Emerging Technologies and Markets
5 AI trends that will change our lives for the better
1955. The year that AI was born. It was then that arguably the first ever AI programme was created by Newell and Simon, called “The Logic Theorist”. It was designed to think like a human, and a clever one at that, finding the solutions to complicated theorems. However, despite the fact that it’s still a relatively new technology, the influence of AI in our modern world is breathtaking. Gone are the days of it being used solely on maths problems. Now, it has a whole host of applications that you likely use in your everyday life. If you’ve said “Okay Google” or “Hey, Siri”, if you’ve used Google smart replies to finish your sentences in Gmail, or even if you’ve used Pinterest and been recommended images similar to those that you’ve click on, you’ve encountered AI. And the uses of AI are only growing as the technology gets more advanced.
The truth is, it’s impossible to truly know what the future of AI holds since it’s something that changes and grows so rapidly. However, we truly believe that artificial intelligence is going to change our lives for the better within the next few years. Here’s how.

The rise of conversational AI

Following on from our month discussing chatbots and last week’s post about the user experience of voice assistants, we have to talk about conversational AI! It is defined as, “the use of messaging apps, speech-based assistants and chatbots to automate communication and create personalized customer experiences at scale.” As the technology advances, and things like chatbots are able to communicate more effectively with humans, it’s inevitable that they will replace a number of (although certainly not all!) human interactions with a company. In fact, Gartner predicts that customers will manage “85% of their relationships with an enterprise without interacting with a human by 2020”. Not only will implementing conversational AI in the form of chatbots save companies money, but it will also shorten wait times for customers who want simple queries answered and basic problems solved. And that’s before you begin to consider all of the ways that voice assistants can allow us to do everyday tasks with minimal effort.

Self-driving vehicles

Human error is the cause of 94% of car crashes. Self-driving cars, powered by AI and machine learning, are seeking to drastically reduce the number of driving related accidents that happen every single day. Not only that, but General Motors predict that their self-driving vehicles will also reduce pollution and congestion, making journeys less hazardous to health and quicker. Self-driving cars are still very much in the early stages of development and there have been several news reports of accidents involving the vehicles, some of which led to fatal injuries. There is no doubt that the technology needs to be drastically improved before it can become a mainstream comodity. However, “the UK government has promised to have autonomous cars on the roads by 2021. And it is estimated the UK market for connected and automated vehicles will be worth £52bn by 2035.”

IoT and AI meet at the “Edge”

As is the case with a lot of emerging technologies, they are even better together! No more so is this the case than with Edge AI and IoT (internet of things). Edge AI “means that AI algorithms are processed locally on a hardware device [as opposed to on “the cloud”]. The algorithms are using data (sensor data or signals) that are created on the device. A device using Edge AI does not need to be connected in order to work properly, it can process data and take decisions independently without a connection.” (Imagimob, source) The potential benefits of edge AI within IoT objects are numerous. One great example is that of using the tech within surveillance and monitoring, as highlighted by Life Augmented: “real-time recognition of a constantly changing scene based on video streaming requires high data bandwidth if performed in the cloud. Alternatively, AI on the Edge enables local analysis of the visual scene in various flavors, such as understanding the scene for context analysis, simultaneous multi-object detection and recognition for obstacle avoidance, people identification for secure access, and more.” (source)

AI in the public sector

Whilst AI is often associated with the private sector, Anusha Dhasarathyclaims that “Artificial intelligence can help government agencies solve complex public-sector problems.” One of the major difficulties that any government faces on a daily basis is keeping costs low, whilst still caring for its citizens. AI can help to relieve some of the financial pressures on the public sector, allowing for certain tasks to be completed by the technology, as opposed to employees. Dhasarathy gives the examples of using AI to identify tax evasion patterns or to sift through health and social care data in order to prioritise cases for child welfare and support.
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AI and Blockchain:

As well as teaming up with IoT technology, it is predicted that AI and blockchain will soon go hand in hand.
Related article: How good UX will allow blockchain to reach its full potential
As Swathi Young points out, “ We are well aware that Blockchain has challenges such as security and scalability and AI suffers from privacy and trust issues; these two can be combined to address these issues. Blockchain can power decentralized data marketplaces and help AI algorithms to be more transparent and trustworthy.” Therefore, by working together, the two technologies could create incredible products and services that are the ideal mix of being trustworthy and scaleable.

The takeaways

AI technology has already changed the way we live, but it won’t be slowing down any time soon! It has the potential, especially when used in combination with other bits of emerging technology, to revolutionise everything from how we drive and how our governments function, to the abilities of our home security systems and much, much more. What are you most excited about seeing as AI develops? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to give this article some claps! The Snap Out Team ?