Artificial intelligence (AI) features will become a critical product differentiator for smartphone vendors that will help them to acquire new customers while retaining current users, according to Gartner, Inc. As the smartphone market shifts from selling technology products to delivering compelling and personalized experiences, AI solutions running on the smartphone will become an essential part of vendor roadmaps over the next two years.
Gartner predicts that by 2022, 80 percent of smartphones shipped will have on-device AI capabilities, up from 10 percent in 2017. On-device AI is currently limited to premium devices and provides better data protection and power management than full cloud-based AI, since data is processed and stored locally.
“With smartphones increasingly becoming a commodity device, vendors are looking for ways to differentiate their products,” said CK Lu, research director at Gartner. “Future AI capabilities will allow smartphones to learn, plan and solve problems for users. This isn’t just about making the smartphone smarter, but augmenting people by reducing their cognitive load. However, AI capabilities on smartphones are still in very early stages.”
10 Uses for AI-Powered Smartphones
“Over the next two years, most use cases will still exploit a single AI capability and technology,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. “Going forward, smartphones will combine two or more AI capabilities and technologies to provide more advanced user experiences.”
Gartner has identified 10 high-impact uses for AI-powered smartphones to enable vendors to provide more value to their customers.
“Digital Me” Sitting on the Device
Smartphones will be an extension of the user, capable of recognizing them and predicting their next move. They will understand who you are, what you want, when you want it, how you want it done and execute tasks upon your authority.
“Your smartphone will track you throughout the day to learn, plan and solve problems for you,” said Angie Wang, principle research analyst at Gartner. “It will leverage its sensors, cameras and data to accomplish these tasks automatically. For example, in the connected home, it could order a vacuum bot to clean when the house is empty, or turn a rice cooker on 20 minutes before you arrive.”
Password-based, simple authentication is becoming too complex and less effective, resulting in weak security, poor user experience, and a high cost of ownership. Security technology combined with machine learning, biometrics and user behavior will improve usability and self-service capabilities. For example, smartphones can capture and learn a user’s behavior, such as patterns when they walk, swipe, apply pressure to the phone, scroll and type, without the need for passwords or active authentications.
Emotion sensing systems and affective computing allow smartphones to detect, analyze, process and respond to people’s emotional states and moods. The proliferation of virtual personal assistants and other AI-based technology for conversational systems is driving the need to add emotional intelligence for better context and an enhanced service experience. Car manufacturers, for example, can use a smartphone’s front camera to understand a driver’s physical condition or gauge fatigue levels to increase safety.
Continuous training and deep learning on smartphones will improve the accuracy of speech recognition, while better understanding the user’s specific intentions. For instance, when a user says “the weather is cold,” depending on the context, his or her real intention could be “please order a jacket online” or “please turn up the heat.” As an example, natural-language understanding could be used as a near real-time voice translator on smartphones when traveling abroad.
Augmented Reality (AR) and AI Vision
With the release of iOS 11, Apple included an ARKit feature that provides new tools to developers to make adding AR to apps easier. Similarly, Google announced its ARCore AR developer tool for Android and plans to enable AR on about 100 million Android devices by the end of next year. Google expects almost every new Android phone will be AR-ready out of the box next year. One example of how AR can be used is in apps that help to collect user data and detect illnesses such as skin cancer or pancreatic cancer.
Machine learning will improve device performance and standby time. For example, with many sensors, smartphones can better understand and learn user’s behavior, such as when to use which app. The smartphone will be able to keep frequently used apps running in the background for quick re-launch, or to shut down unused apps to save memory and battery.
Smartphones are able to collect data for behavioral and personal profiling. Users can receive protection and assistance dynamically, depending on the activity that is being carried out and the environments they are in (e.g., home, vehicle, office, or leisure activities). Service providers such as insurance companies can now focus on users, rather than the assets. For example, they will be able to adjust the car insurance rate based on driving behavior.
Restricted content can be automatically detected. Objectionable images, videos or text can be flagged and various notification alarms can be enabled. Computer recognition software can detect any content that violates any laws or policies. For example, taking photos in high security facilities or storing highly classified data on company-paid smartphones will notify IT.
Personal photographing includes smartphones that are able to automatically produce beautified photos based on a user’s individual aesthetic preferences. For example, there are different aesthetic preferences between the East and West — most Chinese people prefer a pale complexion, whereas consumers in the West tend to prefer tan skin tones.
The smartphone’s microphone is able to continuously listen to real-world sounds. AI capability on device is able to tell those sounds, and instruct users or trigger events. For example, a smartphone hears a user snoring, then triggers the user’s wristband to encourage a change in sleeping positions.
Inlaks CEO, Femi Adeoti, Wins Top CEOs & Next Bulls Award
Femi Adeoti, managing director and CEO, Inlaks, Africa’s foremost Information Technology and Infrastructure solutions provider in West Africa, has been announced as a winner of the 2020 Top CEOs & Next Bulls Awards organised by Business Day Media Limited in collaboration with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The MD/CEO whilst receiving the award dedicated it to the management and staff of Inlaks for their relentless service even during these trying times.
He also appreciated the board of the organization that drove changes within the organisation particularly in the pandemic which led to the company being recognized and the customers who have continued to support Inlaks while being ambassadors of all Inlaks’ solutions.
The CEO and Next Bulls awards, the sixth in its series, recognizes the CEOs of listed companies creating competitive shareholder value through sound strategy, disciplined execution and world class governance. In addition, it celebrates chief executives of quoted companies that have demonstrated the most impressive gains in both share price and service delivery.
Themed “Advancing Against all Odds,” this year’s award particularly recognised businesses that have been thriving in spite of the global harsh economic realities.
According to the organisers of the award, the indomitable Next Bulls are the CEOs raging forward at a time when many businesses are choosing to retreat, thus acknowledging Adeoti’s good leadership in the area of corporate governance, innovation and service delivery.
The CEOs award celebrates the CEOs of successful, privately-owned indigenous companies built by Nigerians, led by Nigerians and poised to lead their categories on the continent.
Established in 1982, Inlaks is Africa’s leading Information Technology systems integrator with presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Cameroon. As solutions provider, it offers core banking, agency banking, fraud management, cyber-security, cloud, data centre, enterprise risk management and software solutions.
Part of the criteria for selecting winners of this year’s awards held virtually on September 5, are stock price appreciation, Profit After Tax (PAT) growth, an unblemished regulatory compliance record, and positive marketplace reputation among customers in the period under review.
Winners are also selected based on significant interest shown by active and informed investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to invest in their stock should their boards ever decide to take them public.
Transcorp Hotels Hard Hit by COVID-19, Mulls Restructuring
The novel COVID-19 pandemic has caused the African Hotel and Tourism industry to lose over $50bn in revenue.
Amidst this, Transcorp Hotels Plc has suffered unprecedented losses and is looking to restructure the business strategy of its hotels and optimize its operations.
The management of Transcorp Hotels Plc has announced that it will be taking steps to ensure business continuity in the wake of the losses recorded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To this end, the hotelier is diversifying its portfolio and reducing its workforce as part of its cost management initiatives.
Mrs Dupe Olusola, managing director, Transcorp Hotels Plc, disclosed this during a Press Conference on Thursday saying “The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015. The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than 5%.”
According to her “Despite the losses incurred we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100% salary payment to our over 900 employees in March and April. We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans. We suspended further commitment to buy fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs. Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive. To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40%, and our reward system will be optimized.”
Mrs Olusola further disclosed that negotiations are ongoing to ensure that our colleagues who will be impacted are adequately compensated given the peculiarities of the economy at this time.
A health insurance package to reduce their health burden costs, especially during the pandemic, amongst other payment settlements, will be activated.
Equally, all Executives of Transcorp Hilton Abuja have now taken a pay cut.
As one of the leading hospitality brands in Africa, Transcorp Hotels Plc has stated its commitment to uphold service standards and ensure that all guests continue to experience the warmth and hospitality that it is known for.
LCCI Announces Date for Virtual Edition of ICTEL Expo
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the premier Chamber of Commerce and a leading voice in the organised private sector (OPS) in Nigeria, is set to host the 6th edition of the Information, Communication, Technology and Telecommunications (ICTEL) Expo.
The tech event is scheduled to take place virtually on Tuesday 22ndand Wednesday 23rd September at 9am daily. To this end, interested participants are urged to register online via www.ictelexpo.com.ng
Muda Yusuf, director general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said: “The ICTEL EXPO is positioned to be a veritable platform for both operators and regulators to network, showcase and explore with technology with the view to repositioning the ICT sector of the economy.”
Yusuf added “that this year’s edition promises to be the best ever in the series with the theme “Exploring Opportunities in the Digital Economy” This is intended to create a platform to discuss strategies for economic diversification and business sustainability with particular focus on ICT, especially with the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. There would also be virtual conferences and exhibition during the two-day event.
Yusuf also emphasized that relevant agencies and departments of Government will be exhibiting and attending to other exhibitors and participants.
He stated that the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies that have confirmed attendance to participate are Ministry of Communications; Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) amongst others.
In addition, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar GarbaDanbatta, are expected as Special Guests.
Mrs. Funke Opeke, managing director, MainOne Cable and chairman, Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan, is expected to deliver the Keynote Address on the first day.
While Mr. Victor Eburajolo, deputy group managing director, Kewalram Group, will be delivering the Keynote Address on the second day at the virtual Expo.
Yusuf stated that “so far, so good the excitement that the virtual Expo has generated has been phenomenal and we are indeed happy about it.”
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