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How Far Off Are We From an AI-Run World?

Posted on July 3, 2017 at 11:07 pm by Geek Legacy

 

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Ask anyone on the street what life would be like in an AI-run world and you’ll get a mixed bag of answers, but the over–riding theme will no doubt be one of an impending doom of Skynet proportions. The truth of AI, however, is ever so slightly removed from the apocalyptic scenarios depicted in big (and low) budget Hollywood flicks. AI is, of course, here to stay, and if you stop to think about it, it’s already far more prevalent in your life than you might realize.

The most obvious example and one that the vast majority of us use on a daily basis is, of course, the virtual personal assistant (VPA). Cortana and Siri, being the most popular, are used by a vast number of people for their everyday tasks. In fact, these two VPAs perform so many tasks for us at this point that it’s easy to forget that there was once a time that we had to actually visit a weather website or dare we say it, open a newspaper to see the weather forecast.

But there is another example that we here at Geek Legacy are way more familiar with (and so too should you be) and that’s the AI integrated into our video games. As we all know, AI has been around in video games since the very first one player games, but it’s a form of AI that we take completely for granted. After all, it’s just a game! But the truth is that video games these days make incredible use of AI to create non-player characters that interact with players according to how they are treated, and not following a simple x or y pattern. And you know it’s just going to get more advanced, right?

Then we have customer support. You know, when you’re on a website and the chat bot pipes up asking if you need help, which of course you do. The best bots will be able to extract information from the website to answer your questions while the annoying ones that we always seem to encounter will keep repeating the same message again and again or just pass you off to an operator.

One our current favorite uses of AI, though, is the smart home. Some find it a little odd, but we love the idea that your house understands when you’re watching a movie to dim those lights or when the temperature drops outside, to turn up the heat. These are the things we shouldn’t have to think about so we can focus on more important stuff. Speaking of which…

Remember how everyone thought Will Smith’s self-driving Audi was so futuristic it bordered on the incredible? Well, while we won’t be sitting with our feet on the dashboard drinking coffee at 100mph just yet, the advances made by both Tesla and Google in recent years are astounding. Give it another ten and you can probably pop your friend in the car and tell it to drive her home.

But these are just a few common examples that you can relate to. There are also many industries making use of AI to streamline their processes. Take the recruitment industry for example, where recruiters are using AI to up their game in their search for talent. Or the medical profession, where deep learning algorithms are capable of diagnosing TB in x-rays.

So, in answer to the question, how far are we from an AI-run world? It seems that we already live in one.

In fact, did you know that now 35% of existing jobs in the U.K. are at a high risk of replacement by machines? If that doesn’t scream “the robots are taking over” then I’m afraid nothing will. But it’s not all doom and gloom. While it’s terrible that people will lose their jobs, there will be other jobs created, such as machine maintenance and engineering positions.

And no matter what the overzealous producers of tinsel town would like you to believe, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever live to see the day a T-800 wreak havoc with a biker’s stolen boots and motorcycle. We just won’t let it happen. It’s time to embrace AI folks because it’s already all around us.

Image Source: Wikimedia

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