Artificial Intelligence – A force for changePublished: 2018-04-30 08:33
If you hang about in factory coffee rooms, lean your head around a corridor or put your ear to the ground there is no doubt, sooner rather than later you will hear the whispered letters “A.I” or artificial intelligence. Somewhat unsurprisingly I am pretty passionate about A.I, probably comes with the job title I imagine. Job role aside I am very excited about the “rise of the machines” coming into business. It is very easy to start thinking “dystopian” future thoughts and hard to resist humming the terminator theme tune when speaking about A.I in business. But, from where I stand, we are a way away from Skynets eventual takeover of the world. In actual fact A.I has been a huge part of business for years. It’s just now the processes and systems are becoming smarter, and we as users and operators are becoming smarter at using them.
A.I is quite a broad subject, some people define it as smart technology, others more along the lines of self-improving technology. Either way its changing the face of business. If you go and have a look at any industry magazine or business journal you will no doubt find an article on A.I, either its impact on business or the coming “tidal wave of robots” in 2018 The possibilities for A.I in the common-day and workplace are staggering and I feel we are moving swiftly into the digital revolution. Early adoption of these technologies for businesses will shape and define markets in the years to come.
I spoke to a colleague of mine about this, trying to gauge some concerns/thoughts in an ultra-small focus group of one. The first and from my point of view most predictable concern was:
“how do we know what the limit of A.I (Robots) can do? If A.I is all about self-improvement where does that stop?”
The simple answer here is that is doesn’t. It doesn’t stop for A.I because it doesn’t stop for us. The more we learn and the more we can integrate A.I into daily life; the more opportunities there will be for streamlining processes, speeding up tasks and making our lives that much more easier and dare I say it – exciting.
Robots – that is the key word here. It is very difficult for me to separate A.I from the Hollywood depiction. The words have become synonymous with each other, and whilst it does give a certain gravitas to the topic its not strictly true. Think about it, how much have you come in contact with A.I in the last week? Have you used Google? Sat Navs? Translation tools? Self-driving cars? Or taken a flight in the last month? Did you know that the average flight of a Boeing plane involves only seven minutes of human-steered flight, which is typically reserved only for take-off and landing. (New York Times)
All brilliant examples but ones that are fairly grounded in common knowledge. What about the less well-known applications? Like leg supports for people with reduced mobility. These can be worn so that the internal A.I learns the users gait pattern and can tell when the user is going to fall over or stumble and can help correct their stance to stop the fall. Or medical diagnostic “robots” that can reduce them time it takes to diagnose a patient and assist the doctor in a myriad of different ways? I think what I am trying to say here is – We have barely even started to tap into what A.I can offer us both at home and in the workplace. I guess what I am trying to say here is that we really don’t know what impact A.I is going to have on business and life in general but we do know it is a great time to be part of this shift in lifestyle and business dynamic. It is a truly exciting time to be part of this change, and as a digital nerd its all of my childhood fantasies coming to life in miniature. Who knows, in the future it may not be me writing this blog….