As you read this article, how did you get to this page? You more than likely initiated some sort of search or you saw it posted somewhere such as LinkedIn. Either way, it was you doing the clicks.
Up until very recently, this is how we humans used tools. We initiated the interaction and the tool’s activities. This goes for all of our tools, not just computers. However smart or sophisticated they are, they needed a human to get them going and to produce results.1
I Interact Therefore I Am
We are now seeing the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies that are now able to interact with the world. As a result, they can perform with a degree of independence.
They can form their own opinions, draw their own conclusions and initiate their own actions. Which all sounds very ‘human’.
To do this they now have the capabilities of vision, speech, natural language, machine learning and planning.
To achieve these amazing abilities requires the coming together of several technology streams. For instance, when the communication protocols, languages and messaging techniques combine. This coming together is often when disruptive technologies, such as AI, have their breakthrough moments.
An example is when neural networks were able to harness the power of big data technology. This combination has led to advances in the speech recognition ability of machines.2 This ability to recognise natural languages is a crucial element in interacting with a human audience in a meaningful way.
A further example is a technique called collaborative filtering. This is where an AI function is able to make reasoned judgements based on a set of data. You may well be familiar with this technique without knowing what it was called. If you’ve ever shopped online, in somewhere such as Amazon, this is how those recommended products appear on your screen or in your email in box.
More Hand Make Less Work
What if instead of more human hands you could enlist the support of AI technology when doing routine tasks?
Many professions, from optometrists to bankers, and marketers to medical surgeons have a degree of routine tasks in their working lives. These tasks do require a certain level of skill, but once learned, they are basically the same task repeated over and over again.
Artificial intelligence has been developed that allows surgeons to perform medical procedures remotely. Which has a clear benefit when it comes to allocating a surgeons valuable time.
Taking this one step further. How about humans, robots and AI working together on creative tasks?1
Humans doing what they’re best at and leaving the machines to do what they do well.
In his fascinating TED Talk YouTube video, called The incredible inventions of intuitive AI. Maurice Conti shows some examples of how this has already happened in the design field.1 The computers came up with the designs all by themselves which no human would have created.
With the field of AI opening up to more and more applications in education, transportation and healthcare, we are going to be interacting with it more and more in our everyday lives.
To round off, here’s another interesting video from the Microsoft team on the fascinating developments in Integrative AI
1 Maurice Conti, The incredible inventions of intuitive AI, YouTube Video, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR5N2Jl8k14)
2 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Continuing Innovation in Information Technology: Workshop Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/23393
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