2022 predictions: Further roll out of ‘explainable AI’, a future less dominated by big data, and more practical applications of AI lie ahead, predicts GlobalData

An increased use of explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) — a set of tools and frameworks that help to develop interpretable and inclusive AI models; the expansion of ‘unobtrusive AI’ — AI that can be integrated into software and play its role unobtrusively through autonomous behavior and feedback cycles; and big data’s domination of AI beginning to slip are three predictions for 2022 made by leading data and analytics company GlobalData as part of its latest report, ‘Tech, Media, & Telecom (TMT) Predictions 2022’.

As 2021 draws to a close, Thematic Analyst Robert Penman offers his view on these trends:

Further XAI rollout expected while companies acquire synthetic data training start-ups to poach talent

“2022 will see the further rollout of XAI, enabling companies to identify potential discrimination in their systems’ algorithms. It is essential that companies correct their models to mitigate bias in data. Organizations that drag their feet will face increasing scrutiny as AI continues to permeate our society, and people demand greater transparency. For example, in the Netherlands, the government’s use of AI to identify welfare fraud was found to violate European human rights.

“Reducing human bias present in training datasets is a huge challenge in XAI implementation. Even tech giant Amazon had to scrap its in-development hiring tool because it was claimed to be biased against women.

“Further, companies will be desperate to improve their XAI capabilities—the potential to avoid a PR disaster is reason enough. GlobalData expects to see acquisitions of start-ups specializing in synthetic data training in an attempt to poach talent, demonstrated by Meta’s acquisition of AI.Reverie in October 2021.”

AI will need to become practical and unobtrusive for smooth integration into software

“After years of AI hype, we are now in the era of practical AI. It will be integrated into software and will play its role unobtrusively and autonomously. Look no further than Amazon Go for an example of automated AI in action.

“There will be fewer unmet promises of AI revolutionizing life as we know it. Instead, companies will focus on creating actual AI use cases.”

Big tech’s advantage in AI will only widen as small firms can do more with less data

“Data and computing power are essential for AI development, and big tech companies have both in abundance. There are vast numbers of AI start-ups, but their future often lies in being acquired by big tech.

“However, the future of AI may be less dominated by big data. Doing more with less offers smaller companies a glimmer of hope. This is being made possible by innovative methods that enable algorithms to be trained using limited information.”

Information based on GlobalData’s report: Tech, Media, & Telecom Predictions 2022 – Thematic Research

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