While machines that can learn on their own are still some ways off, AI in its early forms has seeped into
our lives in many different ways, sometimes without us even noticing it.
A true AI system can learn on its own, make connections and reach meanings without pre-defined
behavioral algorithms, and get smarter and more aware based on past iterations. While true AI-based
machines are still some distance away from materializing, early AI technologies have already seeped into
our lives in many ways, in this machine-learning phase of the Digital Age. These will pave the way for a
multi-generational leap forward in the next 100 years, unmatched even by the dramatic upheavals we
have seen in the last 100.
Some of the ways in which AI is already affecting our lives are:
1. Virtual Personal Assistants
Services like Siri, Alexa, Google Now and Cortana use machine-learning technology to better recognize
your speech and serve you results tailored to your preferences. These will eventually even learn to
anticipate your needs.
2. Video Games
While AI has been part of video games for a long time in small ways, today’s games have characters that
learn your behavior, respond to stimuli and react unpredictably. First-person shooters like Far Cry and
Call of Duty has enemy characters that can analyze their environments to find objects or actions
beneficial to their survival, and even communicate with other AI characters to team up against you.
3. Smart Cars
Google’s self-driving cars could potentially learn to drive using experience, just as humans do.
Eventually, the car will be able to ‘look’ at the road, make decisions based on what it sees and learn in
the process. Tesla’s autopilot feature might not be this advanced, but it’s already being used on the
4. Purchase Prediction
Retailers like Amazon hope to reach a stage where they can ship your items before you even realize you
need them. Even coupons, discounts, targeted advertisements or warehouse stocking systems are using
predictive analysis to anticipate customer requirements. There are niche companies that are using AI to
dominate the playing field, like Boxever, which leans heavily on machine learning to improve customer
experience in the travel industry.
5. Fraud Detection
AI is often used to detect credit card frauds, on the basis of which card owners receive a communication
from the bank. Use of AI reduces the time for detection to an astonishing 40-60 milliseconds. And
computers will only get better in spotting fraudulent transactions based on indications learned through
6. Online Customer Support
While many of the automated customer support systems today are rudimentary chatbots, some of them
do use AI to extract knowledge from a repository and present to customers when needed. In fact, many
of the basic chatbots also make use of natural language processing to better understand customers.
Related to this is the service provided by companies like Cogito, which uses machine learning and
behavioral science to improve customer interaction with human phone professionals.
7. News Generation
In-depth investigative articles are still beyond the capabilities of AI, but simple stories like financial
summaries, sports recaps and fantasy sports reports are already being written by AI programs, and used
by services like AP, Fox, and Yahoo! Wordsmith is a popular natural language generation platform that
turns data into narratives and has been used in e-commerce, financial services, and real estate
8. Security Surveillance
With supervised training exercises, security algorithms can take input from security cameras and
determine threat – better than a single person monitoring many video cameras. Identifying actions that
might imply a thief in a store are likely beyond the current technological limitations but don’t be
surprised if this sort of technology debuts in the near future.
9. Recommendation Services
Apps like Spotify, Netflix, and Pandora make music and movie recommendations based on your past
selections. While not futuristically advanced, the amount of data these services can handle at a time is
quite impressive. And they will only get smarter.
10. Smart Home Devices
Many of your home devices have the ability now to learn your behavior patterns and do things like
adjusting thermostat settings to save money. This service was made particularly famous by Nest, the
company acquired by Google in January 2014 for $3.2 bn. Lighting systems, security cameras, cooking
systems – use of AI in smart homes is only limited by our imagination.
While companies like Apple, Facebook and Tesla rollout revolutionary changes, it is not always clear how
deep an effect AI, and related technologies like quantum computers will have on our day-to-day lives.
When AI really blossoms, how much of an improvement will it have on the current iterations we have
available already? What we do know is that there is no stopping its evolution and its rise.