Oct 25, 2019
Artificial Intelligence has moved from being a luxury of the few to an everyday occurrence. Almost every field in this world has in some capacity moved from being an independent venture to one that needs technology in some form to support them.
Applications have become smarter, devices have become more intelligent and learning has become machine-oriented. The world is evolving at a speed more rapid than ever and AI takes credit for the evolution as much as anything else.
In the past 50 years with the technological revolution in place, a large number of startups have also gained notoriety through operating in the digital space.
The biggest companies in the world at this point are all tech-based. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are all companies that have the highest valuations in the world and are all tech companies. They have all come into prominence in the past couple of years or less.
How has technology become such an important facet of our functioning and how do we play a part in this revolution.
Here are some of the biggest, most obvious ways in which AI has managed to penetrate our lives.
When it comes to entertainment we have reached a point where we are in content nirvana. There is more content being created than ever for consumption by the masses. AI has been essential for getting streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime gain the popularity they enjoy today.
AI has become such a personalized technology that not just the shows are selected based on your viewership patterns but even the thumbnail you see is a reflection of your likes and dislikes.
Further facets of digital media are the disruption technology, employed by Facebook to process over 600 TB of data a day. Social Networking sites have moved on from chronological timelines to an AI-powered user interest-based feeds.
Google handles over 40,000 searches a minute and that is just one search engine. The others might not be as big but the data processing does not get discredited due to the size. The secret to their success is in their automation that has been brought together by AI.
AI and Machine learning have been the reason behind the quick scaling of these companies and why users feel such a connection to the product being offered by them.
The email that we take for granted is one of the biggest users of AI. The first of this list is the Spam filter. Rule-based filters that traditionally work aren't useful against spam, as they are constantly updated to work around things like that. The AI employed to work to filter out the spam mail needs to constantly learn from a variety of flags that range from the number of words in a message to the metadata,
The algorithms also need to be smart in terms of personalizing the spam messages. One person's spam could be another person's gold. Gmail so far has the rare distinction of being able to filter out 99.9% of spam.
Email also needs to be categorized based on a variety of factors, the major ones primary, social and promotion. There is an entire research paper devoted to understanding the algorithm that runs the Gmail priority inbox.
Gmail states in the paper that even though they try to understand the important mails and categorize them based on sender, content and message subject line, they do require manual input by the users to truly understand and prioritize correctly.
AI has now moved to understand how to reply with the smart reply feature it uses in the inbox. The future of email AI seems brighter than ever.
Here the pioneer is Amazon, every search you make results in a list of some of the most relevant products as well as other products that have been purchased along with your chosen product. Now, the exact technology behind the whole search functionality isn't revealed. But a quick look at the description of the product search technology will reveal that algorithms automatically combine multiple searches and features to give the most accurate results.
Amazon is known to use an artificial neural network to generate product recommendations in the 'customers who viewed this item' and 'customers who bought this item also bought'. Amazon isn't known to be liberal interns of user data but it is a well-known fact that just like in brick and mortar stores, a recommendation does create an impact on the sale of the final product.
Selling online is all about personalization. With the growing AI network, it has become evident that Amazon will keep tapping into the user psych for a while to come.
From voice to text to smart personal assistants, almost every device we have around is run on some form of AI. For a long time, usable speech to text feature was a distant dream but with the latest jumps in technology, it has now become a much-revered feature of applications.
Alexa and Echo Dot are both beloved AI-powered assistants that help a user complete some complicated tasks. The first assistants to come on the scene were Siri and Google Now which now both evolved to be smarter, faster and more intelligent.
Devices have now moved into two territories of being able to bridge the gap that previously existed within the smart home and user interface. Google nest is a good example of AI seeping into everyday life and actually creating a major difference in the behavior patterns of users.
On a day to day basis, our interaction with AI and ML runs even deeper. This was just an overview of what the most jarring aspects of AI are. If you go into the finer points everything from fridges to lights is now AI-enabled.
Still, the possibilities remain endless on a global scale. AI is enabling a workflow that was previously unthinkable and is reducing tasks in areas like logistics and supply chain management to make it more efficient. But the final line remains that without understanding the reason we are doing all this, nothing will work. The reason, in the end, is an elevated life.