Humanity’s great passion since times immemorial has been to shape everything in the surrounding into a reflection of the self or an extension of the capabilities. First, there were simple tools, serving to accentuate the capabilities of the hands; later, crude machines built to do the work of many people, or at least ease the work of one, came into existence. In the modern era, humanity is en route to a revolution: machines that have intelligence on par with that of humans; hence the moniker Artificial Intelligence (AI).
This begs the question: what can AI do, if it has the capabilities of a human, or perhaps, greater? We’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to answering that question. With each bit of improvement in technology, the applications of artificial intelligence and algorithms are evolving machine communications in all walks of life. Let’s have a look.
Flying bullets, flying cars, flying sparks, flying knocks, in essence, flying stocks. Video game industry has hit a record number of records in all metrics, including the technology used to create the games. Flat figures of yesteryears have been replaced with replicas of real life people using advanced imaging and algorithms. In the push to provide the most realistic experience a player can have, developers have turned to AI to ‘level up’ the playing field. Expect your opponent to outsmart you while racing around a tight bend, or coming up with an efficient strategy to bring down that fortress that has been preventing your conquest. Like we said, machines are learning faster than you ever thought.
“Incoming….!” That’s by far the most familiar catch phrase of war movies and games, marking a spell of bombs raining on a bunch of brave people scampering for shelter against it. It is also the most fitting expression for the effect AI and machine learning will have on the defense capabilities of a country. The military has the privilege of handling the most advanced technologies before they’re applied for civilian purposes, and machine learning is no different. From swarms of autonomous drones managing critical tactical situations on the fly to ground units ready to resist or assist the troops, boats and subs gliding by guiding themselves, every aspect of warfare will be enhanced by the advancement of machine learning.
In the not so distant future, it won’t be a pretty lady at the door saying “room service”; your smartphone will buzz when the robot catering to your needs arrives at the door. The receptionist will still respond with a lovely smile, but via a screen, or perhaps, an Android enabled smart machine will do that for you. Machine learning is changing the hospitality industry like no hotel room bed-sheets and towels have been changed before. Always on, intelligent machines will address your every whim, including your palate.
Imagine the world where you’re banned from driving your vehicle. Well, that’s the world machine learning is helping create, by sitting in the driver’s seat. Autonomous mobility is the latest buzzword in not just the industry but everywhere. Tesla Inc.’s autonomous driving mode Autopilot is already nearing full independence. Google’s making great strides with its autonomous car project named Waymo. And the rest of the industry is not far behind. Mercedes-Benz has created the truck of the future which is self-driving. Self-driving mini buses are popping up in cities as well.
Paris and other waterways privileged cities could be home to a new type of water taxis, cutely named sea-bubbles, and they are intended to be turned into autonomous vehicles eventually. Flying cars which self-pilot are on the pads of developers’ minds too. Carrying shopping bags? That’s so old school, this delivery bot will handle all your bags for you. Amazon, UPS, and others now want to deliver your packages to your doorstep with drones. Pizzas are next.
If there is one industry that will benefit the most from the advent of AI and machine learning, it’s medical. It’ll be nothing short of a revolution in the ways the entire industry works, causing disruptions in every conceivable operation and process. The use of EHR/EMR, medical billing, remote surgery, etc. have already healed many wounds which were plaguing health care services. Geriatric care patients will have a friendly face to count on whenever needed. Who’ll also monitor their medical condition and provide the necessary assistance, be it nursing or just be conversing.
R&D is getting a real fillip with AI by the side; just ask IBM Watson which is helping with cancer research. People with disabilities will have a new friend to count on. With AI helping to compensate for the abilities they are lacking. An example being this breakthrough project by NDIA of the Australian government. Drones are delivering medicines to faraway places.
The world will not be the same once full-fledged AI and machine learning are at the helm of all the things we do. While critics argue, with substance, over the consequences of such a control, the advantages are something which cannot be ignored or dismissed.