For movie buffs, the work that the factory machines do in Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 classic, Modern Times, may have seemed too futuristic for its time. Fast forward eight decades, and the colossal changes that Artificial Intelligence is catalyzing around us will most likely give the same impression to our future generations. There is one crucial difference though: while those advancements were in movies, what we are seeing today are real.
A question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is, What is Artificial Intelligence? The pace at which AI is moving, as well as the breadth and scope of the areas it encompasses, ensure that it is going to change our lives beyond the normal. The thing with AI is that it can bring about developments in a very fundamental manner into the activities we are accustomed to carrying out in our daily lives, from the way we watch movies to how we learn.
The applications of AI are not limited to a single field or industry. A selection of just some of the sectors on which AI is making an unprecedented and irreversible impact:
- Information Technology
- EdTech Industry
- Retail, and many more.
In this blog, let us examine a selection of 8 AI applications and 7 trends that show immense potential for changing the very manner in which our lives will be led in the future.
Just as we start, let me lead you into a very useful online course on Artificial Intelligence which will enhance your understanding of this technology, and is aimed precisely at those who want to learn Artificial Intelligence.
This blog will take you through some of the popular and lesser-known applications and trends that are radically altering the way many industries that touch our daily lives work in the future. Keep reading!
Applications of AI
Let us explore some of the magical ways in which AI is changing the world:
1. Movies And Entertainment:
Let us start with the topic of movies and entertainment, since it is with Mr. Chaplin that we started this blog. If you have been using Netflix, you should have seen one of its most prominent features: recommendations. Wonder how Netflix does this? Simple: AI.
A feature like this not only helps improve search results; it also tracks order cancellations and helps prevent them by offering them what the customers want. The result: this company saved a whopping $ 1billion three years ago by using Machine Learning.
And not just this; Artificial Intelligence is set to revolutionize filmmaking itself by doing things like suggesting the ideal location for the shoot, easing postproduction work, and improving the quality of streaming.
2. Improved Learning Through AR And Recommendation System
When Netflix can offer personalized recommendations, why not extend the same technology to improve the quality of learning? Education is one of the areas that AI is set to absolutely alter, for the better. It can offer recommendations to students based on their aptitude, performance, and a host of other aspects.
This will help students, teachers, and parents, who can have more reliable data to assess which career pathway could be well suited for the student, how to go about it, and what career prospects to expect. AI does this by enabling neural networks to grasp what a learner is looking for.
EdTech is one of the industries to jump on the bandwagon of digitization. One would like to think that digitization is a godsend to an industry like this. However, with the limitation of technological dependence, the deployment of technology has not been as prevalent as one would have expected.
As a result, the quality of learning experience has not been improved as it should have been. However, by adding Machine Learning and Deep Learning Technologies that are helping students gain better understanding of the subjects, companies like KidSense and Carnegie Learning, are bucking the trend.
Learning can be highly personalized through Recommendation System, something that you may have encountered on video streaming platforms like Netflix. Whenever a student chooses a particular lesson or course, the Recommendation engine can suggest the learner various similar courses that will be beneficial for her. AI is also capable of addressing core learning barriers such as language. Augmented Reality can raise the level of teacher-learner interactivity and engagement in hitherto unknown ways.
3. Keeping Track Of Customer Satisfaction Through AI
A happy customer is the supreme brand ambassador for a product or service. Now, what has AI got to do with this? This technology can use bots to add tremendous value to customer relationships. These bots can understand customer requirements and expectations in a much faster and more objective manner than humans.
What is more; they can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without having to take time off for family funerals or celebrations. Emotion Detection, Pattern Recognition, etc., are some of the technologies that have made this possible.
4. Software Testing:
Ask any software tester the highest pain area in this field is, and the answer is most likely the enormous time required to carry out tests every time a new code is written. How about a technology that addresses this core challenge?
If this is what AI can do, imagine the scale of its importance to this extremely critical area of software. AI is set to make software testing smarter and more efficient. Some of the tasks and functions that top companies are automating by using Artificial Intelligence include:
- Unit Test Generation
- API Test Generation
- Maintenance, and
- Execution of Selenium Tests.
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5. The Retail Sector Is Using AI Like Never Before:
How about having a personal shopping assistant to aid you in your online purchase? This is just the scenario that AI creates. An AI-driven assistant is handy in helping you choose what you want, while saving time and money in the process.
Some of the areas in which Shopping Assistants are helping customers include:
- Selecting the products
- Their reviews
- Pricing, and related ones.
Additionally, the bots are quick to handle the Frequently Asked Questions that customers could have regarding various aspects of the purchase.
6. Smart Applications Are The Name Of The Game:
Let us next explore some of the other smart applications of AI. I have listed a set of three such applications that AI will change in a big way.
- a. Email: AI-powered spam filters can filter such emails that are meant to be marked as spam
b. Smart Email Categorization: Have you noticed how Gmail categorizes every mail into primary, social, and promotional, etc.? It is AI that does this.
c. Plagiarism Checkers: With AI, people who steal others’ work and pass it off as their own will have a tough time. Plagiarism software tools have become a lot more powerful with AI.
7. AI Refines Search Engine Results:
Your Google search is likely to become more targeted in the future, thanks to AI. Of late, major updates to its algorithms such as PageRank, Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, Fred, etc. have helped it to make its search results sharper and more accurate. Machine Learning has gone on to improve a visitor’s search experience. The features that this has enabled include image and video searches, language translation, and predictive word and phrase suggestions.
8. Banking and Finance:
BFSI is one of the areas that AI will impact in a very big way. AI helps reduce cost and improve accuracy by developing next generation banking apps. In addition, it will also help address many problems associated with accounting and insurance, as well as help predict stock/Sensex prices and improve financial analytics.
Trends in Artificial Intelligence
Let us now move on to the next section of this blog, trends concerning AI
1. Predicting The Occurrence Of Diseases:
Well, today, this is the topic that is foremost in everyone’s mind, and quite understandably. It is both startling and disappointing to learn a Canadian AI firm used a Machine Learning method to predict the outbreak of the coronavirus way back in December last year.
This novelty was startling because it showed that something of this high magnitude could be accomplished; yet, disappointing because the authorities did not take it seriously. Alas, a little caution could have saved God knows how many lives. The lesson from this fiasco is that AI has the potential to predict the occurrence of diseases, but it has to be acted upon effectively.
2. Investment in AI:
The 14-fold increase in the number of AI startups since the start of this century should easily take the cake among the top trends concerning AI. With AI being simply everywhere, does it surprise that it is the favorite hobbyhorse for investors?
Investments are to be expected into a growing field, but what does one say about an area into which, investments, according to Forbes, have gone up 1400 percent in less than 18 years. Hmmm…if people with deep pockets are scurrying to put their greenbacks into something, it is AI. A growth curve of 150 percent increase in startups in less than every year and a half for such a long period certainly makes AI the next Gold Rush.
3. Computer Vision:
Another trend we have been seeing of late relating to AI concerns the spectacular uses that AI-powered computer vision will generate using Deep Learning. 3D images, thermal imaging, embedded vision, liquid lenses, and related trends will seriously alter our visual perception of objects around us, giving an unimaginable fillip to areas such as surgery, online shopping, security, defense, and driving, to name just a few.
4. Blockchain as a Service:
With Software as a Service (SaaS) doing the rounds, an extension has been added to it: Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). BaaS works in much the same way as SaaS, so, any anyone looking to use blockchain doesn’t need to buy everything off the shelf and can rent out only as much as is needed. The costs this business model is likely to save could potentially run into Himalayan figures.
5. Conversational Interfaces:
One of the perceptible changes that businesses will see with the advancements in the deep neural network or Deep Learning is that they will be able to get far superior insights into their customers’ minds, which will help them serve them better.
AI will help build intelligent conversations with voice assistants and chatbots. The upward trends that we are set to see here are discernible from the fact that two fifths of customers use voice search functions at the rate of at least once a day. It is expected that nearly a third of all browsing sessions will have voice assistance by 2023, and almost two thirds will use voice technology to make a purchase.
6. Contactless Payment:
Tired of waiting at queues whenever you make purchases at brick and mortar stores or at malls? AI will take care of this problem. The scan and go feature will help you bypass the payment checkout counter by simply paying at the shelf at which you buy the item!
7. Intelligent Systems Like Drones To Be Used For Deliveries:
Drones are set to be the next big thing that AI will power and bring into our lives. No more inaccessibility for delivering almost any kind of product. You could have almost anything delivered almost anywhere with the use of this technology. You could also have robots disinfecting entire areas. How is that for hazard-free work environments?
That AI is set to make changes of gargantuan proportions in many areas of our lives is beyond question. It is only a matter of when, not how, till these technologies are implemented. That said, the breakneck speed at which these technologies are galloping requires looking at them from a dispassionate perspective.
Are all these technologies no more than a solution that needs a problem, or are the problems they are aimed at addressing going to really make a difference to the right people, in the right manner? Or, will these technologies reach the wrong hands, resulting in total chaos, as depicted in the Charlie Chaplin movie I referred to? A couple of very important factors need to be taken into consideration:
- At what stage of implementation are we with these technologies?
- What are going to be the human, social and financial costs and challenges in implementing these technologies?
- Whose lives exactly will these technologies be impacting? Will they eliminate historical inequities, or will they be aggravating them?
These will need to be discussed in a separate space. Do you agree? And, what is your take on the points discussed here? Please feel free to write back to us.