The future of technology – it’s a scary concept, isn’t it? The sheer speed at which technology is advancing can be a struggle to keep up with and it can be difficult to stop and truly think about what effect this could have on our daily lives in the future. But no technology is quite as daunting as that of Artificial Intelligence.
From the effects it can have on our tedious daily activities, to a level at which it could come to help us understand market psychology to advance our businesses, the possibilities for Artificial Intelligence truly are endless, and perhaps it’s that fear of the unknown that makes it so potentially daunting! To ease your minds on the idea of AI, we’ve pulled together just a few of the main ways that this fascinating technology could impact our daily lives in the future, and just a few ways that it already is!
In a world where the population is multiplying faster than we can keep up with and the need for more and more food is constantly on the rise, it’s just our luck that food production is reaching a plateau. With the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimating that the population of the earth could reach 9.7 billion by 2050, farmers are under mounting pressure to grow more and more crops, and it’s a struggle that they just aren’t winning. Could the solution to this issue lie with AI? Well, in a way it already is!
One of the most widely accessible methods that AI could and is becoming big in farming is through automated tools. Drones, driverless tractors, automated irrigation systems and even facial recognition for cattle – yes, cattle! – are just a few of the endless possibilities for automation in farming.
Drones, for example, are far more than tools used to take some of the most breathtaking photos and videos technology has ever seen. A drone could make highly efficient crop monitoring and analysis that much easier and with driverless tractors taking some of the load away from an already strained workforce, the two can go hand in hand in making an efficient growing and harvesting process.
Then comes facial recognition. As humorous as it might sound, facial recognition can track cattle and even provide some level of information about the state of an animal at any one time, helping a farmer make themselves and their resources available for a higher number of cattle, and therefore more food production as a whole.
The possibilities for Artificial Intelligence to add to and improve upon medicines are endless. There is no limit to what AI could potentially do for us as humans and our healthcare, from curing a common cold to detecting tumors before they can become dangerous. One notable project currently in development is between Intel and some of the healthcare’s industry leaders. By 2020, they aim to have created a one-day precision medicine for cancer patients that utilizes Artificial Intelligence to diagnose and personalize a treatment plan within 24 hours.
With high-performance computing systems, oncologists can use AI to compare patient’s test results with the ever-growing database of previous cases. As soon as a match is found, the physician can then use this to customise a treatment plan to the patient. Of course, this has its pitfalls and still relies on human interaction. But, the use of Artificial Intelligence in medicines and diagnosis can significantly cut out the time it may take to diagnose and treat an illness, and even improve the accuracy of the diagnosis too.
Artificial Intelligence in safety, especially where our online security is concerned, is invaluable. Digital technology is constantly changing and expanding, and with this comes with an increase in online attacks, and this is particularly rife when it comes to children. The creation, access, and sharing of abusive images of and to children is a horrifically growing epidemic, but Artificial Intelligence could prove to play a huge part in finding the solution to this issue.
Using AI within protective services can mean faster, more efficient tackling of suspicious and harmful content online. Efficiency is key as the volume of online attacks increases, and Artificial Intelligence could turn a 30-day process into only a day or two which – when children or vulnerable people are involved – is valuable time saved.
AI use in entertainment is perhaps the most widely visible way that this technology is affecting our daily lives. Never before have all kinds of entertainment been so accessible, interactive or customisable, and this can partially be put down to the developments in Artificial Intelligence.
Accessibility in entertainment as far as AI is concerned is something that is already well on its way to becoming accessible to the masses. Smart hubs have made it easier than ever before for users to interact with their entertainment systems, all through voice control.
From activation through to giving orders to change a song or turn down the TV, hubs like Amazon Echo and Google Home are allowing users to complete a range of different actions, all just by saying so as though they were talking to a significant other. These hubs are taking the market by storm, but they aren’t the only way that AI is affecting entertainment.
Machine learning is already making its way into entertainment, from gaming to movie trailers. The horror movie ‘Morgan’ by 20th Century Fox and IBM Research was given a trailer formed from AI. The ‘Watson’ platform – IBM’s creation – was taken to a film school where it was used to analyze hundreds of horror movie trailers. From this, they could learn just what elements kept viewers on the edges of their seats and enticed them to watch the movie. From here, the AI was fed the final cut of ‘Morgan’, where it then selected the 10 best moments in the movie to use for a human editor to then go through and create a trailer from.
Gaming is another market where AI truly thrives. With the sheer volume of games in today’s markets, engaging users in immersive experiences isn’t always as simple as a good storyline and amazing graphics. Artificial Intelligence has given game developers the technology they need to create character-based, interactive stories that will respond to a player’s actions and decision making processes for an entirely customised and personalized experience.
Even computer versions of chess and poker can benefit from Artificial Intelligence, giving you a better game that isn’t just a matter of chance and is instead something entirely interactive and personal to each player.
But Is It All Good?
Of course, with all of the talk of Artificial Intelligence and its benefits, there are risks that need to be considered. We’ve all seen the movies – Artificial Intelligence becomes too intelligent, and tries to destroy the human race so it can take over the world… or something to that effect.
Currently, Artificial Intelligence is too narrow for such a feat, in that it is usually developed to perform only a few simple tasks rather than have the overall intelligence to mimic that of us as humans. But the concern is, however, that developing a stronger, entirely autonomous Artificial Intelligence isn’t so much that they will take over the world, but rather that they just won’t have the same morals as a human will.
Even humans themselves have such a wide range of mixed morals and different personality types, so how can Artificial Intelligence truly reflect that? When given a goal, an AI will walk down any path it needs to get to that goal, and the real question lies in whether or not this could lead to destruction. After all, autonomous weapons are already well within sight.
Overall, however, it’s important to realize that Artificial Intelligence is already a part of our lives. Whether you play video games, own a smart hub or happen to be a fan of ‘Morgan’, AI is here and it’s a rapidly developing technology. From medicine to online safety, AI systems can provide us with countless solutions to problems that we as humans may not be able to provide and while that is a terrifying thought in itself, it’s also a fascinating one. We’re still decades away from a robot takeover, so why not enjoy the improvements to our lives that Artificial Intelligence can bring in the meantime?