Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next frontier in technology as humans are working to tap into the enormous data-processing capability of computers. AI is here to stay as major tech firms spends billions of dollars on the space. Here are four industries that would see massive changes as the applications of artificial intelligence advances across different areas of human endeavor.
Humans have recorded massive advancements in the transport industry from the days of the horse and buggy to the early days of Henry Ford. History tells us that Karl Benz invented the automobile in 1885 and that the car crashed into a wall during its first public test. Over the last 130 years, humans have not been able to solve the problems of crashing their cars into walls, trees, other road users, and traffic signs.
However, the tech space seems to think that computers could a better job behind the wheels than humans did. The auto industry in conjunction with the tech space has developed a number of driver-assistance systems. Now, Google, Tesla, and Apple seem to think that humans would be safer if computers could replace humans behind the wheels.
The changes going on in the transportation space today might look like magic to someone from 100 years ago as AI starts to change how humans get from point A to point B. Google already has a fleet of self-driving cars that are have logged more than 1.6M miles on Californian roads. In the last six years of testing, Google RoboCars have only been involved in 26 minor accidents - Humans were to be blamed all of the 26 times. Tesla recently released it autopilot software update that allows Model S drivers hand over the wheels to computers. AI would change the face of transportation by getting rid of drivers, taxi cab drivers, truck drivers, and reduce the need for a personal car.
Computers are already doing a great job at diagnosing illnesses and prescribing drugs. Yet, it doesn't feel as if computers are actually running the healthcare industry because the diagnostic and prescriptive programs run on data supplied by humans. However, humans might soon have a practical feel of computers being in charge of healthcare within the next decade as AI continues to alter the face of healthcare.
Surgeons require clarity of mind and steady hands when they take people under the knife. Silicon Valley and healthcare firms are betting that people could be safer under the knives if a computer is holding the scalpel. Johnson & Johnson has already teamed up with Google to create a robotics assisted surgical platform. In March, The Guardian reported that Google's Life Sciences division is creating "robots will aid surgeons in minimally invasive operations, giving operators greater control and accuracy than is possible by hand, minimizing trauma and damage to the patient." AI could put surgeons out of jobs. However, there are concerns about regulatory approval as wells as initial resistance when humans are placed under knives held by robots
The gambling industry will perhaps suffer the most when algorithms start to even out the odds in the favor of tech-savvy gamblers at the expense of the house. Today's gambling industry is designed to give gamblers lesser odds of winning in all the games of luck and chance - even in the games that require skill, such as poker, the games are designed to ensure that the house always wins.
However, bookmakers at Las Vegas and Macau should expect to see massive changes in their business models soon when AI starts to beat the house. AI has the potential to render all the models that the bookmakers have useless. Microsoft has already demonstrated how its AI engine Bing Predicts can beat the Las Vegas odds in predicting winners for one week of the NFL season. Artificial Intelligence will occupy a predominant in the future of gambling as players turn towards online gambling.
Personal Assistant Services
Personal assistants, personal aides, and personal secretaries do a great job in ensuring that the lives of people with busy schedules run smoothly. PAs typically manage the life of their principals by scheduling meetings, taking calls, remembering that tomorrows is Aunt Sally's birthday, and arranging travel among many other things. Now, the tech space is betting that AI can do a better job as personal assistants and the best part is that everybody can afford one.
Artificial Intelligence has been making gradual inroads into helping people organize their lives with memos, calendar entries, and online organizers. However, the tech space took digital personal assistants to a completely new level when Apple introduced Siri on the iPhone. Siri added a name, voice, and personality to digital PAs and now everybody with an iPhone can talk to Siri as they would to a friend as it helps them get things done. Google has a PA called Now on Tap, and Microsoft's Cortana is getting rave reviews with her contextual references.
AI is a tool and not a threat
For all the disruptions that Artificial Intelligence is causing across several industries, AI is here to stay and very little can be done to slow or halt its progress. Change is a constant thing and humans by nature would adopt changes that make their lives easier - without minding whose job is lost in the process. The philosophical view aside, AI could be a great tool if handled properly and it is not necessarily an indication that computers are planning a coup on how to enslave humans.