Many people still see artificial intelligence as a far-future technology that belongs in a Stephen Spielberg or James Cameron film. But the fact of the matter is that AI is already here, impacting our world in countless ways. Sure, the movie-like conceptions of AI, such as Sophia from Hansen Robotics, are still far from being commonplace. But there are many, many ways in which artificial intelligence is already present in our day-to-day life, with the following representing just four of the most prevalent applications of AI today.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous use of AI that few people even consider is spam filtering for email. Learning algorithms are critical to ensuring that your inbox doesn’t confuse a checking account statement from your bank or a note from a friend about the $50 you owe her for concert tickets with a phony offer for a $100 gift certificate from Amazon.
Even Gmail, with its vast resources, cannot simply program all the possible iterations of illicit messages to filter out. The company instead maintains sophisticated tech that interprets and learns the difference between these types of messages, getting better all the time at intercepting junk emails and pushing them to a spam folder before you ever see them.
Customer Service Chatbots
Providing real-time customer service, technical support and other aspects of the overall “customer experience” is now often being done by “chatbots” and other “digital workforce” software. These virtual employees are able to field client questions and respond in ways that are becoming more lifelike all the time.
While one Microsoft bot unfortunately learned racism by mimicking users on Twitter, the goal of this technology is often to act like a sponge to absorb real-world language usage in order to speak more naturally. Such advancements are helping chatbots move beyond simply being a means of reiterating pre-packaged FAQ information from a website and instead actually interpreting the complaints of customers to solve problems.
In-Home Personal Assistants
Of course, AI is also increasingly becoming more of a consumer-facing innovation, and in-home assistants are now all the rage. Alexa from Amazon, among other competitors including Google Assistant, is now appearing in more and more houses, helping people do everything from check the weather and play music to look up recipes and set alarms.
While some may argue such abilities don’t represent pure artificial intelligence, the goal of these services is to actively learn more about users and in time become able to predict the needs of those in the home. The best of them do exactly that. For example, these devices use voice recognition learning to interact with the correct member of the household and can adjust heating or cooling settings in the house through pattern recognition based upon user tendencies.
Smartphone Artificial Intelligence
While home-based personal assistants are currently gaining favor, the original standard was Siri from Apple, and other alternatives, like Samsung Bixby, are quickly gaining in popularity. And this is just the beginning of how AI integration is enhancing the power of mobile devices.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile platform makes use of machine learning and computer vision that can react intuitively to certain behaviors and patterns. Applications of this technology include advanced immersive augmented reality and virtual reality capabilities that interpret incoming data and use prior knowledge to predict where a user will look next. Devices powered by the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence platform also have smarter cameras that get smarter all the time. They are programmed to recognize objects in the frame and improve at doing so over time, helping to detect the context of the user’s surroundings for better photo processing.
Artificial Intelligence Revolution
In many ways, this is just the beginning. Yes, artificial intelligence already may be more prominent in your daily activities than you even realize — but soon it will be unmistakably integrated into your entire way of life.
From interpreting email intentions and interfacing with companies to serving as your personal assistant and changing what you think a mobile device can do, the future of our world is the future of AI. Fortunately, there is little reason to fear such technology. In time, it will be making life easier, smarter and more organized than ever before.