Technology Trends to Watch in 2020

January 13, 2020

Because of its vast use cases, automation is having a watershed moment in the tech industry today. Streamlining workflows, fortifying cybersecurity and improving customer service are just a few ways the technology is being implemented by businesses around the world. The automation market was valued at $157 billion in 2018, according to Fortune Business Insights, and is projected to reach a valuation of almost $300 billion in 2026.

New York companies are steadily harnessing automation to improve their business’ efficiency or product. Invisible Technologies, for example, is helping sales, HR and insurance professionals automate recurring tasks like outreach or data sorting. Meanwhile, Unacast is helping companies in retail and real estate build more efficient infrastructure using its data and automation solutions.

Artificial intelligence is having a similar impact on tech. The AI market was valued at over $16 billion in 2017 and is expected to be worth over $190 billion by 2025, according to a report from MarketsandMarkets. Local companies using this technology include Talkspace, which utilizes AI to make it easier for patients to share their health data with professionals and manage their overall wellness. Curalate is focused on evolving its human-in-the-loop AI system, which combines human interaction with a computational prowess.

Learn more about how these four New York tech companies are betting on the continued success of automation and AI in 2020.

 

Invisible Technologies CEO
Invisible Technologies

Invisible Technologies has 100 agents in 16 countries worldwide working in what CEO Francis Pedraza calls a “digital assembly line.” The company is a destination for businesses to outsource work that can be automated. Pedraza said his team is focused on simplifying automation so anyone can use it.

 

What are the top tech trends you’re watching in 2020? 

The top tech trend I’m watching is not a tech trend, but a labor market trend: rising wages. With record-breaking, nearly full employment in the United States, wages are rising fast and may continue to rise faster than they have in 50 years for all non-executive positions. To maintain margins, companies are going to have to make up the difference through process efficiency, outsourcing and automation.

Traditional business process outsourcing providers are stuck in the 1990s.”

 

How are you applying these trends in your work in the year ahead?

Traditional business process outsourcing providers are stuck in the 1990s, with clunky fixed-cost solutions targeting large enterprise departments. The new robotic process automation industry, as well as emerging low-code and no-code workflow automation tools, can be too technical for the average knowledge worker to manage. 

We’re positioning Invisible as the everyman’s solution. We make it easy for anyone, on any team at any sized company, to delegate any task, process or workflow via email or a Zoom video call. 

 

Curalate team in group photo
curalate

Curalate’s CTO and Co-founder Nick Shiftan is looking forward to advancing the relationship between humans and AI at the social commerce solution provider. His team has seen success using a human-in-the-loop AI system and plans to continue honing its finer edges this year. 

 

What are the top tech trends you’re watching in 2020? 

I’m excited about AI becoming less artificial. Much has already been made of the incredible strides in machine learning. The models available to us today are substantially more accurate and more efficient — in terms of CPU, memory and cost — than those of even six months ago. But there remain classes of problems that humans perform substantially better in. I believe this is an opportunity, not a challenge, and that the next wave of AI applications will seamlessly integrate human input to deliver magical results. 

I’m excited about AI becoming less artificial.”

 

How are you applying these trends in your work in the year ahead? 

We’re very bullish on human-in-the-loop AI. It’s been three years since we first released “intelligent product tagging”, our AI that finds products in images. The accuracy level of IPT has steadily improved, but it’s still a few percentage points short of perfect. By using humans-in-the-loop to rapidly verify the products that IPT finds, we’ve been able to close the accuracy gap to 100 percent. This allows us to fully automate the sourcing, filtering and tagging of great user-generated content for our clients. The result: an order-of-magnitude increase in content to publish to Instagram, Google and clients’ e-commerce sites. 

 

Unacast team in meeting
unacast

Unacast uses data science and analytics to give its clients insight into how people move though the physical world, and VP of Sales Adam Slackman said the company plans to use automation to help those clients build cities, marketing campaigns and more.

 

What are the top tech trends you’re watching in 2020? 

We are closely watching the wide adoption of alternative datasets for predictive analytics and pattern recognition. Enterprises are leveraging data from privacy-first sources to create knowledge and wisdom. The convergence of the digital and physical world offers an opportunity to use data for good. There is a major upward trend of “be good, do good” and using data to make the world a better place. 

The convergence of the digital and physical world offers an opportunity to use data for good.”

 

How are you applying these trends in your work in the year ahead?

In 2020, we will continue our work with retailers, real estate developers and smart city governments in their mission to support convergence of the digital and physical worlds. We are using data and automation to enable these fields to accommodate the needs of the evolving world: more efficient cities, mixed-use real estate properties, pop-up stores and more compelling digital advertising. We recently launched our own “be good, do good” initiative called eco-location, which enables users to use their data for carbon footprint displacement.

 

Talkspace team working
Talkspace

Amir Eitan said Talkspace is making it easier for users to share details of their health with the over 5,000 providers in the company’s digital network. The product manager said AI has been key in facilitating better patient care. 

 

What are the top tech trends you’re watching in 2020? 

In recent years, we’ve witnessed how technology has transformed the healthcare space. Increased central processing unit power and advances in AI are paving the way toward more personalized medicine and more precise treatments. These advances are made possible, in part, by a tectonic shift to wearable technology and connected health spaces. Heart-rate-measuring t-shirts aren’t in mass markets yet, but we all have smartphones through which we store and share healthcare information. 

Twenty years ago, nobody put their real name on public internet pages. Today we voluntarily share our intimate moments and opinions on social platforms. This same shift in our willingness to share our personal information is also occurring in the healthcare space. Our ability to collect and share information with our doctor in real-time will be a game changer.

Advances in AI are paving the way toward more personalized medicine.”

 

How are you applying these trends in your work in the year ahead?

We’ll continue to focus on building the necessary tools that enable our clients to share what they are going through, tying their journey to other aspects of their lives. We want to help them by providing a more holistic picture of their mental health.

 

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