Self-driving cars and robot cafes are still be a little ways in the future, but you may already be using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and not realize it. Ever ask Siri a question or listen to Pandora or Spotify? Those are all examples of AI in everyday technology. More examples you may use frequently are search engines, streaming services, and ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft. AI is all around us and most of us use it every day.
1) Virtual Assistants
Virtual Assistants, such as Siri or Alexa, rely on Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. Machine Learning is a subset of AI that uses past data and trends to make predictions. Natural Language Processing analyzes and creates systems around text and speech data. Virtual assistants like Siri actually improve as the “get to know you.” They learn from mistakes when they misunderstand so that next time they get it right – it’s Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing in action.
Virtual assistants are about more than just checking the weather anywhere in the world or your favorite restaurant’s hours. They can send texts or start calls, execute reminders, and, depending on compatible software, even order groceries or food from restaurants. Virtual assistants can remind people about medication or appointments. While convenient for the general public, this also opens opportunities for the elderly and people with disabilities. AI is improving the healthcare system as well as patient experiences.
2) Google Maps
Google utilizes AI in its search engine software, translating languages and when choosing what ads to display to different users. There are many features that utilize AI to make the user’s experience more convenient, such as Google Maps. Google Maps uses AI to recommend routes and give you estimated travel time. If you are on route and Google Maps detects a heavy traffic, it will offer you an alternative, quicker route. If you miss a turn, Google Maps almost immediately responds with a new route.
3) Email Spam Catcher
We’ve all gotten that email from a far away prince requesting money. With AI spam filters, increasingly these messages go straight to the spam folder where they belong. Google’s Gmail implemented an open-source Machine Learning program called TensorFlow that blocks around 100 million spam messages every day.
Machine Learning reads large sets of data to create patterns and rules to predict what messages are spam. AI is extremely useful in spam filters because spam is something that’s different for everyone. Someone may look forward to getting promotional emails from their favorite company, while another person may consider that spam. AI is able to customize spam filters based on your behavior.
4) Amazon Services
Amazon Services utilize AI in all aspects of its operations, from Alexa to AmazonGo to making their warehouses more productive. Amazon.com uses AI to give you recommendations for future orders based on your previous purchases. It does this by using AI to analyze similar past orders and buying trends to predict what you may want to buy next. Amazon also utilizes AI for their 1-hour delivery service. It looks for the closest available driver according to distance, room in the car for packages and traffic. AI is also used to predict buying trends to better stock their warehouses.
5) Streaming Services like Netflix or Hulu
Streaming services use AI to make personalized recommendations for users. In addition to recommendations, Netflix utilizes AI on its home screen to show users newly added content in addition to customizing show and movie thumbnails. If a user is a fan of the actress Jane Fonda, a thumbnail image recommendation for the show Grace and Frankie, would include her. If a user is a fan of Law & Order, longtime Law & Order actor Sam Waterston will be on the thumbnail image.
Artificial Intelligence is Here to Stay
AI is a growing technological trend and its use will continue to expand. From smart watches to remote monitoring, AI technology is making things easier for everyday life. Unfortunately, AI can’t fix everything, like the Starbucks barista spelling your name right, but there are a lot of great and innovative things AI can do.