Find out what this and three other technologies will have in store for you next year.

2019 has been an incredible year for technology. We have seen an explosion of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), new social platforms and brand-new business models that changed the face of economies across the globe. 

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality and digital voice assistants in particular, are poised to undergo a dramatic shift in 2020, and will have a huge impact on the way we work in the future. In fact, the World Economic Forum expects 133 million new job roles to emerge from now until 2022 as companies increasingly adopt technology and practices that blur the distinction between work done by humans as well as those performed by machines and algorithms.

Below are the top three AI trends that will continue to evolve as we enter 2020: 

The emergence of Digital Twins

All these advances in analytics, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality and automation have provided the genesis for a digital twin. What if select individuals within your organization had a virtual likeness that harnessed deep personal knowledge and thought processes across their roles, rights, responsibilities and relationships? And what if that virtual likeness was constantly vigilant and fed interactive actionable insights and prioritized work to support optimal decision making?  And as capabilities evolve, this virtual likeness increasingly augments and automates mundane aspects of work, freeing precious personal cycles to focus on innovation and transformation? Welcome to the concept of a digital twin.

For security, a digital twin leverages more than just access to resources and subject matter expertise across disciplines. For each worker, a digital twin assures that work is continuously situationally-aware and contextually risk-appropriate. Designed to optimize the overall experience, the oft-opposing forces of security, productivity and cost are objectively balanced for individual work products and the overall workforce.

The advancement of Gesture Control

Gesture recognition and Touchless User Interfaces (TUI) will open the doors to a whole new world of input possibilities and how we interact with machines. While companies like Microsoft explored this technology early in 2010 with its Kinect for Xbox 360 that freed gamers from keyboards and joysticks, gesture recognition has advanced vastly and is already changing the way humans interact with machines across various fields. 

Some examples include how gesture recognition helps disabled people use their eyes to point and interact with a computer (recently showcased in a techfest), and how sign language can be detected and translated into a voice synthesizer for deaf people to communicate.

The evolution from Machine to Colleague

Today, the computer has evolved into more of an interactive toolbox accessible via the two-dimensional interface of the screen, supporting us in what we need to do. The dynamic between human and machine is gradually shifting, with the computer on course to becoming a more pervasive form of intelligence that can exist through all digital platforms and computer systems, helping individuals to complete their tasks more easily and efficiently.

We have only just begun to see how AI will influence interactions between humans and technology, and the capabilities of smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod and Google Home are already evolving from simple voice commands to supporting ecosystems of applications and interactions within the home. We have some way to go before we see voice and AI being widely used as a component in systems for business and workflow but there are already signs of the oncoming change, and the impact this will have on the future of work. The computer is shifting from being a mere tool into a colleague or even a personal assistant, in the human sense of the term.

AI has arrived in the workplace and will continue to be more present in the years to come. It is not about to replace the human element—rather, it will augment our own expertise, helping professionals make the right decisions just as it now helps diners choose the right restaurant for any whim. We look forward to living in a world reshaped by artificial intelligence in 2020 and beyond.