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Creepy but Cool Facts on Artificial Intelligence

You’ve seen it in the movies: super smart robots finally come to the conclusion that we humans are making a mess of things. Still think that’s the stuff of science fiction? Maybe, but we’re certainly seeing some amazing advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence (or AI to us techies). We’re building machines that are smarter than we are, that can do our jobs for us, and that we will very soon come to depend on to maintain our technology-saturated lifestyles.

With so much going on in the world of AI, we are becoming all but desensitized to the technology. So let’s pause for a moment and look at the slightly creepy, but really cool advances taking place in AI today.

Microsoft’s Big Investment in AI

Microsoft’s recent investment in a 5,000+ AI team shows how real the opportunity is. With rapid progress in speech recognition and computer vision technologies over the past 5 years alone, AI is considered by many to be the “holy grail” of computer science. At Ignite, Microsoft announced this new group that will include Microsoft Research along with the company’s Information Platform Group, Bing and Cortana product groups, as well as members from the Ambient Computing and Robotics teams. This new group of computer scientists and engineers will help accelerate the evolution of AI making it more accessible and valuable to everyone.

Creepy but Cool AI Facts

At the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Satya Nadella presented a Keynote, that took a closer look at predicted trends in AI. Here are just a few of the statistics Gartner has presented on the subject.

  • The data gathered from users in cloud-based neural networks will power 40% of mobile interactions between virtual personal assistants and people by 2020 (source).
  • By the end of 2018, customer digital assistants will recognize customers by face and voice (source).
  • 85% of all customer interactions won’t require human customer service reps by the end of this decade (source).
  • 20% of business content will be authored by machines by 2018 (source).
  • By 2018, 6 billion connected devices will proactively ask for support (source).
  • By 2020, autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in 5% of all economic transactions (source).
  • By 2018, more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a so-called “robo-boss” (source).
  • By 2018, an estimated 2 million employees will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices on the job (source).
  • By 2018, 45% of early-adopters of AI will have fewer employees than smart machines (source).

It’s clear that the advances in AI will have great impact to what it means to be an employee and who you will be working with day to day, such that robots may very soon outnumber humans at work. Forrester predicts that AI will replace 16% of jobs over the next decade. The influx of AI is already seen in the growing use of Cortana, Siri, and other personal assistants. Things are changing so rapidly that big names like Elon Musk has reportedly invested big money in the safe and ethical use of AI.

The Promise of a Better Tomorrow

It’s not just businesses who are leveraging this technology. AI is providing scientists with an in-depth look at our own psychology with experiments in simulated mental illness and teachable treachery. The sheer potential for disruptive innovation due to AI is mind boggling, and it’s clear that we are not holding back. Applied AI and advanced machine learning are projected to result in a whole spectrum of intelligent implementations, from physical devices (think robots, self-driving cars, and clever consumer electronics) to apps and services which are smarter than you are.

The partner opportunity is clear as the global AI market is projected to hit more than $3,061.35 billion by the end of 2024. So buckle-in, because the future is now.

How do you see yourself investing in Artificial Intelligence now and in the future? What do you think are the practical and ethical implications of our technology choices today?

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