By Aishwarya Menon
Artificial Intelligence or AI is a relatively new domain which was introduced to the world by Alan Turing in the 1950’s where he posed a simple question: “Can machines think like humans?”. This single question led to the birth of what is known as Artificial Intelligence in the modern world and formed the basis of future research and study in this field. What started off as a question posed by an inquiring mind later turned into a concrete concept that has ushered in an era of change and transformed how we perceive machines and their ability to understand, automate and ultimately simplify our tasks. After a brief lull in 1974-1980, a period termed as “AI Winter”, this discipline slowly gained traction with increased global interest and government funding by individual nations; however, the growing importance that data assumed in the early 2000’s combined with growing prowess in AI-related research, led to the use and prevalence of AI in the modern world.
AI is indeed all around us!
“Turn on the lights Alexa”, “What’s the weather forecast for today Alexa?”- these phrases sound like you’re talking and giving orders to an actual person; but as we all know Alexa is not a human being, but a virtual home assistant developed by Amazon.
AI has advanced so much that we have machines capable of conversing intelligently with us and carrying out our tasks. Surely many of us use YouTube and Spotify for a wide variety of purposes; again, the star of the show here is AI which helps these platforms to better understand the end user and deliver seamless results.
AI has become a part and parcel of our daily life, so much that many of us don’t realize this; right from facial recognition and fingerprint authentication systems used for access control on cell phones to streaming platforms like Netflix where every movie/show you watch helps the system to gain a better insight into your entertainment preferences and recommend shows accordingly, the list is endless.
Different use cases of AI in the real world
Many businesses are incorporating AI and Machine Learning powered solutions along with Big Data Analytics to generate data driven insights about what their consumers actually want; E-Commerce is the biggest testament to the success of AI and Machine Learning based solutions. Most of the apps and web-sites we use for our daily shopping or entertainment needs use these techniques to gauge our preferences better and make the entire experience more fulfilling for us. AI has also made a foray into the domain of security and that too, covering a broad range of purposes for eg. organizational safety through facial recognition and biometric solutions that enforce access control; safety at places like airports where terrorism has become a menace in recent times and keeping a track of strange/abandoned items is a must; securing online transactions and cash transfers in E-banking has made AI assisted solutions the need of the hour. AI is also used in monitoring highway traffic and analyzing them with accurate video analytics to give relevant solutions to the problem at hand. Healthcare is another sector that AI has taken by storm with more advancements expected in the future.
Future of AI
AI seems to have a promising future ahead with the world already hooked to this technology; more and more innovators like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos contributing to this wave of developing advanced solutions for the problems of a modern society.