Artificial intelligence has captured our imagination for a long time now. While it has the potential to have a remarkable impact on society and humankind at large, many experts and prominent scientists like Stephen Hawking have raised concerns on its potential negative effects and its depiction in the media through movies like the Terminator and Ex Machina doesn’t help. Certain statistics like 47% of all employment opportunities will be occupied by machines in the next two decades are likely to scare anyone. But there is sufficient research to suggest that AI will also create several new categories and kinds of jobs, opening up new opportunities for people in search of interesting careers and supplement the job market with enough roles to fill potential employment gaps. This is just the tip of the iceberg, in the next few years, AI’s impact will be visible across various industries, businesses and household functions, helping to make our lives simpler and easier.
Today’s Intelligent Machines
Over the last few years, AI has started to become a part of our daily conversations and an important element of the public’s consciousness. Though we are seeing intelligent machines arising in the form of technologies such as Alexa, Cortana and Google Home, they are often perceived as projections of human characteristics. These and other devices of today don’t encompass all that AI stands for but do start to demonstrate how AIs will enhanced our lives moving forwards. Right now, we are starting to see a proliferation of AIs, targeted at different human needs, with intelligent software and technologies being developed at a rapid speed. The incredible thing about AI is that it stands to enable many different kinds of applications and each one is different. Alexa, for example, is great at handling activities, managing transactions, making purchasing decisions. Cortana typically has a deep understanding of the user which it leverages for anticipating your needs which Google Assistant is able to draw on years of Sematic Search to understand your intent and what you likely want to do after you’ve finished your current task. We are also starting to see different AI platforms work together – for example Nest, works with Alexa and uses behavioral algorithms to predict your heating and cooling needs, indicating an important first step towards the connected home. This is just the start.
The Human + Machine Equation
Humans will be more involved in the evolution of AI-enabled technologies than ever imagined before. AI will not develop in isolation but will go through structured learning processes when real world human behavior and input will shape the behavioral models that AIs apply to a given situation. Becoming a natural part of everyday life, AI will be able to understand our needs and take proactive steps to deliver valuable insights to humans. Technologies, machines and robots enabled by AI will be able to repeat and replicate actions quickly, but also make sense of a lot more data than can ever be tackled by the smartest human beings in the same time. When considering the impact on automotive, AI will extract better insights and help in smarter decision making, taking stressful actions away from everyday life for drivers. AI will easily navigate the massive amounts of data, crucially data that drivers typically don’t have access to or could not access without being distracted, that will be generated by tomorrow’s car for decision making, enhancing the drivers vision, understanding of events around them, and helping to fill gaps in any of our blind spots. With the continued evolution of machines, everything will be perfectly optimized, improving the driving experience for humans and critically making it a much safer experience for everyone.
AI’s Relationship with Job Creation
AI and automation’s impact on jobs has been widely discussed and too many negative conclusions have been drawn. It is of course always easier to predict the perceived down side of technology shifts as they are typically clearer and more near term. But what machines will really do is take people out of boring and monotonous jobs that typically limit people’s autonomy and creativity. When the personal computer first arrived, such ominous predictions about possible job losses were commonplace, but since the technology industry’s arrival, an employment surge resulted as millions of jobs were created and crucially millions of new, high value jobs, have been created in industries that did not and would not exist without the introduction of new compute-based technology. AI will remove friction from people’s professional lives and provide them targeted, timely, relevant data and interactions that create work efficiencies. This is where AI will deliver a transformational impact to people’s lives. As our decision making abilities are enhanced, an increasing number of workflows and tasks will be automated, giving workers more time to think, to be creative and to innovate.
With all the buzz around artificial intelligence, there is bound to be confusion, paranoia and anxiety. But with time and the evolution of modern technologies, we will see how AI makes our lives easier and reduces pain points in unimaginable ways. Humans need to be patient with technological advances in the field of AI and embrace its power, rather than being afraid of its potential.
By Andrew Till
Vice President – Technology, Partnerships & New Solutions
HARMAN Connected Services