Once exclusively for the realm of science fiction, artificial intelligence is quickly becoming one of the most exciting technological advances of our time. In the last few years, it’s quietly taken root in much of our everyday lives, and now we interact with it constantly. If you’ve ever used voice recognition (for example, Siri on iPhone) or email spam filtering, you’ve taken advantage of the AI revolution.
We might be a few years from having robots at our beck and call, but AI is already starting to affect our lives in subtle but impactful ways. Here are some examples of AI predictions in the real world and what they might mean for the future of AI:
1. Real-Time Decision Support Centers for Police
Police stations have started creating decision support centers to use new technologies in fighting crimes. These technologies include shot spotters to locate and detect gun shots, as well as predictive software that assigns probabilities to different areas predicting how likely they are to have criminal activity.
Companies like Hunchlab and PredPol are pioneering predictive policing. By pulling in historical data about criminal activity and taking into account factors like proximity to liquor stores, population density, or even the weather, their algorithms are able to identify patterns that may repeat in the future. This allows for focused patrols like “hot-spot policing” which sends police to locations where crime is consistently happening.
After creating one of these support centers, the city of Chicago saw the number of shootings and homicides drop in one of its most violent areas. In an interview with NBC Chicago, Supt. Eddie Johnson said, “In the first week of February, the 7th District went eight days without a shooting incident. That is the longest time in almost three years where not a shot was fired in one of our most dangerous areas.”
What this could mean for the future of AI: Successes for the number of police departments currently using these real-time decision support centers could mean that more cities around the US (and world) start making these centers standard for all law enforcement agencies, improving safety and decreasing crime rates everywhere.
2. Advancements in Suicide Prevention
According to a Facebook press release, “suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds, and experts say that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is for those in distress to hear from people who care about them.” To help combat this, Facebook launched a feature aided by AI that recognizes and allows people to report posts with self harm or suicidal thoughts.
The social media platform is using an AI algorithm to look at posts previously marked as suicidal. The, using pattern recognition, Facebook looks for live posts that are similar and makes the option to report that post as suicidal/self-harming more prominent. It also sends some of those to their Community Operations team to review and provide resources to the person who posted if necessary.
What this could mean for the future of AI: Suicide prevention technology could eventually become ubiquitous in social media, saving even more lives.
3. Smart Assistants and Chatbots Changing the Retail Experience
Everyone wants a more personalized customer experience. But until a few years ago, personalization required humans and was largely only possible for large brands that had the ability to staff call centers and technical support 24/7.
Now, AI-powered chatbots have the potential to be even smarter and faster than actual humans. With the data that’s being collected now in online shopping, companies can understand their business better and improve the consumer’s shopping experience. That’s how Amazon is able to tell you what other items you might like or what other items might complete your purchase. There are also chatbots and digital shopping assistants that can suggest products or answer questions, like the bots at Fashion Island and the Mall of America.
What this could mean for the future of AI: Brands can design improved customer experiences for shoppers, including AI-powered gift selection, product selectors, out of stock management, and consumer insight. AI personalization can also expand outside of retail and find place in consumer industries like insurance, for example, for answering your questions about your coverage.
4. AI-Driven Financial Advisors Help Investors Choose Better Investments
By compiling and analyzing huge amounts of historical data, these types of platforms can compute the correct amount of risk for a particular person’s situation and then select the right mix of funds and companies to deliver it, along with a healthy return. And computers never sleep, which means the algorithms can constantly work to find the best investments and rebalance accounts at optimal times.
What this could mean for the future of AI: Digital financial advisors could improve returns for everyone and also help people make better investing decisions depending on their financial goals and where they are in life.
5. Big Data Platforms are Empowering Workers to Ask for Their True Worth
AI is also being used to help people optimize their full career and income potential. Companies like Paysa have advanced technology platforms with fully embedded personalization, combined with big data made up of jobs, resumes, companies, and salaries.
An AI engine gives employees full awareness of whether or not they’re on track for their short term and long term career and salary goals. It can take into account factors such as where you work and how much experience you have and align that with what other people in the same industry and job are getting paid.
The availability of this data means employees can learn more about their position and receive the compensation they deserve. Paysa’s market data shows that 36% of professionals are underpaid relative to market. The Testimonials page has stories from a number of technical professionals sharing how they used the platform to get raises as high as 31%.
What this could mean for the future of AI: Using big data to increase transparency on data points like salaries can help to narrow wage gaps and vastly improve the lives of others.
AI and machine learning have slowly found their ways into our everyday lives. It’s in our social media platforms, in our devices, and even powering the community platforms and law enforcement officials around us. It helps us make better decisions and shows us where to focus our energy.
Top Skills in AI
- Deep Learning
- Machine Learning
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Vision
- Neural Networks
- Reinforcement Learning
Learn more about who in investing in AI here.
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