Applications of Artificial Intelligence

The Relevance of Artificial Intelligence

It’s very easy to underestimate the importance of new technologies today when everything from new devices, medicines and companies are hyped as changing the world as we know it. This constant over hyping makes up numb to the suggestion that anything will actually change the world as we know it. Artificial Intelligence is one of the technologies that will be the greatest, most innovative, most disruptive and most life changing technology the human race has ever developed. AI is powering the future of the 4th Industrial Revolution in the same way electricity revolutionized the world.

AI already helps us to operate a significant array of tasks and operations in our everyday lives. From scheduling meetings, outsourcing tasks, requesting information and optimizing works tasks, AI systems have ingrained themselves into our lives. Other AI systems are uncovering new ways to design products, uncover new methods to design completely new systems and technologies to benefit consumers, companies and governments in ways we cannot even imagine or predict. It is highly probable that many of the most transformative technologies will be designed in partnership with AI system or by the AI systems themselves.

There is also the real threat of humanity losing its way with the progression of AI systems which take over larger and more significant parts of our lives. I’m not a doomsday believer in evil AI trying to kill us all, but, I am very aware of the risk we are encumbering ourselves with by deploying AI systems to run any critical or sensitive systems. Humans, unlike AI systems, have job skills that are also influenced and governed by a code of ethics, morals and responsibility to the common good of their fellow employees and customers. AI systems on the other hand are highly efficient complex systems with no moral, ethical or other cultural code to help govern the decisions it makes. This will pose a significant and real problem for any individual or institution that deploys AI that has life/death decision control (it already has this capacity in Self Driving Cars) or other sensitive matters related to peoples livelihoods. I’ve written a bit more about this particular subject in a sub-segment on this page.

There is also the very important (and very real) issue of bad people who will design AI systems to cause harm to individual people or larger parts of the worlds population. Since AI has innate definition of right/wrong a system can be programmed to do anything a programmer designs it to do. I’m not going to get into an exhaustive list of the possible attacks AI could be used to do (nor do I want to give any ideas) but it’s clear that governments, companies and even individuals will have to invest in developing AI systems with the capacity to protect vital systems and information. Not recognizing and preparing for this threat will be one of the greatest dangers to everyone in the developed world.


AI Applications to Personal Life 

You may not realize it but AI has already involved itself into your everyday life. Your cell phone is one of the primary interfaced you have with AI systems on a daily basis. When you give voice commands to search, call, order or any other voice activated requests, you're dealing with a AI agent. These systems expand your range and speed of multitasking items with low friction actions to activate them. For example, activating Alexa only requires that you say "Hey Google,..." and you're ready to go. No need to push a button or use anything other than your voice. 

AI is also making its way into your home through: Home Automation, Home Entertainment and Home Shopping devices like Alexa, Google Home and Cortana to name three of the largest ones. These devices allow consumer to control not only their environment but increasingly their entire home lives though IoT devices which increasingly connect everything in a persons home the the internet and AI agent. This has the effect of the AI agent learning the individual consumer on a very customized level in comparison to the one size fits all standardized systems we have become accustomed to dealing with. Lighting preferences, heating preferences, shopping and reordering preferences and suggestions will be just a fraction of what theses systems will handle for consumers automatically.

AI Applications to Work Life

AI is revolutionizing the work place at all levels of employment, white and blue collar alike, expensive and low cost workers. Have you noticed when you go to the grocery store, CVS/Walgreens/Duane Reade etc that there are employees teaching customers how to use the machines that will replace them in the not too distant future. At the same time these systems are turning customers into cashiers with customers bagging and ringing up their own orders. The work that used to require 20 cashiers can now be handled by one cashier with 20 or more AI based terminals.

Higher end white collar jobs like traders, bankers, paralegals are also on the chopping block to be replaced by AI based automation systems. Companies like Blackrock, Goldman Sachs and Citadel have been transitioning their trading and asset management staff to automated systems from human employees. Most medium and larger sized law firms have invested in discovery AI systems to conduct due diligence which used to be conducted by paralegals and first year associates.