Six ways AI will make your life better

The last few years have seen huge advancements in the world of artificial intelligence. As the technology continues to improve, we’ll see more and more real world applications of artificial intelligence. That means artificial intelligence is going to start playing a more obvious role in our lives. Here are six ways that AI will be making our lives better in the coming years.

Your personal concierge

Already our smartphones come equipped with personal assistants that can follow basic commands and do certain tasks for us. But in the next few years, you can expect to see huge advancements in what these personal assistants are able to do. They will be able to do more than just follow simple commands. They will be able to make recommendations based on our preferences and even help us with decision making.

Crisis management

One major advantage to artificial intelligence is that it’s able to process vast amounts of data very quickly. During a crisis, this will be crucial as artificial intelligence can help us in sorting through incoming data and devising the best plan to deal with the disaster as it unfolds.

Search and rescue

Something relatively new in the world of artificial intelligence is the ability for artificial intelligence systems to work together to solve problems or perform tasks. Already there is a RoboCup World Championship where robots have to learn to work together in order to win. This ability for robots to work together can allow them to assist us with situational problems like search and rescue that require collaboration.

Public health

Public health is a major concern. At any time, there could be a major outbreak of a deadly illness. Health professionals are always on the lookout for these kinds of outbreaks by watching for patterns of symptoms. But artificial intelligence will be able to sort through medical data and identify worrying patterns much sooner than people alerting us to public health concerns before an outbreak.

Driverless cars

Not too long ago, the idea of a driverless car would have seemed like science fiction. Today they’re already a reality with numerous companies perfecting the technology. In the near future, you can expect to see driverless cars become available to the public. These cars will allow us to make more efficient use of our time since we will be able to focus on other tasks while our cars drive for us. They’ll also be a lot safer resulting in fewer accidents and traffic fatalities.

No terminator robots

One thing we don’t have to worry about, at least in the near future, is a robot uprising. We’re still a long ways off from creating artificial intelligence that can replicate the way the human brain works. At least for the time being, artificial intelligence will be completely at the mercy of human programming which means they can’t harm us, unless we program them to.

Source: Tech Insider

Artificial Intelligence is almost all grown up

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was the first pop culture example of artificial intelligence. Since then, the media, and especially Hollywood have depicted artificial intelligence numerous times. The depictions of artificial intelligence that we see in movies like Terminator or I, Robot are still nothing but science fiction, but the possibility of super smart artificial intelligence capable of matching human intelligence is no longer a far-fetched idea. In fact, due to the exponential growth of the artificial intelligence industry, we could see that level of artificial intelligence in a matter of years.

According to analysts who track the growth of computing costs and the costs for such technologies, in just four years, $4,000 dollars would be enough to buy a computer than could rival the human brain. Such a computer would be able to perform twenty quadrillion calculations per second.

AI in the workplace

Artificial intelligence just might be the biggest game changers in the world of technology this century. One of the reasons it has grown so quickly in such a short period of time is because businesses are beginning to see the useful real-world applications it has to offer. Already, dozens of industries such as healthcare diagnostics, automatic trading, business processing, advertising, and social media are using artificial intelligence to operate more efficiently and be more successful. It’s predicted that spending on artificial intelligence will increase from just over 200 million in 2015, to over 11 billion in 2024 as more businesses begin to invest in the technology.

Although artificial intelligence is relatively new to the workplace, it’s already shaking up the way we do business. Some of the top companies in the world are changing their business models to integrate artificial intelligence as opposed to sticking with a humans only approach. These businesses have a distinct advantage when it comes to gathering vast amounts of data in a very short period of time and then using that vast amount of data to make decisions. This enables companies to be quicker on their feet as they evaluate various analytics and make adjustments to their business strategy.

AI and the future

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and in many subsequent science fiction novels and films, the artificial intelligence humans create inevitably comes back to haunt them. Artificial intelligence isn’t without its risks. Some fear that if artificial intelligence could surpass human intelligence, they could overthrow us. Another fear is that artificial intelligence could lead to many people being out of a job as they’re replaced by machines. But experts in the field of artificial intelligence believe these fears are unfounded. It all comes down to human programming and how much power authority we grant them.

As for the work force, most analysts predict that an artificial intelligence boom will create many more jobs than it eliminates.

Source: Information Age

Asimov’s three laws of robotics in action

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Isaac Asimov, the famed science fiction author, did more than write novels. He is also credited with coming up with the three laws of robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second laws.

According to Asimov, these laws will need to govern the use of robotics to keep both them and humanity safe. A major fear is that artificially intelligent robots could eventually pose a threat to humans either by actively seeking to harm them, or by failing to act in a manner that would preserve human life. Because humans are beginning to give robots control over essential infrastructure, the latter is as especially big concern.

Recently, an employee at a Volkswagen plant in Germany was crushed when he became trapped in a robot arm. The machine was only doing what it was programmed to do and wasn’t able to alter its programming even when a human’s life was in danger. To make robots safer for humans, robotics researchers at Tufts University are working on developing artificial intelligence that can deviate from its programming if the circumstances warrant it. The technology is still primitive but it’s an important step if artificially intelligent robots are going to be coexisting with humans someday.

How it works

Researchers at Tufts University’s Human-Robot Interaction lab designed a robot that recognizes that it is allowed to disobey orders when there is a good reason. For example, when facing a ledge, the robot will refuse to walk forward even when ordered to. Not only will the robot refuse, but he is programmed to state the reason—that he would fall if he were to obey. To understand how the robot is able to do this, we have to first understand the concept of “felicity conditions.” Felicity conditions refer to the distinction between understanding the command being given, and the implications of following that command. To design a robot that could refuse to obey certain orders, the researchers programmed the robot to go through five logical steps when given a command:

  1. Do I know how to do X
  2. Am I physically able to do X now? Am I normally physically able to do X?
  3. Am I able to do X right now?
  4. Am I obligated based on my social role to do X?
  5. Does it violate any normative principle to do X?

This five step logical process enables the robot to determine whether or not a command would cause harm to itself or a human before following an order. The researchers recently presented their work at the AI for Human-Robot Interaction Symposium in Washington DC.

Source: IBTimes