Here are some few areas that AI is expected to help in 2021:
- Vaccine development
With the coronavirus still spreading fast, the focus of the entire world is in the development of vaccines. Although some vaccine candidates have become successful in human trials and are in use, the hunt continues. The high-speed vaccine development was partly due to advanced technologies, AI being one of them. AI models aided researchers in the analysis of large volumes of data on different coronaviruses. With tens or even hundreds of thousands of components of data about the outer proteins of a virus out there, machine learning models can help sort through this massive data and predict immunogenic protein components. This will guide researchers in developing vaccine candidates.
- Self-driving cars and robotaxis
Despite challenges in other industries, 2020 was a good year for self-driving vehicles and robotaxis. Industry’s leading companies tested driverless cars, with some opening up robotaxi services in cities. While these technologies have not fully matured, 2021 will be a good year to yet again go a notch higher and mature. Companies such as Baidu already have Apollo Go Robotaxi service in Changsha, Beijing and Cangzhou and other players might soon follow suit. Advancement in AI means that self-driving cars and robots will become more sophisticated and have more autonomy than ever.
- Quantum computing
The race for quantum computing is on. With the help of AI, it is making significant inroads, and 2021 might see major breakthroughs in quantum computing supremacy battles. Companies such as Google, IBM, Baidu, and Accenture show a relentless effort to capitalize on AI to build quantum computing. Advanced AI technologies such as deep learning algorithms are also becoming crucial in developing quantum computing research as the race heats up. Baidu, for example, made breakthroughs in 2020 that bridged AI and quantum computing.
- AI chips
Many companies lead when it comes to the manufacturing of AI processors. This is an area that is the attention of tech giants such as AMD, Intel, and Google. While the ordinary processor can support AI tasks, AI-specific processors are specially designed to optimize tasks. As AI applications increase and become widespread in different industries, an increase in performance will allow companies that operate data centers to unlock more value and enhance operations. Google, for example, is currently working on AI-powered Edge TPU which has already grabbed attention due to its potential to enable high accuracy and capability.
In conclusion, 2021 is a good year for artificial intelligence. It is the year where competition among the big boys is expected to rise as every company or country wants to become the leader. Regardless of who wins or loses the race, the bottom line is that AI will benefit all of us irrespective of the industry we fall. Industries such as healthcare, real estate, supply chain, research and development are expected to reap a lot from artificial intelligence. From now on, we must look into how we will benefit from this technology and capitalize on it.