The Future of AI As a Service

With multi-national technology companies like Apple pivoting to a services subscription centric model, and with Cloud leaders AWS and Azure utilizing AI to boost their features for customers, it’s clear AI-as-a-Service is the next business model of the future.

Amazon Prime has been followed by Apple, Walmart and others in its bundling of value and Google is likely to be next. The next generation of AI is for the most part AI-as-a-Service which will become an even more lucrative field than Silicon Valley’s hack, the digital advertising model.

The field of artificial intelligence will move fast in the 2020s and 2030s, even when deep learning has hit major bottlenecks. This is because AI can still be commercialized better in healthcare, government, sustainable green technology, manufacturing and dozens of other industries.

Five years from now, the field of AI will look very different than it does today and as the Cloud evolves, so too will AI-as-a-Service. Cloud providers like Alibaba, Amazon, Microsoft and Google will need to offer more AI to their customers to leverage their incredible integration with the businesses of the future.

When we talk about the democratization of AI, we are really talking about the AI as a Service future. Starting your own business with a human-AI hybrid model is only going to get easier. Companies like Salesforce, Nvidia and dozens of others all have a role to play.

The combination of the SaaS business model and AI services could help bring AI to the masses without a heavy price tag and thus spur innovation, entrepreneurship and a small business renaissance after the pandemic.

OpenAI’s release of GPT-3, the most powerful language model ever built, is only a precursor to what will be possible. While some aspects of the next generation of AI will automate some jobs in society, the net benefits will be better businesses and more importantly, better services for people.

The future of AI will also continue to explore new possibilities. Unsupervised Learning, Federated learning, Transformers all have been success stories of recent years. Transformers were introduced in a landmark 2017 research paper.

Quantum computing will also continue to evolve, eventually new fields of AI will be ushered in, and they will all best monetize in a AI-as-a-Service model that can scale.

Metatrends like the pivot to services and a more collaborative evolution of artificial intelligence will lead to new economic systems, UBI friendly hybrid experiments, and more inclusive societies that advocate for more green technology, communal living and balance in modern day society.

The AI for good provisions we make for the future, must mean strict regulations and independent ethical bodies on the evolution of AI today, for tomorrow.

  • Unsupervised learning is an approach to AI in which algorithms learn from data without human-provided labels or guidance. It’s unclear when AI will be able to “self-learn” but when that step is made, its progress could be very rapid.
  • Federated learning is a bit like more decentralized AI optimization. Federated learning leaves the data where it is, distributed across numerous devices and servers on the edge. Instead, many versions of the model are sent out—one to each device with training data—and trained locally on each subset of data. This is obviously more efficient in a mobile world.
  • NLP Models continue to evolve, GPT-3, Google’s BERT, OpenAI’s GPT-2, Facebook’s RoBERTa and others are indeed redefining what is possible in NLP. Not to mention Baidu and many other companies we don’t hear as much from. The key technology breakthrough underlying this revolution in language AI is the Transformer.

How AI is harnessed will change, with even National state backed companies like we see in China molding the future of AI and how it impacts emerging economies, how it maintains social order and gamifies desired behavior. We see this already with algorithms recommending certain Facebook groups to vulnerable people. Behavior modification at scale.

Now companies like Disney wants to take on Netflix directly in the direct-to-consumer model. Dozens of new entertainment companies are piggy-backing streaming and cloud gaming into a new era where AI-as-a-Service also has a bright future.

Humanity is spending less time on social networks and more time in immersive entertainment like video games and entertainment media. More time on Amazon and with various AI devices in the home. This all opens up incredible AI-as-a-service potential for new business models and Amazon Prime type bundles.

At the Last Futurist, we’re always thinking about the future of AI and its impact on society.

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