Gartner, Inc. reports that as the smartphone market shifts from selling technology products to delivering compelling and personalised experiences, AI solutions running on the smartphone will become an essential part of vendor roadmaps over the next two years.
Gartner also predicts that by 2022, 80% of smartphones shipped will have on-device AI capabilities, which is a 10% increase from 2017. “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,” states CK Lu, Research Director at Gartner.
“Over the next two years, most use cases will still exploit a single AI capability and technology,” says Roberta Cozza, yet another research director at Gartner. “Going forward, smartphones will combine two or more AI capabilities and technologies to provide more advanced user experiences.”
So far, Gartner has identified 10 high-impact uses for AI-powered smartphones to enable vendors to provide more value to their customers, which are:
‘Digital Me’ Sitting on the Device
Smartphones will be an extension of the user, capable of recognising them and predicting their next move. “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.”
Security technology combined with machine learning, biometrics and user behavior is predicted to improve usability and self-service capabilities. For example, smartphones can capture and learn a user’s behaviour, such as patterns when they walk, swipe, apply pressure to the phone, scroll and type, without the need for passwords or active authentications.
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. This would prove most useful if 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 mean that they want to look up a jacket online or 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
Google had announced that it has plans to include an ARCore AR developer tool for Android and enable AR on about 100 million Android devices by the end of 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. With many sensors, smartphones can better understand and learn user’s behaviour, 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 behavioural 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. Service providers such as insurance companies can now focus on users, rather than the assets by being able to adjust the car insurance rate based on driving behaviours.
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 the IT department.
This refers to smartphones that are able to automatically produce beautified photos based on a user’s individual aesthetic preferences. 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.