The future is here: the role of AI in our day-to-day lives

If all the recent talk of artificial intelligence’s rapid growth is filling you with a sense of dystopian dread, you might be surprised to learn that AI is already playing a prominent role in our lives. From the first scroll through your social media accounts in the morning to that late-night shopping spree on Amazon, AI is now enmeshed in our everyday routines. Here are six ways AI is already helping to streamline and improve your life.

A virtual assistant in your pocket

One of the most commonplace applications of AI is the built-in virtual assistants in your smart phone, such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Powered by voice recognition and natural language generation, these tools allow uses to perform a variety of hands-free tasks, including searching the internet, sending a message, or making a call. The apps’ use of machine learning (ML) gives them an inherent independence and capacity for self-improvement – each time Siri or Alexa makes an error when you ask it a question, it will analyse that data to ensure it delivers a better response next time.

Personalised predictions

Streaming services are another great example of how AI is seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. Media and music streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube and Spotify all use AI to predict what you might want to watch or listen to next. The platforms use a combination of AI and ML to suggest shows and songs based on your previous usage patterns, and the patterns of other like-minded users.

Smart shopping

Online shopping is also becoming more sophisticated by the day. AI-powered ecommerce uses predictive analytics to help personalise the customer experience based on previous purchases, popularity, your search patterns, and what other users are buying. Grocery apps such as Amazon have become adept at suggesting products based on usage patterns, accurately predicting when you might be running low on laundry detergent, for example. Apps such as Sephora now go so far as to customise suggested products within the shopper’s expected budget to deliver a better user experience and a higher conversion rate.

Driving and deliveries

Navigating your way to work is also being transformed by AI. Way-finding apps such as Waze use AI technology to crowd-source data from fellow road users, sharing real-time traffic updates to streamline your journey, from finding the fastest route to alerting you about upcoming accidents or traffic jams. Ride-sharing behemoth Uber now has its own artificial intelligence arm, Uber AI, dedicated to researching and developing new technologies. Uber draws on machine learning and its own in-house technology, DeepETA, to accurately predict delivery times and estimate fares, and manage user surges.

Getting your message across

AI-powered writing tools are changing the way we communicate. Whether it’s the Smart Compose suggestions in Gmail that are based on your previous message compositions, the Quick Reply options in WhatsApp, or Grammarly’s AI-based grammar recommendations, these tools can help you save time while improving your copy. At the pointy end of the spectrum, AI-powered ChatGPT can generate reems of human-like content based on context and past conversations, drawing on a massive data set of 175 billion parameters to compose everything from university term pages to recipes and legal recommendations.

Safety in numbers

Trained on machine learning models of real car crashes, Google and Apple iPhones now come with AI-powered car crash detectors. Their systems are are activated if your phone senses you’ve been in an accident, sending an alert and your location to authorities and your chosen contacts. Enhanced safety features on the latest generations of the Apple Watch include a fall-detection device, which sends an alert to emergency teams if it detects you’ve had a serious fall. It draws on AI algorithms and data from the watch’s accelerometer and gyroscope to gauge the severity of the fall, which could be particularly beneficial for the elderly, and those who are living alone.

So, while we’re all hyperaware of the potential risks and pitfalls of AI, it is timely to remember this game-changing technology offers endless potential for improving our lives each and every day.

by Karl Escritt, CEO of Like Digital & Partners

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