As programs and devices get smarter, special purpose applications will become more adaptable and self-configuring. Algorithms will improve as they are used and will contain mechanisms to optimize over time.
This is referred to as “machine learning” - a broad concept representing dozens of approaches and algorithms for improving how technology performs. Some of these are fully automated and “black boxes” and others require structure and configuration to an organization’s information domain. This class of technology is related to software becoming ever more user friendly to the point where systems provide the appearance of understanding human intent. This emerging field is called “Cognitive Computing” and holds great promise for all fields. IBM Watson and Apple’s Siri are examples in the space.