How Artificial Intelligence Will Show Up in Mobile Apps

It sometimes is hard to envision how artificial intelligence will affect the applications and access  businesses. Voice interactions are probably the best present examples (Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Siri), but pervasive (context-aware) apps are going to develop in the future.

Pervasive apps (usually mobile apps) adapt to their external environments, using geolocalization, phone sensors, externals sensors, surrounding data (places databases) to provide a highly-personalized user experience. Over time, machine learning (artificial intelligence) will enhance the ability to sift through huge amounts of data to personalize and contextualize at levels not presently possible.

At the same time, that will mean less need for active user actions to pull up and use data. That means less filling out of forms, for example, as apps will be able to predict what the user wants and act on the user’s behalf to provide answers and initiate actions.

A related and perhaps interim step is the use of "chat" platforms allowing organizations to get information, answer questions and transact with users and customers through messaging or virtual personal attendants (voice interfaces). That will likely also extend to smartphone communications with internet of things sensors and devices.

Gartner predicts that by 2018, 25 percent of new mobile apps will communicate with Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Most IoT devices that talk to smartphones do so via an app or the browser, at least through 2018, according to Gartner researchers. But artificial intelligence could change all that.

"We are witnessing the beginning of the post-app era based on the evidence that users are starting to use fewer apps actively on their smartphones," according to Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner. "At the end of 2016, only 33 percent of survey respondents used six to 10 apps a month, which is down 6.2 percent from a year ago."

Another interim step is the growing use of voice interfaces.

A Gartner mobile apps survey found 35 percent of respondents using virtual personal assistants (VPAs) in 2016, up four percentage points from 2015. Some 71 percent of respondents used messaging apps, a three point increase in 2016.

Type of Apps
2015 Survey Respondents (%)
2016 Survey Respondents (%)
Social Media
85
83
Video
73
71
Maps
74
71
Messaging
68
71
Shopping
56
60
Personal Assistant
31
35
source: Gartner
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