8 AI Predictions for 2018 to Shape Business Strategy

PwC has come up with 8 business predictions for 2018 based on current trends and industry feedback.


It is impossible for anyone to accurately predict how the next several years will unfold in relation to AI, given its complex nature and rapid rise. But, it is possible to make specific predictions about AI trends for 2018 and analyze its key implications for business, government, and society. Based on insights from AI visionaries and PwC’s own advisory experience, the firm has come up with 8 such predictions.

These are:

  1. AI will impact employers before it impacts employment

The job market will not be hit, but work’s nature will change. Loss of manual and repetitive jobs will be offset by new jobs performed by centaurs (human-machine hybrids). To prepare, business will need to bring together teams and data from different disciplines. Many organizations will need to start retooling.

  1. AI will ramp up its presence in the workplace

Automation of complex processes, identification of trends and forward-looking intelligence will mean less busywork for humans and better strategic decisions. Organizations will want to figure out specific problems AI can help solve; new measures to assess business value will be needed.

  1. AI will help answer the big ROI question about data

With data now being used to solve specific business problems, development and funding of AI solutions that draw heavily on data will get easier. Firms’ data infrastructure will have to be put into order.

  1. AI talent race will not be decided by technologists alone

An increasing need will be felt for domain experts: retail analysts, engineers, accountants, etc., who can prepare and contextualize data, and work with AI experts. These employees will need to be trained for the specific data skills needed.

  1. AI will make cyberattacks more damaging, and cyberdefense more effective

Pattern interpretation techniques like machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks also make it easier for hackers to find and exploit vulnerabilities, forcing businesses to start thinking about AI’s security applications. Cyberdefense may be the portal through which many enterprises get their first taste of AI.

  1. AI’s Black Box will become a priority

Growing pressure from end users, clients, and regulators, counterbalanced with the costs involved, will mean companies will need an assessment framework to determine how much information each AI application should produce about its decisions.

  1. AI will see nations sparring over it

China may take the lead; Canada, Japan, the UK, Germany and the UAE will do well too. International collaboration is on the horizon in some areas. Governments will need to increase funding; companies will need to keep an eye on the international competition.

  1. AI’s responsible use will not be tech companies’ responsibility alone


With an emerging global consensus around responsible AI, public and private sector institutions are likely to collaborate on AI’s societal impact. Businesses might collaborate to form self-regulatory organizations.

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