This is the first blog in our three-part series on Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is broadly defined as the process of developing computer systems to adapt to changing circumstances and perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. While many consider AI to be a simple buzzword, the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has been around since at least the 1950s. Pioneering computer scientists like Alan Turing posited that sometime in the future, computers would be able to emulate the work of humans and perform “intelligent” tasks, like play chess. Over the last 60 years, the hype and hope around AI has come in waves, as advances in computing technology made analyzing huge data sets possible and opened doors to new applications.
In the last two decades we have seen AI take major strides in capability. We can point to IBM’s Deep Blue narrowly defeating world chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997, and their Watson AI defeating Jeopardy champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in 2011 as evidence that artificial intelligence had become mainstream.
Today, we rely on elements of artificial intelligence in many facets of our everyday lives:
- Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft use AI and machine learning to determine fairs, predict rider demand, and estimate time of arrival – even going as far as to recommend riders relocate for their pickup, based on patterns found in millions of successful and challenging pickups.
- Depositing checks via a smartphone requires a complex system of AI and machine learning to accurately decipher and convert handwriting on checks into text for processing.
- Video games have long used elements of AI to improve the challenge for the player, with enemies now able to interact with their environment and learn from past encounters with the player to increase their chances of success.
- Music and movie recommendation capabilities in Spotify, Netflix and Pandora apply a simple AI system to present you with new media that reflects your interests and previously expressed opinions.
- Investment management, with AI taking the lead in developing financial portfolios according to investment goals and risk tolerance of the client, and managing those portfolios in real time as the market changes.
- Chatbots and virtual assistants now serve as the front line of customer service for many brands, handling everything from recruiting to technical support.
Artificial intelligence is now an intrinsic part of our lives, and adoption of the technology promises to accelerate rapidly in the coming years. In fact, a recent report by PWC projects that the total economic impact of AI will reach $15.7 trillion by 2030.
Yet, for many, the adoption and growth of AI presents a major concern, with skeptics pointing to everything from potential loss of jobs via automation, and fears about the ability of computers to perform the complex tasks, such as driving, for which they are being designed.
Stay tuned next week when we explore the potential pitfalls of the rise of AI, including how cyber criminals are ramping up their own use of artificial intelligence.
- Tech Emerge – Everyday Examples of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Beebom – 10 Examples of Artificial Intelligence You’re Using in Daily Life
- Wikipedia – Applications of artificial intelligence
- Forbes – The Impact Of Artificial Intelligence In The Everyday Lives Of Consumers
- PWC – PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the AI Revolution