What the tech is AI?!

By bedigital on May 9th, 2023

Unless you’ve been living under a tech-proof rock, the chances are that you’ve heard of the term ‘AI’, or Artificial Intelligence. It’s everywhere. Whether you’re scrolling through LinkedIn and see the numerous AI summits happening worldwide, or you’re browsing Twitter and stumble upon a slightly uncanny image of Pope Francis looking dapper in a puffer jacket. Artificial Intelligence has us all in an intrigue-induced chokehold, but what actually is it?

AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the ability of machines to perform tasks that would typically require human intelligence, such as learning, problem-solving, and decision-making.

In the spirit of getting machines to replicate human abilities, the above definition was produced by the AI bot ChatGTP, after I asked it to describe AI in a short sentence. Its quick and perceptive response perfectly demonstrates how AI has the potential to change life as we human beings know it.

Let’s get into how Artificial Intelligence is already modifying society, without us necessarily even noticing:

Personal use

AI has co-existed with us for a while, but it seems like it’s only now getting the worldwide recognition that it deserves.

Everyone’s favourite pocket-PA, Siri, was the first AI virtual assistant to be distributed to the mainstream public, meaning that Apple users have been engaging with AI for years without necessarily even realising. Face-ID is another function that many of us smartphone users interact with without realising that it’s a product of artificial intelligence. An example of AI that’s even less obvious is Netflix’s recommendation engine. The streaming platform uses AI to identify a user’s past viewing history and displays recommendations that are based on it (taking into account the time of day that the show was watched, the actors that feature, frequent genres, etc.).

The closer you look, the more you’ll notice truly how integrated AI has become in our everyday lives. The chances are, every time you open your laptop, you’re interacting with artificial intelligence without even realising it!

Public use

Us humans aren’t just using AI on a personal level; it’s making a monumental impact to society on a macro-level, also. In almost every industry, Artificial Intelligence has revolutionised the way we work and problem-solve. In the education sector, AI software is helping teachers give personalised and detailed feedback to their students in a fraction of the time that organic marking would take. The implementation of AI in the automotive industry also has the potential to save a lot of us time, as the introduction of driverless vehicles presents endless possibilities for time that previously would have been spent behind the wheel. The most universally significant implementation of AI, however, is evidenced within the healthcare industry. The NHS AI Lab was created to revolutionise the way that healthcare is distributed across the UK with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps its most ground-breaking use of all is ‘AI Imaging’, where AI is being trained to view scans and x-rays to help with ‘the prevention, early detection, and treatment of diseases’.

All these examples show how AI has the capacity to be, quite literally, life changing.

AI anxieties and a final note

It’s clear to see that AI is already becoming a dependable counterpart to us all, and that its potential to aid humanity is exponential. But that doesn’t mean that it comes without its problems. Due to the heavy media coverage that surrounds it, there is increasing talk about the risk that Artificial Intelligence poses on the labour market, and how many of us could be without jobs by the end of the decade. It’s been proposed that AI could replace 300 million full-time jobs— pretty scary, right?

However, as the linked article states, all talk of the future of AI must be ‘taken with a very large pinch of salt’, simply because we can’t quite predict it. What we do know for sure, however, is that we’re at the beginning of an unprecedented time of technological development. It seems that the AI Revolution is well and truly underway. We’d all better buckle down for the robotic ride.

If you’ve reached the end of this blog post and your thirst for AI insight is far from quenched, then you’re in luck.

The Tech Leaders Podcast has a brand new AI series coming up at the end of this month, where we’ll be interviewing some of the biggest names in the AI space. Get ready to delve into the world of AI and hear all the nitty-gritty facts straight from the experts themselves.

We’re really excited about it, and you should be too!

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