AI is a game-changing industry that moves with lightning speed, manifesting sci-fi fantasies and defining disruption in multiple industries. A year-end review of AI’s predicted advances and influences weaves images reminiscent of The Terminator, Blade Runner, Star Wars and more.

What’s ahead in AI? Here are a few highlights, from our perspective.

AI Will Help Optimize Production Pipelines

Star Wars Episode II: The Clone Wars had a droid manufacturing facility of space age proportions. Well, the space age is here. Experts anticipate that fully autonomous production lines, thanks to the magic of AI, will soon transform industry.

AI already plays a leading role in optimizing production. Even if fully autonomous lines aren’t in action yet, we’re seeing AI/machine learning elements improving quality, reducing costs, and reducing energy consumption. By automating both dangerous and mundane tasks, AI will free up human capital to focus on product development and process improvement.

AI Will Require Less Data

AI has largely been dependent on Big Data – a tremendously rich resource, but one which is expensive due to the massive volumes of data requiring collection and wrangling. New innovations in emerging data synthesis methodologies will allow companies to synthesize existing data, generating valuable insights.

Automated AI Development

IBM calls it “AI for AI” — using AI to develop AI. AI can be focused on improving all aspects of the AI system life cycle: creating, deploying, managing, and operating AI models to inform process improvement.

Computer-Generated Graphics

Computer generated graphics have a lot to gain from AI. AI is being harnessed in industries including entertainment, manufacturing and more to create highly realistic vehicles, characters and environments, vehicles, and characters. Faithful replications of surface textures and reflections which were previously dependent on talented humans can increasingly be generated by computer – and this is often happening cheaper and faster.

Next Generation Predictive Text

We’re used to seeing predictive text in our email and phone apps. AI is a powerful tool for improving its accuracy, and customizing suggestions based on user input.

Quantum Computing

AI can sift through huge data sets with far greater speed, accuracy and efficiency than any human. Many aspects of computer science may be radically improved.

The Global Implications of AI

According to thenextweb.com, a tech media company, investment around the globe is heavy, verifying that it’s clearly a competitive front. China has invested in excess of $140 billion; Europe and the U.K. have invested over $25 billion, and the U.S. is playing catch-up. We’ve spent about $2 billion on AI in 2019: 2020 expenditure is estimated around $4 billion.