What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (also referred to as AI) can be defined in many ways. Some people define AI as machine learning. The reason being that machine learning technology is all about using essentially mathematics on computers in order to find patterns in data. This data can be structured or unstructured. The only difference between machine learning and the technologies that came before needed to manually hard code these patterns and conditions into computers. They’re able to find these patterns on their own using math. Hence, Artificial Intelligence is a set of mathematical algorithms that enable us to have computers find very deep patterns that we may not even know exist, without us having to hard code them manually.

Industries that AI will impact the most

Healthcare

AI carries the ability to transform our perspective of the healthcare industry. With the ability to process and analyze massive amounts of data, AI can help doctors to find out patterns more easily and confidently based on a large amount of medical data that is put into the healthcare industry (700,000 articles per year). AI-powered advances in speech-to-text technology have made real-time transcription a reality. In the field of medicine, this advancement is helping patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease, for example, to regain their real voice in place of using a computerized voice. It is due to advances in AI that with the help of computer vision algorithms, it has become detecting cancerous moles in skin images or finding symptoms in X-ray and MRI scans. It is helping doctors to arrive at more accurate preliminary diagnoses, reading medical imaging, finding appropriate clinical trials for patients. It is not just laying impact on patient outcomes but also making operational processes less expensive.

A company, in California, called Echo Devices have taken a simple device which is stethoscope which we see around the neck of every physician, nurse, healthcare professional and they took that device and transformed it into first, a digital device by cutting the tube on stethoscope, inserting digitizer into it that takes an analog sound, transforms it into a digital signal, amplifies it in the process, makes it a lot easier for people to hear, the amplified sound, the sound of a heart or lungs working. But what it also allows is to take the digital signal and send it via Bluetooth to a smartphone. Once on a smartphone, it is possible to graph the sound which allows the physician to better understand, not just through audio data but through an actual graph of how the heart is working. Now that the information is captured in the digital world, it can now be a central machine-learning algorithm. This machine-learning algorithm can actually learn that, apply previous learnings from human doctors, cardiologists, physicians who are using the device in their current diagnosis. Therefore, it does not replace any physician in any way, it is assistive technology which takes learnings from previous generations of human cardiologists and helps the diagnosis in the current state.

Also, AI models such as Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology (AIME) can be used to predict the outbreak of diseases in general and diseases caused by the zika virus in particular beforehand considering variable factors including wind direction, humidity, temperature, population density, and housing type. This model has been tried in Malaysia and Brazil and gives inferences with an accuracy of 88% with a pre-alert of up to three months.

Technology

It is possible that everything we do, everything we touch is going to be enhanced by AI. We have great benefits from taking any device, any machine and make it just a little bit smarter. These benefits come around in the form of self-driving vehicles as one aspect, so autonomy for self-driving which requires a lot of AI for the vision systems, navigational intelligence, planning and control aspects of a vehicle. Another aspect is collaborative robotics or cobots. These are robots that are designed to work in and around with people. We use AI every time we type in a search query on a search engine or when we use some kind of voice recognition system. 

AI also can help in maximizing our use of clean and renewable energy. Machine learning algorithms are being made to monitor energy production and demand in real-time. This implies that energy can be stored during those times of the day when demand is less and the surplus can be delivered at a time (which research will bring out) when there is more requirement. As electric vehicles have become more common and will be the new face of tomorrow, the technology can use these to store energy and smoothen out human interaction in renewable electricity supply. Apart from these, it is also possible to reduce the demand that our devices project on the grid. For example, refrigerators could be modeled to be controlled remotely by AI so they enter their chilling cycles only at times when demand is low. Just as gauging the demand-supply equation in the market of renewable energy, it is also possible to manage inventory systems in companies predicting real-time demand-supply. 

Manufacturing

AI can be used to perform repetitive tasks. As in, a simple algorithm is sufficient to deliver the needs as the steps are predefined and the final goal is known. As a result, along with other sectors, the manufacturing industry has also been impacted by AI. This would implement that machines can automatically report errors in function, order new parts, and even repair themselves. AI demand planning and forecasting is another vital part in the manufacturing sector. It could revolutionize the entire inventory management system and thus, it implies that in the near future, businesses will be more eager to develop and invest their AI models as per their needs to smoothen inventory management, reduce operating costs and increase efficiency. Altogether, demand planning and forecasting combined with an automated (artificial) inventory management system would fall in complete sync encouraging companies to invest because of the fluent and hassle-free management boosting productivity.

The Future of AI

One can expect the future to be interesting with AI, evolving very rapidly within a short period of time. This is because this technology doesn’t only perform tasks that we have seen automated before but also continue to learn and improve themselves. So as we take a step year by year, we will see some new systems and deployment systems every year and they would turn out to be significantly better with time at the tasks they’re meant to do. For instance, with self-driving cars and cycles around, we would not have to drive manually and rather could do work or anything on commute. A lot of things will be eliminated from the daily task list but apart from everything, with development of AI and people realizing of its capability and the ease with which things can be done, we can expect to see a lot of industries seeking help from AI and using AI for numerous things – things maybe that we do not even know if they are possible or not. The industries which currently exhibit high chances of booming due to the use of AI are healthcare, business, manufacturing, banking and finance. Due to the unexplored and unexploited capabilities of AI, its true potential is still unknown.