In January this year I had the honour of presenting my predictions for 2016 to a meet-up group that I have recently taken over and will form part of the Neurons.AI community going forward. As we come close to closing out the year, I wanted to take this opportunity to review my predictions for 2016 to see how accurate my insights where before I continue to take a look at what 2017 might have to offer us in the world of artificial intelligence.

So here were my thirteen predictions for 2016

Increase in Applications of AI:

  1. Art and Media Creation
  2. Autonomous Robots and Drones (plus Weaponised)
  3. Improved Search
  4. Virtual Assistants and Agents
  5. Targeted Content and Referral Systems
  6. Customer Support
  7. Self-driving Cars

AI Research:

  1. Governance and Ethics, and OpenAI
  2. Deep Learning Methodologies and Techniques / Open Source Tools and Frameworks

AI in Business:

  1. Innovation Labs
  2. Business Intelligence
  3. The Power of the Algorithm

AI Alarmists:

  1. More from Elon and Steven

Looking at this list now, in reflection, I would say that I have 75% spot on in terms of advances and developments in those specific areas. However, there are a few areas where, while there may have been some talk and discussion, the real and significant developments have been limited.

If you wish to drill into the detail on these predictions and see for yourself which stand and which were slightly optimistic for 2016 please feel free to take a look out a more detailed Year in Review which will be presented on and will show a month by month account of the major news stories for 2016. This will be available at

Now moving onto the more interesting part of this article, and that is the predictions for 2017 for the world of artificial intelligence.

AI Predictions for 2017

  1. Art and Media Creation – I feel this will continue to build momentum next year with more advances in the type of content and quality of content produced. We are already seeing the quality coming close to that of humans, and maybe this year in a number of categories we will find it difficult to distinguish between AI generated and human created.
  2. Virtual Assistants – We are now seeing agents entering the home (not just on our phones) the integration with IoT devices will continue at pace in 2017. But can they do more than just switching lights on and off, doing simple search tasks and ordering repeat items from our favourite stores.
  3. More Physical Robots and Self-Driving Cars – This is an area that is very close to explode in terms of mainstream. Apple are design a vehicle, Uber are testing self-driving taxis. Robots to provide home help will be further developed in Japan (where there is a huge need for this). But we will see more robots doing simple tasks in the home and office?
  4. Start-ups come out of Stealth –  Over the past few years there has been a huge amount of VC funding for start-ups working in AI. We have seen the first firms already and many of them have been bought by the large technology players, but there will be many more start-ups surface from stealth this year, delivering more and more novel business models and solutions
  5. More Industries investigate use of AI – We will see many more diverse industries looking to employ the benefits of AI in there own environments. This will really drive AI in Business. But this may just start as advanced analytics and prediction / recommendation tasks, with robotics and deep learning applications coming into play in 2018.
  6. AI in the Workplace – We will start to see Augmentation (See the Four-A’s) in the workplace for a number of different jobs. This will be a gentle introduction to how AI is going to transform the workplace over the next five years. Sectors that are consume huge quantities of information, both structured and unstructured will see augmentation first, including the legal and accounting professions.
  7. More Lives Saved – We will see more applications of analytics and research empowered by AI that will be saving peoples lives, both immediate and from diagnosis and medical cures. I hope these applications get well publicised as this is one of the wonderful benefits of these advanced algorithms.
  8. More Talk about Governance and Ethics – This will continue until we have a world-wide agreement on a framework for both keys areas but don’t expect that in 2017. While we will see certain countries moving this forward faster than others, it will still be mostly superficial talk with limited progress in 2017.
  9. Further Advances in the Technology – There is a huge amount of research happening, from Universities, Large Companies and Start-ups, that we will continue to see advances is the models, algorithms, frameworks and platforms. But the progress will be incremental in 2017, with no major quantum leap advance.
  10. A Standard Definition for Artificial Intelligence – While the field is technically 60 years old this year, there is still not a standard definition that is widely accepted. I plan to help close this one out in 2017, more to follow on this one soon.

So these are my ten predictions for 2017. Looking forward to see which of these materialise over the next 12 months.