner said.
However, hyperautomation cannot be achieved without the help of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and advanced algorithms, Kung said.
“Among all trends that we have uncovered over the course of the year, I believe that hyperautomation and autonomous things are the two most crucial trends that businesses shouldn’t ignore... By taking hold of related technologies, businesses can transform and satisfy key performance indicators,” Kung said.
Autonomous devices, such as robots, drones, vehicles and home appliances would also undergo transformations, he said.
“It might be hard for us to visualize, but autonomous devices will be much more perceptive and will be able to interact with other devices,” Kung said.
Autonomous devices would increasingly migrate toward less-constrained public spaces, he said.
However, government regulations and people’s acceptance of such devices might fall behind the pace of development, Kung added.
Democratization was named a forthcoming trend for next year, as more technologies are made accessible to the wider public, Gartner said.
“More people can now participate in the creation of new algorithms and the research behind AI applications,” Gartner research director of personal technologies Lu Chun-kuan (呂俊寬) said, predicting that AI-related research conducted by businesses would increase 10-fold over the next five years, from an average of three to 30.
However, Lu warned about the consequences of abusing such technologies.
“The worst is the creation of a counterfeit reality, which is represented by fake news and videos purposefully released to influence public opinion,” he said.
Lu also highlighted the challenges to democratization, including “shadow AI,” in which unqualified people exploit online tools to develop AI solutions that can result in unreliable and biased results.
Up to 30 percent of organizations using AI in their decisionmaking would contend with shadow AI as the biggest risk to effective and ethical decisions by 2022, Gartner said.
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