For about 18 months now, we have all been trying to keep afloat on our surfboards out in the choppy waters of these uncertain times. Especially when it came to AI innovation, there were many sets of big waves to ride this year, like the advancements in computer vision, edge AI, and AI-driven software coding. These waves will continue to rock the boards of those trying to adopt AI, and it will be a while before they are developed enough for us to pop up on our boards and ride to calmer waters.

2022 will bring with it some more big waves in AI:

  • Embedded AI: Start paddling now — one in five organizations will double down on “AI inside.” During the pandemic, digital natives effectively used “AI inside” — AI that’s embedded at the core of everything from architecture to operations — to bridge the business-to-customer divide in areas such as grocery delivery and restaurant supply-chain optimization. In 2022, we expect traditional businesses to adopt this AI-first approach to platform and digital transformation. The more “AI inside,” the more enterprises can shrink the latency between insights, decisions, and results.
  • Responsible AI: Don’t overlook small waves — the market for responsible AI solutions will double. Some regulated industries have started adopting responsible AI solutions that help companies turn AI principles such as fairness and transparency into consistent practices. In 2022, we expect the demand for these solutions to extend past these industries to other verticals using AI for critical business operations. With this uptick in adoption, existing machine-learning vendors will acquire specialized responsible AI vendors for bias detection, interpretability, and model lineage capabilities.
  • Creative AI: Don’t be afraid to test new waters — creative AI systems will win dozens of patents. Creativity is thought to be an intrinsic human trait, but this year, South Africa granted a first patent to a creative AI system. While the US and EU rejected the same patent application on the grounds that only humans can receive patents, this seminal step toward the legal recognition and protection of products created by AI will encourage further innovation in creative AI.

The tide is rolling in, and it is time to get ready to catch the waves of embedded AI, responsible AI, and creative AI. You don’t want to miss your chance to break into the future of AI. Hang ten, shred some waves, and read our full AI Predictions report to find out what else you’ll want to keep an eye out for on the water.

Several Forrester analysts and research colleagues authored and contributed to this year’s AI predictions, including Brandon Purcell, Michele Goetz, Diego Lo Giudice, Charlie Dai, Andrew Hogan, Srividya Sridharan, Gene Leganza, Ian Jacobs, J. P. Gownder, and Gabrielle Raymond.

(Special thanks to Research Associate Gabrielle Raymond for coauthoring this blog.)