Where Artificial Intelligence Is Right Now, and Where it is Going
By Matt Brennan
You just returned from vacation on the California coast, and sit down to upload a few of the best photos to Facebook.
As you pull your Samsung S8 out of your pocket you look into the camera, and the iris scanner unlocks the phone for you. Facebook asks if you want to tag your wife in the photos you’ve uploaded. (It’s probably a good idea. Thanks Facebook!)
When you confirmed your Airbnb location before the trip, the app asked you to take a selfie, which it compared to the driver’s license you scanned in to create the account. The airline compared a scan of your face to a passport photo to automate the bag check in. This made the lines move a little faster.
These are just a few examples of artificial intelligence at work around us. There’s also our trusted home assistants Siri and Alexa. Netflix is even using AI algorithms to improve streaming quality and offer recommendations based on past viewing. Countless apps and vehicle technologies are making our commutes a little easier.
When it comes to AI there is a tendency to romanticize the future and downplay the present as simple machine learning. But there was a time when all of the above capabilities were romanticized too.
Below are more examples of mind-boggling AI technologies. Some are in the early stages of implementation, and some are still being researched and perfected.
AI will offer businesses the ability to improve decision-making capabilities in complex situations. Many AIs automate complicated tasks, or evaluate mass amounts of data to make recommendations or decisions. Either can have tremendous value in the business world.
The AI community made major advancements in recent years, as computers beat the world chess and go champions. But experts have stated that humans paired with AI would make for an even stronger team. Both have their distinct advantages. The same will be true in business. Businesses that pair AI automations with creative human decision making could benefit the most in the future.
Major automotive and technology companies are hard at work perfecting the first self-driving cars. Driving can become a more efficient activity on all fronts. Humans will no longer have to pay attention to the wheel. This can free them up to concentrate on other activities for the duration of the commute.
Vehicle efficiencies can reduce carbon emissions. A sounder decision-making paradigm can potentially keep the roads safer. While there are still significant ethical and programming questions to work out before self-driving cars become the norm, the benefits to this type of travel are apparent and astounding.
Improving Elder Care
Seniors may struggle with basic tasks as they work out the details of how to age in place. Often a home healthcare professional is needed. AI, or a home robot may be able to help seniors move around the house, use the bathroom, or simply sit down. With the right kind of assistance, they can trust they can live independently for longer.
AI robots can help out in high-risk situations. Drones have been used to spot who needs help in the aftermath of a hurricane. Robots can also perform some basic welding tasks, or even diffuse bombs.
These machines will be able to help with high risk jobs that can put human lives at risk. A human may still be needed to control the robot from afar, through some of these tasks.
AI and machine learning have the capability to reduce the amount of time you spend on your morning commute. First, apps such as Waze can make it easy to avoid routes with construction and accidents.
Ridesharing apps such as Uber or Lyft are using artificial intelligence to predict the ETAs for their rides, and the estimated time of delivery for food. This advanced knowledge can make the roads more efficient for all.
Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming a significant tool in our lives. Those who know how to use it in their day-to-day lives will benefit the greatest. It’s adding an extra layer of efficiency to everything we do.
What are some of the ways you’ve seen artificial intelligence impact the world?