Machine learning and artificial intelligence may be set for their close-up: Deloitte predicts that more than 300 million smartphones, or more than one-fifth of units sold in 2017, will have machine learning capabilities built inside within the next 12 months.
Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions report predicts that mobile devices will be able to perform machine learning tasks even without connectivity, which will significantly alter how humans interact with technology across every industry, market and society.
“Machine learning is fascinating as it will revolutionize how we conduct simple tasks like translating content, but it also has major security and health consequences that can improve societies around the world,” said Paul Sallomi, vice chairman and global TMT industry leader, Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology sector leader. “For example, mobile machine learning is a strong entry point to improve responses to disaster relief, help save lives with autonomous vehicles, and even turn the tide against the growing wave of cyberattacks.”
Over time, machine learning on-the-go will not just be limited to smartphones. These capabilities are likely to be found in tens of millions (or more) of drones, tablets, cars, virtual or augmented reality devices, medical tools, internet of things (IoT) devices and unforeseen new technologies.
“Our predictions for 2017 showcase the enormous influence that machine learning and the internet of things are having on the current technology marketplace,” said Sandy Shirai, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and US technology, media and telecommunications leader. “With many technologies coming into their own as their power and speed increases and the cost of delivering them goes down, we’ll continue to see these platforms grow exponentially and expand their role across industries, creating a whole new value proposition and opportunities.”
At the same time, Deloitte expects cyberattacks to enter the terabit era, with DDoS attacks becoming larger in scale, harder to mitigate and more frequent. There are expected to be on average one Tbps-scale attack per month, and over 10 million attacks in total. Plus, the average attack size will fall between 1.25 and 1.5Gbps. This escalation in the DDoS threat is largely due to the growing number of the aforementioned IoT devices, online availability of malware methodologies which allow relatively unskilled attackers to corral insecure IoT devices and use them to launch attacks (i.e., the Mirai botnet), and access to ever higher bandwidth speeds.
In an ancillary finding, the report noted that biometric security will cross the chasm in 2017. Deloitte expects that the active base of fingerprint reader-equipped devices will top 1 billion for the first time in early 2017, with each active sensor used an average of 30 times a day, implying over 10 trillion aggregate presses globally over the year. With the rapid pace of access and adoption of this technology, the challenge is to determine which additional applications could use fingerprint readers and other biometric inputs to provide rapid and secure authentication.