It’s been over a month since our last major artificial intelligence consensus (which covered 33 AI researcher perspectives on the 20-year risks of AI), and we decided that this time around, we’d speak with AI executives directly about the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning in consumer tech.

The media is awash with buzz-stories about autonomous vehicles, speech recognition, robotics, and more, but it seems difficult to glean a perspective on which consumer AI tech trends are likely to make the biggest impact in the coming 5 years.

While there’s certainly no crystal ball, our preference as a market research firm is to combine research and news analysis with a strong consensus from dozens of experts in the field. When it comes to AI for consumer tech, we decided to ask executives and founders of artificial intelligence companies what they believe to be the most important AI consumer tech trends in the next half decade.

You can see a full list of the answers to our “AI Consumer Tech Trends” below in our large infographic. If you’d like to see the full list of responses from our entire 2016 AI Startup Consensus (including key data about the responding companies, including number of employees and amount of venture funding raised), download our complete AI Startup Consensus data set here.

By far the most common trend predictive was “Virtual Agents / Chatbots”, even among AI executives in fields unrelated to virtual agents. I assume that the attention around the efforts of Amazon (Echo), Facebook (M) and other tech giants has this topic at the forefront of consumer tech attention.

Bear in mind that the “categorization” was done after the fact (it could be argued that other categories could have been used to couch these responses), and that 35 executives and founders is by no means an extensive consensus. However, the top trends (and insightful related quotes from execs around the world) are worth considering for anyone making bets on AI in consumer tech in the years ahead.


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