It seems like every day, there is progress and new applications for AI technology. It’s quickly providing solutions to problems we struggled with before and has generally improved our quality of life. Here are five of the biggest trends and discussions in the world of AI.
1. Emulating emotions
One of the primary identifiers of humans over AI is our free will and ability to understand and express emotion. It may seem impossible for something that runs on logic to empathize and show emotion convincingly, but recent AI innovations have improved how robots respond to verbal and nonverbal cues. With high-level data annotation, robots can detect distress by interpreting their tone and body language and project comfort to put a person at ease. This is helpful, especially in psychiatry, where robots could help rehabilitate people who have experienced trauma.
2. Wider discussion of ethics
With how increasingly widespread AI has become, there has been increased concern about how government agencies and businesses are using it against unwitting civilians. Law enforcement has recently come under fire for the controversial use of facial recognition to predict who is more likely to commit a crime. While people tout AI as infallible and free of bias, we too easily forget that the people who code and develop these systems have their own biases. An AI is only as good as its given data and could quickly embrace racist and sexist rhetoric in the wrong hands.
3. Improving the internet-of-things
Around 97% of Americans own a smartphone, and that likely isn’t the only mobile device they have at home. AI-powered assistive technology like Alexa, Roomba, and Wi-Fi-enabled appliances are increasing in popularity thanks to the convenience they offer. With AI, these devices can be more personalized and soon will no longer need direct command to perform their tasks. They can learn from previous input that the user usually wakes up at certain hours and will prepare their morning routine for them.
4. More sophisticated robots
When we think of robots, it’s usually humanoid creatures that are seemingly indistinguishable from real humans. While we’re still a long way from that, robots have come so far from when they were first created. In Japan, they are already using robots as healthcare companions, receptionists, etc. More advanced robots like Sophia can even change their expression and exchange sensible dialogue.
AI is boosting cybersecurity in various ways. One is by monitoring what users do regularly and use that information to detect anomalies. Another is by having a database of malware used in previous attacks that will, in turn, block similar attacks in the same way that vaccines work for the human body.
As AI continues to grow, more avenues are opened, and more concerns are raised. As with any emerging technology, we must be careful in how we proceed to ensure the outcome is used for the greater good. AI has great potential to change our world, and only time will tell what else it has in store for us.