AI set to be a game changer for personal devices

It will take just four years for personal devices to become more au fait with the emotional state of their owners than users' nearest and dearest at home, reckons analyst firm Gartner.

To remain relevant, technology vendors must integrate AI into every aspect of their devices, or face marginalisation," warned Roberta Cozza (pictured), Research Director at Gartner.

"Emotion AI systems and affective computing are allowing everyday objects to detect, analyse, process and respond to people's emotional states and moods to provide better context and a more personalised experience."

Cozza says that AI is generating multiple disruptive forces that are reshaping the way people interact with personal technologies.

She noted that the current wave of emotion AI systems is being driven by the proliferation of virtual personal assistants (VPAs) and other AI-based technology for conversational systems.

"As a second wave emerges, AI technology will add value to more and more customer experience scenarios, including educational software, video games, diagnostic software, athletic and health performance, and the autonomous car," added Cozza.

"Prototypes and commercial products already exist, and adding emotional context by analysing data points from facial expressions, voice intonation and behavioural patterns will significantly enhance the user experience.

"Beyond smartphones and connected home devices, wearables and connected vehicles will collect, analyse and process users' emotional data via computer vision, audio or sensors capturing behavioural data to adapt or respond to a user's wants and needs."

Gartner also predicts that by 2021, 10% of wearables users will have changed lifestyles and extended their life spans by an average of six months.

"As AI emotion systems evolve there is huge potential for specialised devices, such as medical wristbands, which can anticipate life-threatening conditions and facilitate an early response system," explained Cozza.

"At the same time, special apps are also being developed for diagnostic and therapy services that will help to recognise conditions such as depression or help children with autism.

Gartner believes that within two years 60% of personal technology device vendors will use third-party AI cloud services to enhance functionality and services.

And through 2022, security technology combining machine learning, biometrics and user behaviour will reduce passwords to account for less than 10% of all digital authentications, says Gartner.

"Password-based simple authentication is becoming less and less effective for personal devices," said CK Lu, Research Director at Gartner.

"Even today's popular biometric technology - fingerprint authentication - is only around 75% successful due to contaminants such as dirt and sweat.

"Users need more convenient and accurate options for unlocking their devices. Security technologies that combine machine learning, biometrics and user behaviour will become necessary to improve ease of use, self-service and frictionless authentications.

"Within the next five years new security technology will recognise the user, prevent fraud and detect automation threats such as malware, remote access trojans and malicious bots."