enterprise space.” While consumers have enjoyed some perks from systems such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, there are also concerns about the way these systems record conversations and use the data on the back end. Robinson notes that while enterprise-style virtual assistants are not using natural language interfaces as much, they still need to be concerned with how AI results might be interpreted when making strategic decisions. “Virtual assistants and other AI applications are driving new behaviors as people interact with their technology, and the technology on the back end is becoming more contextual by analyzing behavioral data,” said Robinson.
Beyond virtual assistants, AI is appearing in more subtle ways in many other places, which inevitably impacts the IT industry at large. “For example, business productivity software is now using new AI techniques to provide suggestions for an end user, but this may appear to be more of a feature of the software rather than a brand new application,” said Robinson. Understanding the way that AI is making decisions and providing assistance is a key part of using AI applications, and CompTIA research shows that AI troubleshooting is expected to become one of the most in-demand skills that businesses are looking for. As consumers and businesses ease into using technology enhanced by AI, Robinson expects that many of the most mainstream efforts will be limited to narrow use cases, at least in the near future. “Although virtual assistants appear to be the first step toward general purpose applications, their functionality is still very limited,” said Robinson. “Achieving general purpose AI is still several years away. In the meantime, AI will continue to change the landscape in more subtle ways as an enabler for existing applications to produce new results.” The Big Picture
“When we are thinking about solving a business problem, no matter what industry vertical it pertains to, ethics is certainly one of the most important factors that we consider during the solution development process." Amit Agrawal, Founder and COO, Cyber Infrastructure
Marc Fischer, CEO and co-founder of Dogtown Media, a mobile media development company in Venice Beach, California, has been talking to legislators and business leaders around the country for the past few years about how AI is poised to change the way we all live and work. As an incubator of new technology that relies heavily on AI, Fischer believes that it isn’t a question of if AI will change the financial and employment landscapes, but when. “The two scariest things that will keep folks up late at night are around financial security and safety,” said Fischer. “It will go farther than anyone ever expected.” During a two-day symposium on AI at the University of Missouri, Fischer says that one of the
CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019
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