Predictions 2018 – 9

December 9, 2017

From Anna Cook

I predict that there will be strides in Assistive AI, particularly
in the health sector. There are strong public health reasons to promote the
release of large datasets to enable machine learning. The loss of the EMA and
the pressures on the NHS will amplify the arguments that our health records
should be used to develop these technologies. However, this requires policy
change, public education and a well-executed strategy to manage data privacy.
Unfortunately, although we may hear a lot from data scientists, technology
companies and academics, I do not expect much progress in the UK because of the
experience of Care.Data and the distractions of Brexit.

I expect that businesses will continue to make themselves
more flexible and resilient. This has put some of the larger relationships and
contracts under strain, in favour of cloud-based, multi-vendor solutions. Software
vendors are aggressively pursuing their rights against customers to protect
their confidential information and to prevent unlicensed software usage. This
seems to be a reaction to the change in the market but it is also contributing
to an environment in which customers feel the need to mitigate the risk of being
too dependent on a supplier.

I expect growing pressure on the technology giants to
address public perceptions about their behaviour as corporate citizens,
including the safety of their forums and the payment of tax. Although there is
greater public awareness about how social media platforms can be manipulated, I
do not expect much change to online behaviour in 2018.

Anna Cook is a Partner at Bristows. She is also a Trustee of
the Society of Computers and Law and a member of its Editorial Advisory Board.