The Future Of AI Will Be Stacked

We are entering an exciting period for AI. We’re seeing more consumer impacting developments and breakthroughs in AI technology than ever before. It’s reasonable to expect that players like Apple, IBM, Google and Microsoft, among others, will lead a fierce consolidation effort for the AI market over the next five years. Indeed, it has already begun.
 No doubt these efforts will produce some amazing innovation, and I’m excited to see how Siri, Google Now, Cortana, Watson, and even new entrants like Viv continue to progress and transform our interactions with technology.
However, I also believe these all-encompassing virtual personal assistant projects (VPA), and the race to create the one AI to rule them all, are driving the AI experience in the wrong direction. If we follow that path, we’re potentially risking important advancements for both consumers and companies alike.
In considering how AI will develop into a critical technology for businesses, the idea of the comprehensive VPA seems less and less likely, and even unproductive to achieving the kind of substantial impact that it could have for the modern enterprise.
Deeply integrated AI has the potential to transform businesses and industries, from the interface level of the customer experience to the breadth of institutional knowledge that employees are able to access and build upon.
The key to any effective AI deployment for businesses, however, requires a sophistication and expertise that is specific to the industry and the company. We call that domain knowledge. The broad intelligence that general-purpose VPAs possess is unlikely to be able to integrate with, or properly serve, enterprise needs.
Yet much like the cloud computing market, the most important advancements in AI will be propelled by the enterprise and how major companies are able to deploy the technology across the world’s largest, most complex systems. We should keep this in mind as we consider how AI should and will develop.