Though it might be frightening to some, there isn’t really any way to deny the fact that artificial intelligence – abbreviated as AI – represents the future of technology as we understand it. Regardless of the ethical concerns many of the leaders in technological innovation might say, AI is truly a fascinating and enchanting trend that we all are interested in hearing more about.

However, one of the main questions many of us may have is what is the future of AI? Will it manifest itself in smaller or larger tech? Will it be used professionally or jovially? These are all questions which are really hard to answer, but some of the trends we see can shed a little light on the mystery.

For one thing, AI is clearly suffering from an image crisis as I briefly said. Many people remain fearful of the ethical questions which AI asks. This has led many top innovators shift their AI technology to a more playful style like that of Japanese robots.

This definitely suggests that the future of AI will be more centered on helping us achieve daily tasks rather than doing more ethically questionable things. Which is good. I don’t want to sound dismissive of the ethical concerns; some of the things which AI can accomplish are harrowing.

Thankfully, companies seem like they’re taking really proactive measures to help calm down some of the concerns by showing how AI is really just a harmless piece of tech like anything else. Whether this is profitable or unprofitable; insidious or well-intentioned is beside the point: it’s what is happening.

So in that sense, I really think AI tech is turning toward the consumer because this is where the future and profits lie. Indeed, we already see Apple start to turn in this direction. Same for IBM with their Watson technology which they’re branding as a humorous, life-like companion which just happens to be a mega-genius beyond anything we’ve ever seen.

Additionally, AI seems to also be moving in a smaller direction. We’re not seeing many robots, per se. Instead, we’re seeing AI embedded into our technology in ways we didn’t really see coming. Indeed, most AI is stored on a chip rather than in the heart of a robot.

I think that this is really where AI is headed in 2017 onward. AI has a long and promising future ahead, and it will be beyond intriguing to see where it ends up and how it will be used. We can only hope for the best.