A common misconception about artificial intelligence (AI) is that it remains a thing of the future. AI is already in the now and it’s everywhere, even in places where you may not notice. In fact, you’re probably already benefitting from AI, through the voice assistants of your mobile phone or the personalized feeds on your social media.
Through the years, different fields and industries have harnessed the power of artificial intelligence to automate, optimize, and perform more efficiently. However, current applications barely scratch the surface of AI’s full potential. As technology continues to develop, so will the ways that industries use it to innovate and change how we approach the world in the future. Here are 13 of the most ingenious ways that different industries are planning to use AI (if they aren’t already).
Perhaps the most pervasive application of artificial technology is self-driving vehicles, and this reality may not be that far off in the future. Tesla cars are already equipped with advanced hardware that can support autopilot and full self-driving features in the future. And thanks to Waymo, Google’s autonomous driving technology company, self-driving taxi services are already here.
In the UK and the rest of Europe, driverless trains are steadily being implemented on the railways. Boeing is also in the works to develop autonomous jetliners and passenger planes, which they dub the “future of flight.”
Artificial intelligence is also beginning to be employed to manage traffic and keep roads safer. Using cameras and sensors embedded on roads, large volumes of traffic data can be analyzed to get valuable insights like traffic predictions and patterns. These insights can empower policymakers to create more informed traffic policies to help assuage the problem in congested areas.
In the short term, navigation apps can also use these AI-generated insights to inform commuters about traffic predictions and recommended routes, as well as warn them of road obstructions and accidents.
Healthcare and medicine
Healthcare is slowly trying to move away from the one-drug-fits-all model and instead provide products, treatments, and medical decisions that are tailored to the individual patient. This model, called precision medicine, will revolutionize healthcare, leading to a more effective system and more lives saved.
AI is undeniably an essential part of precision medicine. With big-data analysis and sophisticated computation, clinicians can make more reliable, data-driven medical decisions, as well as identify the best course of action to treat unique healthcare needs.
Accelerated drug development
Drug development is a lengthy, painstaking process, generally taking 10 to 15 years to introduce a new drug to the market. Pharmaceutical companies are now harnessing artificial intelligence to look for potential drug candidates and predict their efficacy and possible side effects, thereby shaving a few years from the drug development timeline.
Personalized learning paths
Every student learns differently, and in an ideal world, every student is catered to with a method of learning that fits their individual needs, preferences, and strengths. This means customized teaching content and flexible learning models, which can be very demanding for the teacher.
With the help of AI, personalized learning is attainable. An AI-powered learning system can be developed that builds custom learning paths for every student, analyzes data and feedback, adjusts accordingly, and recommends the best learning step to take next.
Agriculture is one of the industries most in need of optimization. AI is at the helm of helping farmers and big agriculture companies increase efficiency and improve the quantity and quality of crops. AI-supported precision agriculture offers solutions like predictive insights and in-depth crop and soil monitoring, which help improve crop yield and overall productivity.
Autonomous robots can also be introduced on the farm to perform routine tasks and harvest huge crop volumes at a faster rate. These robots help redelegate the tasks so that farmers can focus on enterprise and decision-making efforts.
Culture and arts
Artificial intelligence was instrumental in creating virtual art exhibits during the onset of the global health crisis. This innovation brought the museum experience to people at a time when it was impossible to visit one on-site. In the future, virtual art spaces are expected to become more seamless and — with advances in virtual reality — more immersive.
Machine learning models like DALL-E and Stable Diffusion are creating waves by allowing their users to create complex, realistic images and artwork from simple text descriptions. Recently, the idea of AI-generated art sparked controversy and debate in the art community when an art piece created with the AI program Midjourney won first place in a digital arts competition.
Despite the controversy, artificial technology is bound to find its niche and be more commonplace in the art world in the future.
What makes a movie become the next blockbuster hit or flop? Sometimes, it all comes down to the screenplay. Some film executives are looking into sophisticated predictive algorithms that can analyze a film’s storyline and forecast how well it will perform at the box office. Movie promoters can also use AI to create the perfect marketing strategies to ensure the movie makes a profit.
Remember Bandersnatch, the interactive film where viewers get to make decisions for the protagonist? Well, artificial intelligence can bring the reality of movies to a whole new level. In the future, films may be made even more dynamic by giving characters a “brain”, which allows them to make decisions and interact with the world differently each time.
Combine that concept with virtual or augmented reality, and you can create a unique experience where films and video gaming collide. And though ambitious, this possibility may not be that far off, with a simple interactive VR movie officially released in 2020.
Home and living
Artificial intelligence helps build the house of the future, where your devices work for you, and not the other way around. Current internet of things (IoT) technology has come so far in recent years, and there are now several players in the smart home arena, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, and Apple HomeKit. From speakers and streaming devices to security cameras and plugs, you can create a smart ecosystem that is automated and works seamlessly together.
In the future, we can only expect a smoother, more reliable user experience in our smart homes, plus more household appliances available for automation. With the advent of virtual assistants like Amazon’s Astro, household robots that can help in cooking and cleaning may also be on the horizon.
Retail and shopping
With the introduction of the Amazon Go stores in 2018, Amazon introduced what they called the “Just Walk Out” shopping experience. You enter the store, put the products you want in your bag, and simply walk out of the store. You will be charged with your Amazon account, and a receipt is issued immediately. No scanning, no waiting in line, no checkout needed. Artificial technology, computer vision, and sensor fusion all come together to create a seamless, hassle-free shopping experience for the consumer.
Amazon hopes to bring the “just walk out” technology to over a thousand grocery and convenience stores, and other big retailers may soon follow suit.
Cybersecurity companies have started strengthening their solutions by using AI to quickly and reliably detect potential malware and cyber-attacks, helping to keep our online identities and data safe and free from abusers.
Banks and finance companies have also harnessed AI to protect both corporate and consumer finances from potential fraud and other attacks. By analyzing large amounts of data and continuously monitoring accounts, AI-supported solutions can detect suspicious transactions, even subtle micro-transactions that might evade a human inspector.
Artificial intelligence is already here, and it’s already empowering different industries to move forward and be future-ready. And as the technology continues to develop at an accelerated rate, AI is bound to continue disrupting more industries and changing how we see and live in our world.