How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming The World
Whether we realise, or accept it, artificial intelligence (AI) has already become an integral part of our everyday lives. It is everywhere, our workplace, homes, cars, phones, and computers.
AI can influence our choices of TV shows, movies, and music based on things we have watched or listened to in the past and making suggestions through our Smart TVs, social media platforms, and other devices. Ads are targeted towards our interests based on our search history and we are more connected now than we have ever been through the use of artificial intelligence.
Dating apps can pair you with your ‘perfect mate’ with the use of algorithms based on a set of questions you are asked when signing up. Smartphones can answer questions by simply saying, ‘hey Siri’. Alexa can control your lights, heating and play your favorite songs etc. Many modern cars are already fitted with a SatNav to help us navigate the roads and find our destination. Whether you like it or not, AI is everywhere.
According to artificial intelligence experts, SAS.com “The integration of AI isn’t only found in our domestic lives. Many businesses use AI and Machine Learning to enhance their business and improve everything from customer service to marketing and production.“
What is Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning?
These terms have been bandied around for many years without a really clear and simple ‘definition’. To put it in layman’s terms:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is set of technological tools that use algorithms to help us make predictions, give recommendations, and enhance real environments by utilising digital data. It does this by performing tasks that were predominantly completed by humans accurately and in a fraction of the time. AI uses a combination of real-time data and historical to make informed decisions, predictions, and suggest relevant courses of action.
One subset of AI is Machine Learning (ML). Simply put, ML helps a system to learn from the data it gathers without the need for human involvement. Through a variety of algorithms, ML can collate data and use it to make predictions, improve systems, and can report on the data so that humans can implement it where necessary.
The other major subset of AI is Deep Learning (DL). Deep learning is based on a concept that uses artificial neural networks (an artificial brain if you like). These networks help the machines to learn from and understand the data collected, especially the unstructured data. This is mostly done by enabling the machines to use speech, language, and image recognition. The really important part is that it can then interpret the data collected and answer it, report on it and make suggestions based on the information gathered.
The Internet of Things and AI
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to describe the wide variety of devices that are connected to the internet and can share data with other devices. In other words, a network of physical objects that have been embedded with software, sensors and technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices.
AI is already a part of your smart home devices. Think electricity smart metres, home security systems and heating control systems within the home among other things.
So when AI and IoT meet, the capabilities and possibilities would be almost endless. AI could help the physical devices to learn from one another and to be able to make autonomous decisions without the need for human intervention. This is set to be a highly dominant trend in both business and domestic use.
Those who are opposed to the idea of AI or afraid of its impact usually have two common fears.
1. AI is going to replace humans in the workplace.
While it is undeniable that AI machines are performing tasks traditionally carried out by humans, there is still a need for human input in order to make the machines work. Beginning and end operations need to be carried out by human beings, there needs to be a ‘programmer’ and an analysis of the data that is carried out by a person. People still need to carry out the physical implementation of certain actions.
What the implementation of AI in the workplace does mean, is we need to adapt. The growing use of ML and AI means that the type of work we as human beings carry out is changing. We have a set of new skills and a new area of learning that needs to be embraced from the college/university and at entry level.
2. AI is spying on us, we are losing our privacy.
This may be true in some sense. After all, you google 1980s movies and go on to your smart TV to discover some 80’s movie recommendations popping up. However, this is meant to enhance the user experience, making it easier for you to find what you want. Tailored advertising is designed to put the things you may be interested in front of you. Yet it can feel like you are being ‘watched’.
But think about the good applications for this. For example, your medications are automatically stored, so when you have prescribed a new medication, the AI can check that it is not going to negatively react to your existing regime. Less chance of human error for what could potentially cause a fatal reaction.
How is AI Benefitting Our World
The biggest benefit as stated in the paragraph above is that there is less chance for human error. Human inaccuracy, inefficiency, and other errors will be greatly reduced by the use of AI in practical applications; such as the medical field.
Having AI involved in a wide variety of areas in our lives can simplify and streamline so many tasks. For example, an AI virtual assistant could take on the more mundane tasks that we do not want to do ourselves.
AI and ML technology can increase production lines with more labour intensive input giving a higher output.
Gathering wide sets of data to inform our decisions in business and being able to interpret them. We can then utilise this data to improve profits, customer service, security, and overall performance.
The impact of AI on the world is set to be huge. It is up to us as the developers and pioneers to mold it to benefit society in a positive way.