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1Spatial's CTO, Seb Lessware, on what the most important industry trends and activity will be in the coming year in GISCafe.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is definitely on the slope up to the peak of inflated expectations on the Gartner hype cycle (for the current cycle at least – there have already been at least two iterations of this cycle over the past 50 years). At some point, there will be some Darwinian consolidation where the successful use cases stick and the unsuccessful or over-ambitious ones fall away. Projects are more likely to fail when the amount of training data is insufficient or the data quality is too low making the results, wrong, incomplete or biased. This won’t be a collapse by any means, just a correction as the data quality prevents successful outcomes.

Meanwhile, hardware and software frameworks are surging ahead, making the actual mechanics of machine learning faster, easier and essentially a commodity, so the key is the data and how it is applied. Whether this correction down the ‘slope of disillusionment’ starts in 2020 – and whether it is just a blip or a bigger bump – is not clear, but it seems inevitable..."

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