The phrase “artificial intelligence” carries different meanings to different people. For the layperson confronted with these two words, however, reactions can be a mix of apprehension and sci-fi fantasies. The truth is, many of us have already had experiences with artificial intelligence—we just didn’t realize it.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) doesn’t always refer to the development of robotic beings. Instead, the phrase more commonly refers to computing systems and algorithms that work more like a utility—data processing platforms that can help humans access necessary data more readily.
Perhaps one of the most widely used examples of the use of artificial intelligence is Google. The search platform is founded on a system of AI-based algorithms that are capable of gaining valuable insight into what end users are searching. The algorithms then provide more accurate and focused results.
Based on Google’s 12.1 billion daily search queries, the search platform is capable of gathering and utilizing a tremendous set of data every single day. Although the data processing power Google represents is staggering, its applications bear tremendous promise in our daily personal and work lives.
In terms of the business world, intelligent algorithms represent not the opportunity to replace human intelligence, but to supplement it. Looking again at Google, the more information the algorithms take in, the better they can contextualize the circumstances surrounding the user.
In medicine, artificially intelligent platforms can make diagnoses based on input from former cases, speeding the diagnostic process and developing more specific treatments for patients. For teachers, artificially intelligent translation software provides near-immediate translations that make any subject approachable to students of any cultural or national background. And in the business world, the ability to leverage, sort, and graph tremendous sets of data in a fraction of the time can result in better decision-making and business leadership.
We have only seen the tip of the iceberg, but the dawn of the AI age represents a new era of learning and living for humans. As AI improves, the intellectual bounds of the human mind will be pushed further, opening new possibilities for innovation. Just as high-speed Internet and other utilities have reshaped our world, AI platforms could usher in a movement of working smarter, not harder.