Artificial Intelligence: The Modern-Day Genie

Artificial Intelligence: The Modern-Day Genie - Cover

 Artificial Intelligence is almost everywhere in our lives, and is set to amplify the digital world, writes Sandeep Suri

Digitisation is challenging the way we live, and Artificial intelligence (AI) in particular will soon change how we conduct our daily lives. These changes create conveniences, and ways of problem-solving that were never possible before. Artificial Intelligence is one of the most researched topics currently and adopted by corporates to gain an edge over the competition. So much so that sometimes I feel the term is being ‘overused’. Let’s begin deciphering the concept of AI…

AI, for lack of a better term, is a modern-day ’genie’. It is about ‘building’ machines that could ‘think’. It (AI) is being used almost everywhere today, from your smartphones to your cars to your home to your banking establishments; it seems to have endless opportunities! From Siri to autonomous vehicles, AI is progressing rapidly. Science fictions often portray AI as human-like characters; the fact is that AI can help you, from Google search algorithms to more sophisticated autonomous weapons. It is arguably the next digital frontier.

Behaving like a human

To simplify and understand AI little more closely – it’s the ability of machines to behave like a human in terms of thinking, acting and decision-making! It is about studying how the human brain acts, and learning its pattern while trying to solve a challenge, and then using the outcomes of this study as a basis of developing intelligent software and systems. Humans can do almost everything, but computers can do the same at an exceptional speed and with greater accuracy. Computers are not only good at calculating, storing and sorting through data but also mining relevant information among a lot of data marts is a task these machines can conduct without much difficulty. Computers have become ubiquitous and have transformed our world.

With concepts like the smart city and the internet of things, AI is already impacting life in many ways

However, there are quite a few things that computers can’t handle—a lot of issues that need decisions, complex thinking, or intelligence that computers struggle. You do not have to instruct AI about an action. Instead, you have to give a lot of examples of right and wrong, and the technology is capable of learning from it, just like humans.

Better accuracy

Once AI learns how to solve a problem, it can solve it much faster, again and again with better accuracy levels. Say, for example, it can recognize the voice, find what is in a picture, diagnose a disease, detect fraud and so on. Virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Home, Smartphones, Speech recognition are some examples of how we are engaging with AI every day. Around the globe, companies are beginning to leverage AI to meet customer demands and expectations better.

AI achieves these tasks much faster and cheaper than humans. It is the ability of AI that tasks these machines to perform a cognitive function like human minds say reasoning, learning and so on. These ‘narrow’ AIs can easily perform a range of tasks- the direction in GPS, Amazon recommendations, autonomous cars, and non-intrusive surgeries are just a few examples.

It is the data processing/computing power that is making AI so popular. With increasing computing power, data proliferation is what is propelling AI from hype to reality. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more profound in our day to day living. As companies seek to augment the productivity of their labor force with AI technologies and automate some tasks, productivity is bound to gain multi-folds in the short and long term.

Voice-driven search is already taken for granted by many smartphone users
Exploiting the potential

The rapid increase in the usage of Artificial Intelligence techniques is one of the defining moments for business leaders today. Along with it, closely associated is the challenge of creating an organisation that can rise to the occasion and exploit the potential of AI at scale. Artificial Intelligence is poised to revolutionise all facets of our lives- unparalleled customer service enhanced productivity and scaled up operations are some clear benefits of AI. It is an excellent substitute for the tasks that are repetitive and mundane in nature; this allows the employees to shift their focus to more strategic and value-added activities.

As of now, AI technology is benign, but it has started to explode and has huge potential to grow. It requires distilling intelligence into an algorithmic construct that will be comparable to the human brain, and make this technology more profound. Once we walk through this door, there is a reasonably good chance we won’t be able to come back. By the looks of it, AI is gradually going to amplify our world in the years to come.

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