Does artificial intelligence seem like something that is completely separate from your daily life and is only relevant for those working with robots on a daily basis? We get it; the use of artificial intelligence has grown exponentially over the past few years and is something that’s so ingrained in our daily life that we almost forget it’s there. After all, when we think of artificial intelligence, we think of ChatGPT or machine learning, and not simple things like spam filters in our inbox or Netflix’s recommendations.
The reality is that artificial intelligence is surrounding us constantly in more ways than we can really count. Our article would be quite lengthy if we included all of the ways artificial intelligence surrounds us daily, so we’re going to break it down into a few categories. But first, let’s explain what artificial intelligence is, its origins, and what we can expect from the future.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
You might think that artificial intelligence is tough to understand, but it’s really not: it’s just the simulation of human intelligence by computers. This means that, with limitations, artificial intelligence machines are able to mimic human behaviors or intelligence to help automate tasks, make decisions, and analyze large amounts of data. It seems a bit dull, but artificial intelligence has expanded far past simple sifting through data and making decisions for companies; it’s something we all use every single day.
How does artificial intelligence work?
Artificial intelligence tools require special programming and development and don’t work with a specific programming language; some variation of each will be needed for a specific task. To actually be put into work, AI engineers feed the system with large amounts of data that it then takes and processes; only after that is it able to use what it’s learned to make informed decisions.
For example, a chatbot on a store’s website is fed with information about return policies, shipping details, and contact information so that it’s able to free up customer service representatives and talk to customers. When programming the AI tool, the following four areas are highlighted:
Learning: every AI tool is powered by algorithms that instruct it on how to use the data it is provided with and complete the requested task.
Reasoning: for advanced AI tools with multiple purposes, reasoning is installed so that the tool can deploy the correct function for each specific situation.
Self-correction: AI tools with the ability to remember past experiences and evolve have the capacity for self-correction, continuously improving and providing better outcomes.
Creativity: the most popular and fun usage of AI includes creativity, when AI tools are able to create new text, sounds, or images based on user input.
What are the origins of artificial intelligence?
For ages, stories have been filled with tales about robots or devices that could think like humans, but the artificial intelligence that we know today was far from reality for quite a while. When artificial intelligence became a serious pursuit for scientists in the 1950s, computers were extremely expensive and certainly not something everyone had, independent research nearly impossible. Throughout the next few decades, various scientists and government agencies tried to encourage AI research, but it wasn’t until the end of the twentieth century that computers became skilled and widespread enough to take on such a challenge.
Today, artificial intelligence has absolutely skyrocketed over recent years and is an integral part of our daily lives. We know it might be hard to believe, but we truly mean it: artificial intelligence is everywhere.
Real Life Examples of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence, in some form, is something with which we interact every single day. To help prove our point and show that artificial intelligence is only going to continue advancing and growing, we’ve collected eight of our favorite examples of artificial intelligence in real life. Let’s dive right in.
Social media accounts
Has the thought, “is my phone listening to me?!” ever crossed your mind? If you’re a social media user, probably! And although you might think that it is in fact listening to you, there’s a much simpler reason: artificial intelligence. Through artificial intelligence tools, websites can keep track of user behavior, suggesting content that they think you’d enjoy. Through these tools, you’re able to get a customized user experience that shows you ads, content, and material that’s similar to what you’ve interacted with in the past.
But that’s not all: artificial intelligence tools have been further developed to provide even more functions, such as deleting or hiding harmful comments or flagging content that has been highlighted as misinformation.
One of AI’s biggest triumphs is taking basic human tasks, such as setting reminders or turning on/off lights, and automating them, freeing up a person’s time and making things just a little bit easier. While these seem simple enough, teaching your Google Home or Alexa to recognize your voice, speech patterns, and accent is quite the artificial intelligence feat and one that’s been developed over time.
Lots of online companies also use chatbots to free up their customer service agents and direct customers to the right space, providing details about order status, shipping and returns, and how to get in touch with the company.
Maps & navigation
Long gone are the days of printing out directions and bringing it with you in the car, hoping that traffic will be okay and you’ll arrive on time. Map applications such as those developed by Google and Apple provide you with not only directions, but real-time updates for traffic, public transportation, closed roads, and anything else of which you should be aware.
Rideshare apps like Lyft, Cabify, and Uber also use artificial intelligence to take your location, pair you with a nearby driver, and decide the price based on the time, length of the trip, and demand for drivers.
When was the last time you physically went to a bank to transfer money, get account information, or change your mailing address? You probably can’t remember and that’s because the digitization of financial services and inclusion of artificial intelligence has truly transformed the industry, making it much more convenient for users to use an app or website to handle their money in a completely safe and private manner.
Artificial intelligence systems for banking have also been curated to flag for potential fraud by analyzing the data of user’s typical spending habits and sending an alert when something seems out of place.
Have you ever finished an amazing show on Netflix and immediately see a suggestion for yet another show you just know you’re going to love? Thanks to the content you interact with and searches you make, streaming services use artificial intelligence tools to suggest new shows for you.
Online stores also use recommendation AI tools to look at your previous purchases and searches and provide suggestions based on what they think you’d buy. For example, if you buy the first book in a series on Amazon, you might get ads or suggestions for the next book in the series or new books that have similarities.
Facial recognition has completely transformed our phones, allowing us to access any app or unlock our phones without a passcode or fingerprint. Through both detecting that there is a face and then using artificial intelligence technology to recognize your specific facial features (which can now be done even through a mask!), you have a uniquely secure way to access your personal information.
This technology has expanded beyond just phones; airports and high-security institutions now use facial recognition to validate your identity quickly and efficiently.
Thank God for spell check, right?! For those that grew up in the age of computers, spell check played an incredibly important role in underlining mistakes and showing us how a word should actually be spelled. But artificial intelligence tools have advanced over the years and now offer prediction options as you write, offering you suggestions based on the database of human speech they have.
Just like you learned grammar and spelling in school, AI engineers and researchers work with machines to teach them rules so that they’re better equipped to assist you with your writing. And when it comes to suggestions, they predict what you want to say by reviewing and analyzing tons of data.
This may seem like something purely from the future, but autonomous vehicles are here. There’s still a long way to go, but companies like Tesla are using artificial intelligence to connect to other cars on the road, sense trends, and anticipate and prevent crashes. As this technology becomes more and more advanced, offering even safer alternatives to drivers, we’ll see the number of autonomous vehicles skyrocket.
These eight uses of artificial intelligence are just some of our favorites and ones we see all around us. But there are so many more out there and even more that are just around the corner. And the best part? As such a new and rapidly expanding field, the possibilities in the field of artificial intelligence are wide reaching.
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