AI: The Most Valuable Engineering Breakthrough: The Future

Apple, Google, Uber, GM, Ford all investing in AI developments include driverless cars, robotics, vision systems and other AI breakthroughs

As I shared in last week’s article, artificial intelligence (AI) is a fast growing industry that is currently offering many futuristic applications! In this second of three parts I will explore 6 fields that will be dramatically impacted by future AI developments. They include work and jobs, healthcare, vehicles, Big Data and decision-making, networks and construction.

Future AI Will Effect Work and Jobs

People already know and interact with A.I. systems through IBM’s Watson, IPsoft’s Amelia, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant. Future artificial intelligence applications will further expand job uses. Unfortunately, not everyone will be happy with this workplace disruption.

We are going to move from people to things,” explained Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup’s Latin America business, speaking at Fortune‘s recently concluded Most Powerful Women Summit. “We are expecting 500 billion objects to become connected to the Internet and this automation is going to hollow out middle and working class jobs,” explained Fraser. “Technology is replacing these jobs.”

Additionally, research firm Forrester recently predicted that robots would replace 6% of the U.S. jobs by 2012. Mostly craftsmen and factory jobs will be affected at first. Then artificial intelligence driven robots may replace taxi and truck drivers. Uber is already at the forefront of this innovation. While these robots can be good for companies looking to cut costs and increase efficiency, what happens to the employees who loose their jobs?

Future AI Will Affect Healthcare

The most popular use of artificial intelligence in healthcare today is in IBM’s smart cloud, where Watson lives. The Watson platform has been used in a number of disciplines within healthcare including with payers, oncology and patient risk assessment.

In the future there may be four additional areas that AI may affect in healthcare:

1.    Personal health virtual assistant. This AI driven app can be used to deliver medication alerts, patient education material and human-like interactions to gauge a patient’s current mental state. It can have an incredible impact on monitoring and assisting patients with some of their needs when clinical personnel are not available.

2.    Advanced analytics and research. For example, an artificial intelligence computer like IBM Watson can provide evidence-based treatment recommendations for cancer patients.

3.    Personal life coach. Whether it relates to medication adherence or is simply a motivational voice that encourages fitness activities and healthy habits, an AI driven personal life coach creates a customized experience for each individual patient and offers proactive alerts that can be sent back to physicians.

4.    Healthcare bots. One of the new areas of AI that is beginning to gain adoption is in the field of customer service and healthcare bots are likely to be available soon as part of what healthcare providers offer. A bot is an AI application patients can interact with through a chat window on a website or via telephone to receive help with their requests. Bots can be used in situations such as scheduling follow-up appointments with a patient’s provider online.

Future AI Will Affect Vehicles

Uber, Volvo, Ford, Google, Apple, General Motors (GM) and others are already investing heavily in driverless cars. For example, Uber Technologies recently began testing self-driving taxis to transport customers around Pittsburg. Uber’s engineering plans differ from many others in that they plan to engineer the software that powers the driverless cars and will forge partnerships with auto makers for most of the rest of the technology.

This has led to many recruiting teams raiding institutions like Carnegie Mellon as well as each other for the best and brightest artificial intelligence talent.

Future AI Will Affect Big Data

Currently, “big data” is a major term in vogue among business leaders. It has led to many recruiting assignments among my engineering recruiters and technical recruitment teams.

However, many executives still struggle to understand how more information is going to help them make better decisions that drive their businesses forward. In the future, artificial intelligence will allow decision makers to go well beyond merely accessing more data. AI will allow them to access data in the right way, at the right time, and in the right format to generate beneficial insights. As a result, AI will make Big Data more useful.

Analysts at research firm Gartner shared recently at their annual Symposium/ITxpo, “AI is a technology that businesses will increasingly trust in decision-making.” In the next three to five years, Gartner predicts that 50 percent of all analytical interactions will be delivered via artificial intelligence, and many of the insights will be gleaned through verbal interactions.

Future AI Will Affect Networks

The Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of Research firm Gartner said at a recent CIO and IT symposium, “advanced machine learning algorithms are composed of many technologies (such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing), used in unsupervised and supervised learning, that operate guided by lessons from existing information.”

As a result, AI will enable a smart machine to not only understand concepts in the environment, but also enable it to learn. Through this machine learning, a smart machine can change its future behavior. For example, by analyzing vast databases of medical case histories, “learning” machines can reveal previously unknown insights in treatment effectiveness.

Future AI Will Affect Construction

Robotics is becoming more common on jobsites for applications such as bricklaying, concrete dispensing, welding and demolition. In addition, robots and robotics technologies are becoming more autonomous and intelligent through the use of AI techniques.

In the future, AI techniques can be used to optimize development and quality control testing of products and design structures. For example, in applications involving machine vision for surveying and analyzing materials and structures, or for robotics applications such as automated bricklaying or autonomous vehicles.

Problems And Ethical Ramifications Of AI

During my 3rd and final installment I will discuss the problems associated with adopting AI. This can mean the loss of jobs, how to better educate students to land jobs in the AI field and problems with recruiting vast amounts of technology workers while other jobs are eliminated by AI driven robots. I hope you tune in for this final installment.

Engineering, technical, R&D recruiting experts

One Response

  1. Great examples of AI applications and insightful comments regarding the effect on the workplace.

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