With Alan Turing’s Enigma came the dawn of Artificial Intelligence which has been at the heart of computing science ever since.

Since then, computers have increased their capabilities to calculate through processing, storage and miniaturisation. For instance, at VivaTech, Charles-Edouard Bouée, CEO of the consultancy Roland Berger, said that the current iPhone now holds more power than all of NASA’s computing assets were able to in 1984.

The acceleration of computing capacities since the 1990s and the development of the mobile phone industry (the iPhone launch in 2007 in fact) are now ushering in the golden age of Artificial Intelligence.

We now find AI everywhere. Strictly speaking, AI is not a technology but an aggregate of several methods: algorithms, neural networks, semantic network, and the capacity to learn by yourself. Google, Facebook, Amazon and now IBM with Watson has built entire businesses on AI. The capacity to store and manage billions of gigabytes of data per day has accelerated the maturity of the AI market. Here are just a few examples of AI-powered products and services on display at VivaTech2017:

• Robots who manage customer service in Japanese shops with Softbank’s Pepper

• Driverless cars like the shuttle NavyaArma

• Trend watching through social media for luxury with Heuritech

• Negotiation of real estate or financial deals through a chatbot, as demonstrated by a recent research paper from Facebook

One of the biggest challenges in the next few years will be to manage and maintain privacy. How people can be sure that their data privacy will be respected was widely discussed, as was the new European regulation law GDPR that many see as a the required safeguard.

As Stephen Hawking said last year, “Every aspect of our lives will be transformed. In short, success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization.”

“And to add, either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity”

Author: Aude Perdriel, Director Data & Analytics, Starcom France