Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Written By: Amir Atta

This is an exciting time as we are only on the cusp of what’s to come with artificial intelligence. The next decade is set to show off the biggest change in man’s way of life since the beginning of the industrial era.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is dominating the headlines these days with promises of automation and virtual assistants. However, its applications in real life aren’t limited to these and are almost endless. Advancements in the field are helping solve some of the world’s biggest problems faced today.

 

appofai.jpgStill in its infant stages, AI is making machines smarter and human lives easier. Without a doubt, the future will be powered by AI and self-aware systems. Present technology can’t necessarily be called true AI, but the algorithms behind it certainly are capable of recognizing and responding to pre-defined tasks.


Despite its rapid growth, most of us are unaware of what AI is being used for today. Business, apps, smartphones, hospitals, defense, cars; everything is already moving towards automation through AI. While there’s a whole lot that true AI will be able to achieve in the future, for now let’s talk about the present day AI and some of its applications in different fields of life.

 

Smartphones and Gadgets
Perhaps the most popular implementation of AI can be seen in smartphones and gadgets. Powered by Android, iOS or even Windows, gadgets come with built-in virtual assistants. Even handwriting recognition, voice recognition and facial recognition are examples of artificial intelligence.


appofai1.jpgWhether it’s Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa, all of these virtual assistants power billions of devices allowing users to automate tasks and perform common tasks without having to lift a finger.


These days, voice recognition and smart devices have reached such a level that companies like Apple, Google and Amazon are offering standalone devices which can do anything from turning on the lights to ordering a pizza before you can say “I am hungry”.


However, there’s more to AI in smart devices than just personal assistants. Google’s Deepmind AI is basically used in all of its products ranging from search to the Photos app. Learning from all of its users and using advanced algorithms, it can identify images and make predictions like a human mind. Similarly, Facebook and Microsoft are using their own AI engines to power their products. It is indeed the contextual implementation of AI which makes it more useful and smarter in such devices.


Self-Driving Cars
Advancements in AI have enabled the automotive industry to finally innovate passenger vehicles. Evolution towards self-driving cars is at hand as more than 30 companies are utilizing AI or planning to incorporate it in either their current products or upcoming ones to move towards the creation of driverless cars. Few notable ones include Tesla, Google, BMW, Audi, Apple and Toyota. These cars, when commercially available, will be able to drive from one location to another without a driver.

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Modern cars already have AI-based assist features like parking assist, advanced cruise control and lane change assistance. In the future, fully autonomous cars will make journeys safer, reliable and more comfortable for the passengers.


Self driving cars are said to reduce car accidents by a massive 90%. AI powered traffic management systems will also be upgraded to reduce wait times and emissions by up to 26% and 75% respectively.
Such cars are already being tested and could go mainstream within the next few years.


Defence
International armies and military research institutions are also trying to implement AI in weapon systems. Some are already calling AI as the new arms race and a weapon that’s deadlier than nuclear weapons.

 

appofai3.jpgModern defence weapons can take decisions in split seconds when acquiring targets, hundreds of times faster than what a human could achieve.


Similarly, offensive weapons like targeting systems and missiles are also being upgraded to use AI in order to hit targets with a higher accuracy. Russia, China and the U.S. are leading the use of AI in military applications.


Robot weapons (like the popular movie, Terminator) are also being developed to replace the common soldier. On the other hand, soldiers are being upgraded with weapons which can automatically fire when a target is locked.


The aviation sector as well has seen major improvements, thanks to AI. Use of the technology in simulators is useful to train pilots in air warfare. Computers are capable of coming up with success scenarios and strategies in critical situations based on placement, speed, size and strengths at hand and the counter force capabilities. Soon, pilots may be assisted by AI during combat as it could determine the best manoeuvres and support in their actual implementation.

 

International armies and military research institutions are also trying to implement AI in weapon systems. Some are already calling AI as the new arms race and a weapon that’s deadlier than nuclear weapons. Modern defence weapons can take decisions in split seconds when acquiring targets, hundreds of times faster than what a human could achieve.

AI powered drones are already under development which can take out submarines or hit targets from the air.


Even though the use of AI in military matters has remained under the radar so far, governments and the private sector are spending more on military uses of AI than the rest of the fields combined.


Enterprises
Enterprises and non-profits are using the power of artificial intelligence to tackle major social, political, and financial issues.


Machine learning, the statistical arm of AI, is an expert system which makes use of data to predict and streamline outcomes. Tools developed by businesses to make use of AI are meant to empower implementation and decision making.


Where AI really shines is finding and answering the ‘Why’ questions. For example, why a certain component fails one percent of the time and, why a certain number of customers popup at a certain time of the year?


This is all answered with machine learning which is helping enterprises and even the Fortune 500 to grow even further.


AI could soon be used to prevent frauds, corruption and make credit decisions. Organisations can better understand their clients with knowledge based AI systems.


Health and Medicine
Artificial Intelligence is making its way into the healthcare sector by assisting doctors and researchers. AI in healthcare is expected to grow at a rate of 40% until 2021 to reach the $6.6 billion mark.


According to Bloomberg, Microsoft has developed an AI – named Hanover – which helps doctors identify treatments for cancer. There are over 800 medicines and vaccines to treat the deadly disease which makes picking the right ones more difficult.


CNN has reported that a recent study by surgeons at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington successfully demonstrated a surgery with an autonomous robot.


AI is also being utilised for drug creation, elderly assistance, treatment plan designing, heart analysis and computer aided interpretation of medical results. The technology can deduce facts which are often missed by the naked eye.


Several Other Uses
As mentioned before, uses of AI are limitless and it can be utilised in almost every common or uncommon task.


Robots have always fascinated everyone but until now these have been limited to un-intelligent tasks. With AI, that could change, robots could work where humans can’t, help save costs and perform more reliably.


Popular music and video streaming platforms like, Spotify and Netflix, also make use of AI to predict what a user would want to watch or listen based on their previous usage and the type of content.


Privacy, security and wildlife preservation could also see a major boost as AI becomes more self-aware. Education sector is expected to improve as well with robot readers and exam checkers, allowing for more precision and impartiality in results.


News and online publishing could soon be replaced by AI powered writers. It is possible that five years from now, you could be reading an article like this written by an AI bot. For the publishers, AI could help boost readership with intelligent traffic management.


Other fields which are seeing AI implementations are toys, video games, marketing sector, customer support and artificial development of hardware and software.


Conclusion
Even though people have been under the assumption that AI simply means intelligent machines which can act on their own, the reality is quite different. AI’s independence depends on its implementation. Machine learning is a part of AI which can learn from data and make deductions not seen by humans. In simpler words, for the first time AI-powered machines could teach humans and help in making new discoveries.


This is an exciting time as we are only on the cusp of what’s to come with artificial intelligence. The next decade is set to show off the biggest change in man’s way of life since the beginning of the industrial era.

 

The writer is a Data Network expert.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
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