AI in 2018: What’s on the Horizon?
Reading through the press and social media, Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to be slowly permeating every facet of business and our daily lives. But how will we really benefit in the near term?
Regardless of what has been said, AI will, in all likelihood, not destroy civilization as we know it or steal our jobs. Just like the Spinning Jenny, and the introduction of the PC at work, AI will most likely only change the types of employment we undertake. In fact, the positive contributions that AI can make to our lives are as enormous as they are spectacular.
Underpinning AI are the technological advances being made on the computer chips used to perform the complex calculations behind AI. Keep your eyes open for announcements from graphics chip makers, such as Nvidia and AMD, as their GPUs, normally used for advanced computer graphics, are ideal for AI implementations, as well as companies such as SK Hynix creating the super-fast memories needed to support them.
Deep-learning, a specific capability of AI, offers multiple applications. Banks and insurers utilize deep-learning to better analyze risks, offering better premiums, and to improve how cyber-attacks on our personal bank accounts are detected, thus securing our savings. Healthcare and medicine are also set to benefit as the massive datasets behind DNA and chemical analysis, coupled with the results of real-world studies, can be analyzed in manners never previously thought possible to deliver eye-opening insights on new therapies and treatments.
Naturally, like many hyped new technologies, AI is neither the solution to every problem nor totally infallible. This can occur if the AI is allowed to draw upon data that is not relevant to the problem at hand. For example, a self-learning algorithm that had processed more than 14 000 patient records came to the conclusion that people with a history of chest pain and asthma were not considered as high-risk patients for pneumonia. An obvious misjudgement, based on the system’s outlook that these people with pre-existing illnesses would visit doctors more often and were thus running a low risk of dying of an undetected sickness.
In a nutshell, AI has already enabled us to receive valuable insights in various areas. However, you wouldn’t leave a fire burning unattended and, likewise, we won’t be blindly accepting the output of every AI tool thrown at us.