Artificial intelligence (AI) is already so much a part of our lives that we might not even have noticed it. Far from the cyborgs that The Terminator showed us or the humanlike robots of Star Wars, AI is much more subtle, yet it is becoming more and more critical. Of course, that’s not to say that the future won’t involve robots that are programmed to do our bidding and learn how to help us even more, but it would seem that, if the current trend for artificial intelligence continues, things will be a little more different than that in the future. Perhaps that’s a good thing, perhaps it’s disappointing. Whatever your reaction, the fact that AI will be with us forever is a fascinating idea.
There is so much that we do for ourselves today that we would never dream of having a machine do for us, but isn’t that the same way people in the past thought of their lives? Could anyone have imagined a motorcar replacing a horse or a telephone replacing face-to-face communication, let alone all the huge technological advances the world has made in the 20th and 21st centuries? With that in mind, here are some predictions about how artificial intelligence is going to change the future.
Streaming services have proved to be extremely popular, with many people using these much more than they watch ‘live’ TV. When you add artificial intelligence to the mix, things can become even more personalized. For example, you might be able not just to pick a movie or TV show that you like the look of, but actually be able to make it your own by choosing the actors who feature in it. If you like the plot of a movie but don’t enjoy watching the central star, change them into someone else.
For film studios, artificial intelligence is potentially a way to save a considerable amount of money. Using it in the right ways means that there will never be a ‘dud’ movie again. Instead, AI will analyze the script and other factors that go into making a movie and determine whether the film will draw the crowds or lose money on its budget. Of course, what this doesn’t take into account is that everyone has a different view of a movie, and that even some of the worst-performing films at the box office have gone on to be major cult hits years later. Perhaps AI will have these ideas programmed in as well, otherwise we’re going to miss out on what might ultimately become true classics.
Medication and healthcare is a multi-billion dollar industry, but it could become even more profitable if artificial intelligence were used to improve it. One of the reasons why healthcare isn’t as profitable as it could be is down to misdiagnosis and mistakes; human error, in other words. If this element were removed from the industry, no more malpractice suits would be needed. Not only would this mean that the health industry made more profits, but patients would clearly be safer as well.
The way this would potentially work would be to use AI algorithms to determine exactly what medication is needed and even to make a diagnosis. Even if the machines didn’t do all of this themselves, negating the need for human doctors at all, they would be able to assist the doctor when it came to prescribing the right drugs. AI could do this by analyzing previous data and ascertaining the most likely scenario that would work dependent on DNA, genes, environment, and previous health issues.
When medicine is more personal, fewer errors will be made, as we’ve discussed. However, an additional benefit would be that waiting times would be cut. If there is less investigative work taking place, there is more time for treatment. Plus, if artificial intelligence is doing a lot of the work, procedures and appointments can take place 24 hours a day without running the risk of overtiring the medical staff.
Many people already use the internet for some if not all of their shopping needs, but with artificial intelligence, even this revolution will be changed and improved. With AI at the helm, you wouldn’t even have to go online and browse stores at all. Instead, the technology would be able to analyze your kitchen cupboards, your wardrobe, your home in general, perhaps even your wish lists and order the exact products you need for you, without any input from you at all.
You would need to set the parameters to work best for you – for example, if you didn’t want single items of food being delivered, you could choose a specific day each week to have a grocery delivery that would top up everything you were running low on – but once you did that you would never run out of anything again.
As for non-essential purchases, even these could be automated. Rather than spending hours making a decision about what new sofa to buy or which outfit looked best, the AI would already know and would simply show you the items that best fit with your aesthetic.
Even the delivery of these new purchases could be made better with artificial intelligence. There have already been steps taken to use drones to deliver items directly to the customer, and if you look at DrDrone.ca, you’ll see that the market for drones is growing just as quickly as AI is to keep up with this idea and others like it. Alternative measures could include self-driving cars and trucks, for example.
Every year there are more and more cybersecurity breaches in businesses of all sizes, and it has become harder for businesses to stay ahead of the hackers and continue to trade safely. Yet artificial intelligence could make cybercrime a thing of the past, or at least something that happened very rarely and didn’t cause a huge amount of damage, unlike now.
AI could potentially evolve to a point where it could learn how to protect online data in the most secure way, and in the most affordable way. Rather than data security being something that only the most well-off companies could afford to implement most strategically, when artificial intelligence has a part to play, the price can be lowered considerably.
It’s not just small businesses that will benefit from enhanced cybersecurity; all companies will, as will all government agencies. AI could even help prevent terrorist attacks and cybercrime of that magnitude when implemented correctly.
Helping the Elderly
Right now, many older people are unable to stay in the own homes because they cannot live independently. This means they have to go into a care home or nursing home, or they have to go and live with family instead. Although this can be ideal in some situations, it’s not something that everyone wants, and they would much prefer to stay in the home they know and love.
With artificial intelligence being used to help the elderly, staying in their own homes is going to be much easier to achieve. AI can ensure that there is nutritious, healthy food available and that it is cooked correctly and safely. As mentioned above, it will even be able to order more food when it is required. Plus, people could easily use AI to ensure the house is kept clean and tidy, that objects can be reached wherever they are, and that the elderly person isn’t lonely – connectivity to social media and video calling would all be part of the artificial intelligence program’s brief. Perhaps this is where the robots would come in, giving the older person someone (or rather something) to talk to.
Image Credits: Gerd Altmann