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Friday, November 15th, 2019
The world we live in is fast evolving, with Artificial Intelligence driving this change that can affect the way we will be living in the near future. AI technology has been improving each year for the past 20 years, and today it’s a very mature technology. Many large companies and organizations are actively employing AI in different ways.
But before we dive deeper into this subject, we need to clarify what is AI? For many, it remains unclear what this technology is all about – so let’s start with that.
AI is a branch of computer science that deals with the intelligent behavior of machines. It’s basically a simulated ability of a machine to imitate human behavior and our specific conventional response patterns. All of this is made possible with specific algorithms that make AI function in a specified scope of activities – this depends on the algorithm on which it’s based on. This means that AI is versatile enough to carry out many of our everyday activities.
Neural networks, for example, can now be used to perform tasks that were once performed exclusively by the human brain – such as automatically recognizing speech and images. AI can also make decisions based on a set of data – for example, what a person likes on social media or what product shopping history they have.
AI is already around us, but often we don’t notice it. For example, Facebook uses AI technology for its image recognition – when you try to tag a person in a photo. AI has also played roles in managing calendars, political campaigns, and it will soon be managing everything.
“The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. “
— John McCarthy – one of the founding fathers of AI technology
This means that AI can imitate any aspect of our life, and this is how it can help to build a different and more advanced world to benefit.
Let’s have a look at a couple of ways how AI is changing our lives
Using AI, people would have to carry out fewer tasks by themselves – with a personal assistant we can set reminders and notifications to help us ease our days. For example, if you own your own smartphone, you have access to a personal assistant based on the platform you’re using such as Siri, the Google Assistant, Alexa. These AI-driven assistants can help you find any information when you ask for it using your voice. You can ask: Where is the neared restaurant? Or simply say “set an alarm for 8 am”, and the assistant will respond by finding the required information or by completing the task.
AI helps with processing in information (processing the request, finding the information and replying to your request) and to better recognize your voice. It’s also programmed to recognize and use behavioral patterns to tailor your preferences- basically, these assistants are continuously learning from their users.
Retailers use targeted advertising to keep their customers hooked on their websites. These emails take into consideration what the users browsed, searched for, shopped and numerous other factors and data. These systems show the things that the customer has an affinity towards – increasing the chances of purchasing the product.
Amazon wen a little bit further than this, they have patented anticipatory shipping – which is a system that was meant to deliver products to the shippers’ hubs or trucks close to customers who are predicted to want them before they even place an order. These predictions are made using the customers’ previous orders and numerous other factors.
Customer service is a key proposition for businesses to keep you coming back. Businesses have dedicated Facebook pages where you can contact them via the Messenger or integrated chats services their websites – this is why more and more companies have started to create their own “apps in apps” called chatbots. These bots exist within a messaging app and are designed to offer customers some basic functions in the environment they already spend a lot of time in. There are already weather bots, bots that enable users to place orders and of course, ones you can talk with.
These bots require a lot of planning and resources to build. Chatbots need to be adept at understanding natural languages, which is rather challenging as the way each person talks to a computer is different – but with natural language processing and rapid advancements in the technology, smarter bots are not that far away.
Movie and Music recommendation services
Probably you wouldn’t think that Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, Prime, Hulu are all also based on Artificial intelligence. Thanks to the built-in AI, they can accomplish a useful task: – Recommending music and movies based on interests you’ve expressed and things you’ve watched/heard in the past.
By monitoring the choices and inserting them into an algorithm, these apps make recommendations of what you’ve most likely be interested in. For example, if you like a sci-fi movie from the ’90s with a certain actor or a plot, chances are you might like other films of the actor or other movies with a similar plot.
What we’ve been seeing in the movies is slowly becoming a reality – the solutions we have now are even more powerful and innovative than the ones predicted in sci-fi movies. What will we have in the future? The best way to have an idea of what’s coming next is to listen to the tech industry leaders who are already working on solutions for problems we can’t imagine yet.