Artificial Intelligence or “AI,” as it is commonly referred to, is a branch of computer science focused on replicating and automating the things that we do as human beings. It’s not a new concept, but AI has quickly and surreptitiously made its way into all of our everyday lives, and the trend is set to continue.
We encounter AI daily as it tirelessly functions to better understand our behaviors and needs. It has assumed an important role in industries like telecommunications, finance, automotive, healthcare and lifestyle, just to name a few. AI has evolved to the extent that you have likely personally interacted with it, yet had no idea. Yes, AI has become that good.
If we take a step back for a moment and consider our legacy solutions past, businesses around the world have embraced packaged applications created by vendors such as SAP, Oracle and Salesforce. These products provide the process and data backbone for these businesses, and are critical to their daily function. The problem is that these packaged solutions are largely static and difficult to modify or update. Most, if not all, packaged applications can be customized, but the process is extremely slow, costly and disruptive to a business’s daily function.
As with everything, time brings change. This is particularly true where consumer and market demand are concerned. Many business lines today face increased competitive pressure where technology is used as a mechanism of competitive differentiation in the market. New technology-first upstarts have displaced traditional business models, and with them, many traditional businesses. Being nimble has become critical to success in modern markets.
The question becomes, how do software solutions of the future enable constant evolution to meet rapidly changing market demands? Due to their legacy, packaged applications from previous decades are antiquated in today’s markets, and yet, despite this, they continue to serve as the backbone for most global commerce. We can’t simply switch them off and start again. These legacy systems have paradoxically become an encumbrance to being agile in the face of changing market demands. The answer may well be AI, and its innate underpinning of machine learning.
Given the extent of research investment being made in AI based technologies, it’s not difficult to imagine a future where software application development becomes an automated process as well. Specifically, AI will play the role of software engineer creating, and evolving solutions based upon its ability to analyze and understand consumer and market behaviors. It is entirely foreseeable that applications will dynamically change their function, based upon the environment in which they are exposed, in much the same way that we do as human beings.
An AI-based approach to software application creation and evolution could very well automate the customization of existing legacy packaged applications, or more likely, dynamically create extensions to those legacy systems in order to meet changing market needs and demands. Either way, AI will ultimately replace the function of human beings in the process of software design and development.