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5 Ways AI Will Change Our Lives

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a buzz word for years but has recently been catapulted into the spotlight, thanks to increasing volumes of data, powerful computing capabilities and recent advancements in machine learning research. The term AI may seem intimidating and futuristic to some, but AI applications are more commonplace that you might imagine.

In fact, Dr. Ieva Martinkenaite, Vice President of AI and IoT Business Development at Telenor Group, said that people often do not realise just how much AI has and will continue to impact our lives.

“We often see AI as a future technology, but the reality is that AI is advancing at a breakneck speed and can be seen in almost every part of our lives today. To put simply, AI is the science of making machines smart, and these intelligence systems can enrich our lives in multiple ways,” she said.

Dr. Ieva Martinkenaite, Vice President of AI and IoT Business Development at Telenor Group

“AI has been around for decades but the difference is that availability of Big Data and technological advancement in data-driven machine learning models and computer infrastructure has allowed us to use AI for more complex tasks at high processing speeds that can surpass human abilities. With this development in AI technology, we are closer to unlocking the full potential of AI for the betterment of humanity.”

Dr Ieva, who is also a member of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG), outlines the five most exciting ways how AI can change our lives.

  1. Improved road safety

The use of Big Data and AI technology can help eliminate traffic jams. We have seen many attempts to harness AI’s ability to process big data to improve traffic management systems, as the number of cars on the road increase.

AI has the potential to help with better prediction of traffic conditions and road hazards, helping drivers to make faster and more informed decisions, such as choosing the optimal routes. City planners are also using AI technology to track road capacity and manage the time sequence of the traffic lights, reducing unnecessary waiting time and the duration of one’s journey.

With AI, we can better understand driver behaviour, identify road safety risks and come up with a more sustainable transport management plan. We might even see self-driving cars on the road sooner than we expect!

  1. Better healthcare

One of the most exciting breakthroughs in AI is in the healthcare industry, where AI can improve diagnosis rates of patients and make healthcare recommendations. Researchers have found a much higher accuracy rate in the medical diagnosis of cancer when computerised diagnosis is paired with the assessment of medical professionals[1].

AI can also improve clinical trials by streamlining and speeding up the process, such as identifying relevant compounds, analysing the information and monitoring outcomes. Ultimately, AI applications in healthcare can bring about tremendous advancement on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases, helping us to live healthier and more informed lives.

  1. Personalised shopping and entertainment experiences

We spend on average of six hours and 42 minutes online a day, and this creates opportunities for companies to offer more relevant experiences to consumers. For example, with AI, Netflix and Spotify are now able to learn from your viewing and listening patterns and recommend a playlist most likely to appeal to you.

For consumers, personalised offers bring convenience and a better user experience by making it easy for new content to be discovered and cutting down the path to purchase. Now when you shop, your favourite brands can just be one click away.

  1. A new way of work

AI will not fully replace our jobs, but will instead change the nature of jobs and the way we work by replacing routine tasks and augmenting human capabilities – this means that machines can eliminate the routine and repetitive tasks in our work, freeing up our time to work on more productive and rewarding projects.

AI systems learn through constant interaction with humans and require programming to be personalised to the demands of each task. To do this, we will see the rise of cross functional teams where people from different disciplines and with different skill sets come together to solve problems. Soft skills such as communication skills, empathy and creativity will give employees higher competitive edge in the new generation jobs.

  1. Life is more fun

Did you know even your favourite Instagram filters use AI? Machine learning technology can detect a face and locate facial features, and then assign accessories or layer animations that are triggered by movement.

In 2016, AlphaGo made news for beating the world’s top players in the Chinese strategy boardgame of Go, achieving a 100-streak victory that is unrivalled in the 2,500-year history of the game. The computer did this by analysing all possible moves and determining which move would most likely result in victory.

On a more personal front, AI could lead to enhanced gaming experiences as intelligent systems such as AlphaGo make gaming more challenging and enriches player-computer interactions. This is indeed good news for those who don’t like multiplayer games!

According to Dr. Ieva, the AI future is already here. “AI is the most disruptive, transformative technology of the 21st century. To fully maximise its benefits, governments need to invest in building AI capacity, raise awareness of AI and collaborate with the private sector and the society at large to assess how we can best utilise the potential of AI.”