Did you know that there are close to 100 million people using artificial intelligence on a regular basis? You might know them as Netflix’s customers.
While a sentient, homicidal AIs like Kubrick’s HAL 9000 and the AI robots of The Matrix are still pure fiction, AI tech permeates computers, smartphones and business at large. The reason is entirely practical.
AI is extremely good at doing mind-numbing, number-crunching tasks that make our lives easier.
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The dizzying pace of hardware and software advancement means that AI will only get better over time. So here are a few of our predictions about the state of AI in 2022.
Drones Won’t Be Delivering Everything
You place an order for pizza and 20-30 minutes later a drone armed with AI delivers it to your door. You wave your phone at the drone to pay and the transaction is complete. It’s a nice idea, but unrealistic in the short term.
While drone technology is unquestionably cool and advancing fast, it’s not advancing that fast.
Incidents with driverless cars over the last few years prove that AI navigation has a way to go. On top of which, the flight aspect makes drone navigation even more complex. Everything from power lines and tree branches to birds will be obstacles the drone must deal with in real time.
Drone delivery also faces problems with adjusting for packaging weight and size, power consumption, and the inevitable legal hurdles.
AI Tech to Replace Certain Skilled Workers
Imagine a future where human workers get replaced by tireless, efficient robots. It’s a common trope in science fiction, but it often focuses on workers performing low-skill or manual labor.
Ironically, menial and manual laborers’ wages are low enough that big business lacks a financial reason to replace them. Some expensive and highly skilled workers, though, may find their job security disappearing.
Many tasks in IT, finance, law and the medical field are repetitive and use defined processes. Routine, defined processes with a limited number of predictable outcomes are ideal work for AI. We only pay a premium for these services now because experts do them.
Mass Adoption by Businesses
Software is cheaper than employees. It doesn’t need health insurance or impose FICA requirements. Even if you use subscription-based software-as-a-service, odds are good that it’s less expensive than hiring a person.
What makes AI different is that the software performs actual work, rather than assisting employees with their work. That makes AI an obvious choice for cost-cutting measures. At least when it works as well as a human being.
That may be more often than you’d think. Swedbank uses a bot named Nina to field customer calls and answer questions, which she does successfully 80% of the time.
That success rate may explain why an estimated 900,000 companies will adopt AI tech by 2022.
Barring some freak disaster that makes it impossible to use computer technology on planet earth, AI is here to stay. By 2022, it will manage countless business processes and mind many of our personal calendars. AI will take over a variety of tedious professional tasks.
AI tech will even make drone delivery systems and self-driving cars a reality. We’ll just have to wait a little longer for that.
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