We tend to talk about artificial intelligence as something far off in the future. Discussions about artificial intelligence tend to regard the subject as something that will arrive someday but isn’t quite here yet. That’s far from the case.
Not only is artificial intelligence all around us, but it’s used in many ways that impact you on a daily basis. Whether or not you realize it, you probably deal with one form or another of artificial intelligence multiple times a day.
Something as simple as a robot vacuum makes heavy use of artificial intelligence. Early models bounced off walls, moved your furniture, and terrified your cat. The latter may still be true, but they’ve improved massively in other ways thanks to artificial intelligence.
Depending on the vacuum, they use cameras or various other sensors to avoid running into obstacles or plunging down the stairs. That’s just the start, though. Newer robot vacuums use artificial intelligence to vacuum your room as you would, meaning they won’t go over the same part of the carpet over and over again.
Email has been around so long you might not think of it as a use case for artificial intelligence. The fact that your inbox isn’t entirely full of spam says otherwise. Spam filtering isn’t the only AI-powered aspect of email, either.
More and more email apps and services are beginning to add smart compose features. This is artificial intelligence going over previously sent emails and understanding how you speak in order to help you send email faster.
This is likely one you were probably already aware of since Siri and Alexa are often referred to as AI assistants. These make heavy use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you out, from understanding what you’re saying in the first case to inferring the proper context.
As you use them, they’ll learn more about how you use them. If you’ve ever spoken instructions to Siri and watched as it added a word, then replaced it with the word you actually said, this is artificial intelligence understanding the accent with which you speak.
Your Phone’s Camera
When you go to take a photo with your phone and it pops up a box around your friend’s face, that is artificial intelligence at work. Even auto-focus is using artificial intelligence to tell when a given subject is in or out of focus. It doesn’t stop at the phone either.
Browsing through your photos in iCloud Photo Library or Google Photos, you’ll notice various categories. These can include pets, landscapes, and even different people based on their faces. Artificial intelligence running behind the scenes powers all of this.
It’s pretty clear that a vehicle driving itself is going to need some sort of artificial intelligence powering it. These vehicles use machine learning and massive data sets to recognize the world around them, with a little help from us. Why do you think that so many CAPTCHAs on the web have you clicking on Stop signs and traffic lights?
Fully self-driving cars aren’t the only vehicles to make use of artificial intelligence, however. Many vehicles these days have auto-parking features and other things that make your everyday driving easier. Artificial intelligence powers these features as well.
As machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to improve, you’ll also notice a new term thrown about: cognitive computing. Cognitive computing and artificial intelligence are closely linked, but they aren’t the same thing.
Are you curious and want to learn more about cognitive computing? Take a look at our comparison of artificial intelligence and cognitive computing where we take a look at the similarities and differences between the two.