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Edge computing in 2018: Can Google, Amazon, Microsoft save us?

Password use is set to plummet by 90% in 2022 as biometrics and deep learning is on the rise.

By Sabrina Dougall

As deep learning advancements continue to drive progress in artificial intelligence technologies, security and customer experience will improve, with costs to fly like birds in the winter: south.

According to Gartner, 2018 could well be the year vendors deploy AI functionality at the edge, rather than mainly in the cloud. Cyber security leaders can also look forward to better sleep at night, as biometrics and deep learning could mean passwords only account for one in ten authentication tests by 2022.

Deep learning, natural-language processing (NLP) and computer vision are the main hotspots for AI development, according to Gartner, and are key areas where the research company suggests CIOs build knowledge and skills. Unsurprisingly, tech giants including Google and Amazon Web Services are leading the way on Saas and Iaas products.

Analysts also found immersive experience tech, such as VR and AR, could boost productivity. Virtual personal assistants (VPAs) are also set to proliferate this year, easing costly staff time invested in customer communication. For these, and other disruptive tech innovations to succeed, edge computing must thrive, according to analysts.

With that, cloud computing is not going anywhere fast, as Gartner predicts 60% of personal technology device vendors will use third-party AU cloud services to enhance functionality and services by 2020. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and China’s Baidu have flourished owing to increased offering of flexibly-integrated and cost-effective cloud solutions. Amazon Echo and Google Home have led the way in cloud AI services sales. Screenless VPA natural language products along these lines have been a major catalyst for broadening uptake of smart devices in 2016 and 2017.


Gartner’s predictions of the top strategic technology trends in 2018.

A key challenge for the industry this year will be bolstering automated technologies – such as driverless cars – with edge processing power. Think of speeding down the M25 in an autonomous vehicle with two children in the back and losing connection to the cloud, and the problems are obvious. As a solution, vehicle computing systems must be able to process data at the edge of the network, close to the data source, in order for viable immersive systems to materialize.

When it comes to bolstering a company’s artificial intelligence capability, Gartner analyst Kasey Panetta advises the main area of investment should be “building and retaining the necessary talent.”

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“Market conditions for commercial success with AI technology are well-aligned, making AI safe enough for CIOs to investigate, experiment with and strategize about potential application use cases.” said Panetta.

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On the plus side, panicking over which characters were uppercase in a lengthy password could be put out to pasture in the near future. Data scientists from Gartner found users are struggling to remember complex passwords, damaging user experience alongside weaker data protection. When it comes to security, biometrics and machine leaning will adapt to user behaviour and potentially lower TCO as early as 2022. Microsoft, Intel, Google and Apple are already leading research with depth-sensing camera technologies.

Yet Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, warns “the market has been guilty of overhyping AI and immersive technologies” so caution is needed before heavy investments are made. “Consider immersive technologies to be in their adolescence — they are adolescent, but gifted and talented,” Nguyen said.

With its ability to speed up lengthy data-input and processing tasks, artificial intelligence has the potential to radically alter business models. In line with its latest research findings, Gartner recommends that any digital business must be event-centric, meaning its security and risk infrastructure sense and adapt to threats at detection-stage.

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