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AI Technologies of the Future

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking over our lives in more ways than we can imagine and in more spaces that were ever thought possible; and this is just the beginning. AI is a dreamer’s world, a world in which companies can not only enter consumers’ mind but also influence their knowledge, thinking and buying decisions. The sheer number of companies that are taking up AI technology development shows the potential of these technologies on the future.

WHAT IS AI?

Simply put, AI or artificial intelligence is intelligent performance of tasks by a machine that are similar to how a human brain processes and does those same activities. The computers of yore were capable of generating outputs based on inputs or codes or software programs only. Today’s AI machines are capable of much more: they can think, rationalise, perceive, plan, learn, solve, create and even manipulate, similar to how a human brain works. The potential of AI is thus not just exciting but actually formidable. Imagine a machine that has all the capabilities of a human brain that will pervade our smartphones, laptops, tablets and PCs to influence our decision-making!

AI is already found in a number of day-to-day activities: e-mail servers that can detect spam, payment servers that can detect fraud or illegal activities, search engines that can recognise words or images and provide related information and self-driving cars. What was considered sci-fi movie stuff a decade ago is now being taken for granted.

TYPES OF AI

There are basically two types of AI: Narrow AI and General AI

Narrow AI is machine intelligence that has been programmed to perform certain tasks. One example of Narrow AI is Apple’s Siri virtual assistant on iPhone that can recognise speech and language and can run an entire home through a smart phone. Amazon’s Alexa has taken the world by storm with its abilities to recognise words, help the user to search for information, schedule alarms, set appointments or shop. There are ample applications of narrow AI in use today: interpretation of video feeds from drones, customer-service query response systems, flagging of inappropriate online content, and anything that involves conversion of machine date into understandable and usable information.

General AI is a more complicated and higher version that involves a lot more thinking capabilities to be developed in machines. It is akin to building a real brain that can analyse data and make decisions on its own. It is expected to be far more advanced than the human brain in terms of cognitive intelligence but it is likely to take several more decades to materialise.

AI in Daily Life

We may not know it yet, but AI has already taken over a part of our lives. What is seen as just an app on our smartphone is actually an AI-enabled system. When we see relevant advertisements online or offers in our email that are delightfully similar to our recent search, we can be sure that it AI at play. Amazon has become a leader in using predicting algorithms to understand user’s online behaviour and predicting their next purchases. Similarly, how does Netflix know that we are interested in particular genre of film? –from our recently-watched list of course! Pandora, Nest, John Paul, Boxever, Cogito and Tesla have all embraced artificial intelligence systems to pave the way to the next generation technologies. There is no doubt that AI is permeating all parts of your life but it’s exciting all the same!

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