1. Chatbot Startups
Chatbots are automated services that interact with and offer information to humans, especially consumers, through a chat interface. Chatbots are using Artificial Intelligence, which is one of the technologies that’s helping to make these system so mainstream.
According to Ashu Garg, general partner at Foundation Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, businesses will increasingly look to chatbots to help reduce spending on customer service, insurance and financial services. While according to Business Insider, more than 85 percent of customer interactions will not include a human being by 2020, and chatbots will be the number one consumer application of Artificial Intelligence during the next five years.
While Facebook is still the dominant messaging and social media platform, WhatsApp, Kik, WeChat and other globally relevant messaging platforms will boost chatbot innovation and healthy competition.
2. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning startups
This coming year and beyond, Artificial Intelligence will help companies “disrupt sectors that haven’t been fully disrupted,” says Anthony Glomski, principal of AG Asset Advisory, a financial advisory firm. “Artificial Intelligence is in its beginning stages with massive potential impact.”
Wells Fargo is among the many enterprises that are testing Artificial Intelligence technology, according to Braden More, the bank and financial services company’s head of payment strategy. “We’re exploring how Artificial Intelligence technology can enable customers to conduct a banking transaction while on social media,” he says. “We’re also exploring AI virtual assistants that can proactively support customers through alerts, reminders and contextual suggestions.” Artificial Intelligence can also be used to detect bank fraud, Braden says.
3. Digital Transformation and the Cloud
In 2017 and beyond, enterprises will undergo a digital transformation on a massive scale enabled by the so-called “Third Platform” of cloud, mobile, big data and analytics, and social technologies.
Third Platform technology adoption and digital transformation is happening much faster than most expected and early competitive advantages will go to those enterprises that can keep pace with the emerging DX (digital transformation) economy.
4. Cybersecurity startups
Cybersecurity was frequently in the news in 2016, thanks partly to Apple’s iOS encryption skirmish with the FBI and other tales of ransomware attacks against businesses. Many experts expect continued growth in the cybersecurity space in 2017.
5. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Startups
After the Pokémon Go phenomenon, augmented reality (AR) is on many people’s and innovative startups radar. AR’s big sibling, virtual reality (VR), also offers exciting potential for enterprises in 2017 and after. During the coming year, 30 percent of consumer-oriented Global 2000 companies are expected to experiment with AR and VR in their marketing initiatives. But VR won’t simply be a technology for entertainment. “In 2017, VR is going to be adopted by a lot more startups to collaborate with in-office employees and remote or gig workers,” predicts Zach Holmquist, CTO and cofounder of Teem, a cloud-based service for managing workspaces. “VR will be used to accommodate the evolving definition of ’employee’ to include both in-office and gig workers contributing remotely.
6. Innovative Wearables
The breakout hit Spectacles from Snap, the company behind Snapchat, which let people record and share up to 10 seconds of video, are “breathing new life” into the wearables category. It appears that Snap’s fun, quirky and inexpensive approach has the winning combination of features and pricing that all the other players missed in the first wave of wearables.
7. Intelligent Things
“Intelligent things” are at the intersection of AI and IoT and are among top 10 strategic trends for 2017. The internet of intelligent things goes beyond the execution of rigid programing models, exploiting AI and machine learning to deliver advanced behaviors and interact more naturally with their surroundings and with people. As intelligent things, such as drones, autonomous vehicles and smart appliances, permeate the environment, Gartner anticipates a shift from stand-alone intelligent things to a collaborative intelligent things model.