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Beyond hype: How AI is already changing the way we live and work
Until we’ve started developing software powered by NLP and Machine Learning models (types of AI) a couple of years ago, I had a very limited view and trust in AI. Whilst I never associated it as a concept with doom’y and gloomy “Terminator” robots, I saw that most of the companies to be AI-powered were simply a hype, stuffed with Regex at most. AI was so incredibly hyped that just the mention of the technology in any marketing material or pitch decks would get the company 10x funding or customer interest.
A lot of things have changed in the recent years.
Today, you’re surrounded by AI-powered inventions, sometimes without even knowing they use AI. Alexa, Uber, Amazon recommendation engines — they’re all stuffed with AI. AI-powered robots are everywhere, from Rumba cleaning your house to AI-enabled drones delivering blood to the most remote places.
However, these are all examples of specialised (narrow) AI, as there is no such thing as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), the super-intelligent agent that understands or learns any intellectual task that a human being can. This makes a great story for a sci-fi movie but it’s far from AI applications in a real life.
There are companies and governments out there right now doing some incredible things with narrow and not-as-hyped corners of AI. From automatic document processing and extraction, to personalised loans, intelligent customer service automation, or voice assistants utilising NLP and ML, these applications are providing real value.
Focusing on these applications, rather than the far-off dream of AGI, is the best option for those interested in the industry.
When will AI become mainstream?
As with any new tech trend picking up, (remember Big Data,VR or Blockchain?) people rush to predict huge breakthroughs “in the next few years” but usually it never happens.
It takes time to get adoption and trust in the new technology, but once it’s mainstream, the benefits and number of applications grow exponentially.
We humans tend to overestimate the impact of technology in the short term, but underestimate it in the longer term. This is also known as “Amara’s Law”.
Why AI is such a game changer
As humanity, We progressed due to our unique ability to learn — because of this learning we can progress at scale. That’s also the main domain of AI, and that’s what makes it stand out from any other technology that has ever been created.
AI can learn anything quickly, meaning its intelligence is increasing. In 2013, AI had the same intelligence as a 4 year old. By 2029, studies forecast that AI will likely surpass human “intelligence”. But it can already do pretty amazing things.
If you don’t believe me, hear AI making Frank Sinatra sing Toxic by Britney Spears;
Our human ear can still catch that there is something off but it’s not so long until the tech becomes so fine, it will be almost impossible to trace if the source is genuine or it’s just a deep fake.And although such projects may seem purely entertaining, AI as technology holds enormous value when it comes to crunching huge amounts of data and solving complex problems better than we humans do.
You need to know, that there are many types of AI from deep learning and machine learning tools — of which a perfect example is popularised by news deep fakes;
or Tesla’s self-driving cars and self-diagnosing NASA rovers, which use Machine learning to constantly analyse data and predict what’s the best next move.
There is also a whole area of AI making sense of text, voice and all unstructured data. And that’s my domain.
At Untrite we use AI to create, what we call, an internal brain for enterprises. In short, we connect people with the right information, which is especially crucial in time sensitive situations. We make the internal knowledge accessible, similar to what Google did for external resources.
Getting to know all the amazing inventions and applications of AI existing today, I strongly believe that AI will be the defining technology of our times and it’s no longer a buzzword. We, the consumers, builders and decision makers should start embracing and advocating for implementation of AI systems in our lives and workplaces as AI has already proven that it can change the way we work and live for the better.
AI is only starting to get real recognition but the benefits of applying it to real-life cases are unlimited.
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