Regardless of which piece of visual media or literature first instilled thoughts of artificial intelligence in our minds, it had quite the effect on us. Despite AI being very much a part of our current society, many of us don’t realize it’s here. Instead we’re fixed on dystopian futures and malevolent machines.
In reality, AI is disrupting dozens of sectors. From healthcare and transportation to fintech and telecommunications — more than 154,000 AI patents have been filed since 2010 alone. Much of those brilliant concepts are in research and development phases, meaning in our near future. But what examples of artificial intelligence do we have at our disposal today?
Image recognition involves various identification technologies, including fingerprint, voice, iris, palm, hand vein patterns, retina, hand geometry, object, and facial pattern recognition. According to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), nearly half of all AI-related patents involve computer vision; compared to the next two areas, natural language processing (14 percent), and speech processing (13 percent). What’s more, the image recognition market (currently a $1 billion market) is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 25 percent over the next five years.
These technologies are still in their infancies, they’re relevant in commercial surveillance, home security, autonomous vehicles, retail (via augmented reality), and even social media (for people with disabilities).
Digital Voice Assistants
Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google’s “Assistant” — voice-assistants, and voice search, have quickly redefined how we access information. Per data from NPR and Edison Research, U.S. households have over 118 million smart speakers, roughly 2.3 devices per household. This is a 78 percent growth from 2017 when 66.7 million speakers were in circulation.
Apple’s Siri tops Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa as the most popular voice-assistant device, but all these devices rely on elements of AI to make people’s lives easier. Using natural language processing, deep learning, and image recognition, voice assistants learn users’ tastes and preferences over time to serve them answers, perform tasks, schedule events, or even just chat.
Organizations have more data than they understand how to handle. When it comes to analytics programs, many companies struggle to make their data clean, uniform and accessible. Augmented analytics is changing how businesses collect, store, prepare and analyze their data using machine learning and natural language processing.
Platforms like ThoughtSpot are good representations of artificial intelligence in present-day business implementations. These types of tools allow users to ask text or voice questions and receive accurate answers via custom visualizations in seconds. Augmented analytics offers organizations benefits like enhanced productivity, reduced bandwidth on technical teams, and improved employee morale, among other positives.
Spotify, Pandora, Apple, Amazon, and Google Play are all popular ways to listen to music from a smartphone or computer. The user experiences among these apps differ, but they all share the commonality of AI and machine learning implementations. Pandora’s artist playlist might be what we remember as the OG of automated curation. These days, Spotify leads the pack with its Discover Weekly playlist.
Apple Music incorporates a Genius Playlist feature that creates a mix based on one song a user selects. This is done via algorithms scanning historical listening activity (a user’s likes, dislikes, songs skipped) to accomplish this. Amazon and Google Play use taste algorithms of their own to suggest users different types of music at different times of day or season.
While these applications are examples of artificial intelligence, they aren’t the concepts that give us goosebumps about our future. The AI in use today is very much a product of feeding several behavioral algorithms large data sets, then continually being adjusted based on our likes and dislikes. Suffice to say, if you’re waiting on the scary stuff, that’s still hype for now.