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5 Real Examples of Artificial Intelligence

“Nobody phrases it this way, but I think that artificial intelligence is almost a humanities discipline. It’s really an attempt to understand human intelligence and human cognition.” – Sebastian Thrun – CEO of Udacity

For a couple of decades now, everyone has been extremely fascinated by the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI). We used to see it be a part of the world of science fiction. The idea of robots or chatbots operating just like humans was pushing the realm of our understanding. But today, it’s not unusual to find mention of Artificial Intelligence being used by a lot of different industries for the automated delivery of services. Some of the creations are absolutely fantastic and almost too good to be true! Here are five real-life examples of areas that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to telling effect:

1) Journalism:

The responsible reporter needs to undertake a lot of research and ground work to come up with a report/article that is rich with interesting facts and ideas. How then, can an AI really help in writing an article?  With automated software programs such as Wordsmith, it already is! Used for producing automated car descriptions and Fantasy Football recaps, this program is capable of composing grammatically correct reports and articles within no time. Quill is another great writing software which specializes in writing long reports on the performance of funds. Technologies like these have been in use by companies such as Forbes. Credit Suisse, USAA and T. Rowe Price. Textio is one more product which helps improve the quality of your text related to job postings, recruitment emails, etc.

2) Smart Cars:

Automation in the steering and gearbox of cars is an idea that we are used to but what if we could have a car that is entirely self-driven? Well, check the lane next to you since this is already a reality! Google’s project on self-driving cars and Tesla’s “auto-pilot” feature are giving us vehicles that could learn driving just like humans do and then maneuver based on that “personal” experience. The AI used by Google is creating an algorithm that is capable of looking at millions of inputs collected from the road, the traffic and several other touchpoints, and making decisions based on what it sees. Tesla’s project is more recent, and as news of a couple of crashes shows, does need some improvements too but it has already been incorporated on roads, indicating that it is a technology that is soon going to be launched widely in the market.

3) Virtual Personal Assistants:

Siri, Google, and Cortana are some of the most popular forms of Virtual Personal Assistants based on AI, which are already being used by a large number of cell phone and mobile device users. While these are already proving to be very helpful and efficient, we will be seeing even better versions of them in the years to come. This is owing to their inbuilt ability to learn about their users and usage patterns, which will lead them to anticipate the users’ needs and requirements. Collecting huge amounts of data from a variety of sources, these systems organize and track the information for improved services.

4) Art:

Products based on Artificial Intelligence are generally based on numbers, values, and data that are provided to them. In that case, it cannot help when it comes to creating different forms of art, right? Wrong. Aaron, a computer program paints really big colorful pictures. Written in LISP, this application recognizes simple objects and shapes and uses them to draw better. Google has been trying to use AI to produce creative work too but the results weren’t exactly masterpieces. Facebook uses neural networks for creating pictures, 40% of which were so realistic that they actually managed to fool human viewers. The future also holds out promise of computers composing music in different genres and moods.

5) Customer Support:

You may notice that more and more websites you visit today, provide you with chat assistance to resolve your queries. Do you think there is always a human chatting with you from the other end? No. Most of the times, it’s a chatbot or a virtual assistant that has been fed with automated responses to cater to your needs. Cognicor is one such service which is very popular among call centers and customer support departments. These boxes use algorithms that actually help them extract knowledge from the website and present it to customers when they need it. While a promising area, a lot of work is still required in this field due to the individual variances in the way people communicate. The way customers speak and the way computers talk is very different so the translation is not always easy, but with advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP), we will be seeing more intelligent chatbots in the near future.

As such developments pan out, AI has the potential to change industry and even life as we know it. Those businesses that pay heed to its potential and devise their strategies stand to reap the benefits. The examples quoted here show that some organizations have already started down that road – will you follow in their path?

Innovations that will take over, and perhaps also take their jobs.