Gartner Hype Cycle predicts increased importance on human and machine interaction

This years edition of Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies focuses on the evolving relationship between humans and machine due to the increased hype around smart machines, cognitive computing and the Internet of Things. The study has been released on an annual basis since 1995. The 2013 Hype Cycle Special Report evaluates the Maturity of More Than 1,900 Technologies. Analysts believe that the relationship is being redefined through emerging technologies, narrowing the divide between humans and machines.

Tron Machine Human Interaction

Gartner’s 2013 Hype Cycle Special Report provides strategists and planners with an assessment of the maturity, business benefit and future direction of more than 2,000 technologies, grouped into 98 areas. New Hype Cycles this year include content and social analytics, embedded software and systems, consumer market research, open banking, banking operations innovation, and information and communication technology (ICT) in Africa.

Vice president and Gartner fellow Jackie Fenn has highlighted three main trends at work:

In making the overriding theme of this year’s Hype Cycle the evolving relationship between humans and machines, we encourage enterprises to look beyond the narrow perspective that only sees a future in which machines and computers replace humans. In fact, by observing how emerging technologies are being used by early adopters, there are actually three main trends at work. These are augmenting humans with technology — for example, an employee with a wearable computing device; machines replacing humans — for example, a cognitive virtual assistant acting as an automated customer representative; and humans and machines working alongside each other — for example, a mobile robot working with a warehouse employee to move many boxes.”

Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2013 Source: Gartner

Most Companies are still grappling with Big Data, but the tech will take longer to reach mainstream maturity, according to the diagram we are still 5 to10 years away until it hits the “plateau of productivity”. Other technologies at the overhyped stage include big data, consumer 3D printing, gamification, and wearable user interfaces. The three major trends are made possible by three areas that facilitate and support the relationship between human and machine. Machines are becoming better at understanding humans and the environment — for example, recognizing the emotion in a person’s voice — and humans are becoming better at understanding machines — for example, through the Internet of things. At the same time, machines and humans are getting smarter by working together said Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner.


Featured Image Credit: Flickr (Mike Shaheen)