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How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Mobile App Development

27th March 2017

It’s all about the algorithm. As the next evolution in the tech revolution, the promise of AI is not only that it’s the next step toward true machine learning, but that it’s clearly changing how we live and the industries we interact with.

In a computer science that’s just getting started, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

2017 is buzzing early with AI as the break-out technology, and that may be true, particularly when it comes to mobile app development.

DZone author Alesia Nik predicts, “Progressive Web Apps, new-age Javascript, and the ‘citizen developer’ program,” are all on the menu this year.

Mobile app development is riding the next AI wave.

Mobile App Development – Retail Super Smarts

It seems the industry that might have the biggest float in the AI parade this year is the one that truly moves the American economy – retail. Retailers are capitalizing on deep data they’ve been hoarding and using mobile app development to take their customer personalization experiences to a higher level. If you’re not too sick of the phrase, “IBM’s Watson,” check out what those snazzy geeks are doing now:

  • Macy’s On Call app combines Watson’s big brain with a geo-locator to answer customer questions, like, “Where can I find it?”
  • Under Armour used Watson to design an app to monitor customer fitness, sleep, and nutrition. One part tracker and one part coach, the app takes workout and health data, combines it with external research, and provides actionable insight.
  • Outdoor outfitter, The North Face now has an app that asks all the right questions based not on color or style, but, “How will you use the gear?”
  • Early this year Staples announced it was teaming with IBM Watson to evolve their “Easy Button,” allowing it to take orders by messaging or mobile app, voice or text.

While Watson’s team up’s reads like a retailer who’s who, there are plenty of other companies, including start-ups, who are capitalizing on AI to move mobile app development into the next wave. Mobile app companies like Feedvisor use it to flex the pricing on merchandise to accommodate shifts in market trends. IT Pro Windows calls it, “algorithmic pricing services.”

What’s next for AI? Everything.

Mobile App Development – What to Watch

True to programming, AI is about first asking the right question and then solving the problem. AI isn’t just a tool in the programming toolkit, it’s one of those big industrial toolboxes with all the drawers that your Dad probably had in his garage. AI is changing how we segment, defining anomalies, and cluster objects, which extends way past personalized product shopping

Beyond retail applications for 2017, watch for more of the VPAs or Virtual Personal Assistant apps that guide users throughout their day. Bigger predictions suggest that all other software types will soon meld with AI.

Part of the appeal of AI is its enhanced predictive analytics, which proponents say will allow everything from better inventory management to increased accuracy in product suggestions.

Forbes says the industry is predicted to hit $3 trillion by 2024.

Which leads to a chicken or the egg question: Is AI a science, an industry, or both?

Evidently, it’s both.


Squareball Studios (SBS), is a creative, design, and development agency of mobile applications and software systems. We have helped develop solutions for Fortune 500 companies and partnering with startups on initial ideas and seeing them succeed.

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