7 Upcoming AI Technologies That Are Changing The World
When Google held a much anticipated event on October 4th, they announced a slew of hardware products. There were two Pixel smartphones to best the iPhone, a VR headset to compete against Samsung Gear VR, Google Home to go up against Amazon Echo, Chromecast Ultra and Google Wifi. Truth be told, none of these products were really groundbreaking. There was however one product that, despite disappearing in the hardware hype, deserves much attention. That is Google Assistant. It may not seem like so now but Google Assistant will be one of the most revolutionary Google products in the near future. It will define how we interact with technology, both within and outside Google’s ecosystem. We talk more about Google Assistant in our upcoming AI technologies section below.
Google is trying to get ahead in the artificial intelligence game, but it is not the only player making big bets in the novel industry. Companies like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and IBM are all making efforts to integrate AI technology into their core product offerings. With AI, these companies are aiming to redefine the meaning of convenience. AI does everything for us from booking our flights to telling us what to say in reply to text messages.
Upcoming AI Technologies With A Big Impact
But the impact of upcoming AI technologies goes way beyond our personal lives. In a field like medicine, artificial intelligence will sift through gigabytes of medical data and help health professionals make better decisions. In transport, AI will eliminate problems like traffic gridlocks and even reduce car accidents. In education, we are soon going to have AI teachers supplementing formal education classes.
There are those, like Elon Musk, who caution on the danger of runaway artificial intelligence in a Skynet-like doomsday prophesy. Despite these concerns, there is no refuting the world-changing impact AI is going to have on how we live. The growth of AI is being helped along by two emerging fields; machine learning and deep learning.
To give you a taste of the future, we have sampled some of the most amazing upcoming AI technologies. We start with the most popular AI program available currently, Google Assistant.
1. Google Assistant
Me: I’m hungry
Assistant: Let’s find you something to eat. By the way, what kinds of food do you like? I’ll remember and give you better options.
Me: Italian and Mexican
Assistant: Noted, anything else?
Me: No, find me a restaurant please.
Assistant: Here are the listings for restaurants near you.
Me: Thank you
Assistant: No Problem
If you did not know any better, you would assume that this is my secretary I am talking to. But this is an actual conversation with Google’s chatbot named Assistant. This has always been the goal of Google; creating an AI program that intuitively understands our needs and interacts with users in a very natural way.
Google Assistant is still taking its baby steps so it still has its limitations. But it is developing at rapid pace, learning more about its users and finding new ways to make their lives easier. For example, there is the possibility that Google Assistant could be opened up to third parties in the future. I could ask the program to find me a new microwave oven.
It then connects me to the Amazon chatbot, which asks me a few questions and then recommends a few products. I then order a new fridge without ever leaving the Google Assistant app.
As the Internet of Things (IOT) concept catches on, you may one day find yourself controlling your entire life from Assistant. You tell it to lock your home, switch off lights, call you an Uber and so on. It actually feels a bit scary thinking of Google having such deep tentacles into every aspect of our lives.
Currently, Assistant can do quite a number of things including finding nearby places, showing you movie times, creating an event, setting an alarm, calling your contacts and opening apps. This is the early version of a program that will change how we interact with technology.
2. IBM Watson
IBM Watson catapulted to popularity after winning big in the game “Jeopardy!” (see engadget’s video up above). But that was several years ago. Since then, the AI system has developed at a tremendous pace to become one of the smartest AI programs we have today. In fact, IBM has already put it to commercial use.
The system has written a cookbook, made a movie trailer and argued in a debate team. Beyond that, it has been making huge impacts in various industries. It has been used in a hospital to help doctors analyze data quickly and draw strong conclusions on patient problems.
In an example of its powerful data parsing capabilities, the system saved a woman’s life by diagnosing a rare form of leukemia that doctors had missed. By comparing the condition of the patient to millions of research papers in its database, it was able to come up with a correct diagnosis in ten minutes!
In education, Watson is being put to work helping third grade math teachers prepare exercises and lesson plans. There is also a Watson-powered lawyer called ROSS. ROSS is an AI program that carries out tedious and time-consuming legal research, helping human lawyers save time and focus on more important aspects of their cases.
In a recent development, Watson is helping nurses and doctors cope with frantic schedules. Through smart speakers, the program communicates with patients, answering their questions and giving them control over things like lighting and room temperature. Doctors can then focus on what matters most.
Even with all these amazing feats, we are yet to witness the full power of upcoming AI technologies like Watson. As we will see later on, it is programs like these that could very well solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges.
3. Smart Implants
Chelsey Loeb had experienced seizures since she was a teenager. She was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy and medication helped get rid of the seizures and a year and a half. But then they came back with even more vigor, seriously affecting her education.
This time, the treatment used was much more advanced. She was chosen as a candidate for a new seizure treatment. Doctors removed part of her left temporal lobe and inserted a small device that monitored her brain and stopped any seizure before it occurred.
In the future, smart medical implants are going to become more commonplace. Diabetic people will get implants that intelligently regulate their blood sugar levels. Athletes will have implants that monitor joint health and warn athletes when they are pushing them too far.
There will be devices that regulate blood flow for children and adults with heart problems. There will be implants that can monitor your general health and warn you or your doctor when a problem is spotted early on.
Smart implants powered by upcoming AI technologies will be able to carry out monitoring and carry out necessary action. Some could be equipped with minute medicine doses that they dispense when they detect a health problem. In the far future, we could have implants that produce the right chemicals to counter mental issues like depression.
4. AI-Powered Bionics
From robots inside our bodies to those attached to our bodies, the future is already here. Can you imagine being able to lift 50 or 100 pounds of weight with ease or running at full speed for hours without tiring? This is the promise of upcoming AI technologies in bionics.
Bionics is a field that focuses on mechanical devices that function like biological organs. It is a field that has been experiencing big advances in recent years. One of the latest advances is bionic prosthetics that communicate directly with the brain. An amputee is able to control his artificial arm as if it were a real arm. In fact, such artificial limbs come with added capabilities such as being able to rotate 360 degrees and lifting heavy weights.
But bionics will not just benefit the disabled; even the able-bodied will reap the fruits. For example, soldiers in the field could be equipped with bionic suits that enable them to run faster while carrying very heavy weights through hostile territory. Elderly individuals will enjoy movement way beyond what their bodies can accomplish on their own.
For the disabled, bionic devices will put them at par or even ahead of other able bodied humans. For instance, stroke victims with extremely limited motion will be able to stand up and walk thanks to these devices.
Artificial intelligence will be an integral part of this development. It will help in communicating with the brain and ensuring the individual is comfortable and in a healthy state. Eventually we might experience the rise of superhumans.
5. The Rise of Superhumans
Whether we like it or not, the human body is pretty limited in what it can do. Change the temperature a bit and we cannot survive. Get a cold and you have to stay in bed an entire week.
For a species that has built amazing machinery, we are quite frail. The bad news is, we will still rely on the machines and technology we have built for the next several millennia.
The good news is, we will become one with the machines.
The combination of robotics, bionics and artificial intelligence will usher in one of the most radical times of human history. We will gain superhuman sensory abilities in sight, hearing, taste and smell.
Can you imagine seeing 10 times more colors than you do now? We will enjoy other abilities such as super strength, super speed and so on. It will be a world in which disabilities like deafness or blindness no longer exist.
6. Cars that Talk
Self-driving cars are being hailed as the next big thing in transport. But there is another area that is also bound to affect how we drive on the road and that is car-to-car communication. Based on a network of interconnected cars and powered by upcoming AI technologies, this system will allow vehicles on the road to communicate to each other through signals.
This will help counter the risky nature of human driving, help mitigate traffic gridlocks and improve our transport system. Even after driverless cars roll out, this car-to-car communication system will prove essential to a safe and effective transport system.
With the roll out of the ultra-fast 5G network, experts say car-to-car communication will become much easier. Combined with driverless car technology, you can see why many experts predict a future where car accidents are rare anomalies.
7. AI-Powered Agriculture
The world population is increasing at a pace never seen before in history. We are already contending with sustaining a 7 billion plus world population on limited resources. What will happen when we hit 10 billion or 15 or 20.
AI-powered agriculture is one solution.
To maximize crop yield, agricultural experts are relying on artificial intelligence to guide their actions and decisions. Using sensors and robots, the agricultural industry is being turned around on its heels. An AI program analyzes your soil and tells you the best crop for it.
Through smart sensors, it tells you when to water and add fertilizer. If a problem arises, it tells you what action to take. It sends an alert when harvest time is near.
In the near future, artificial intelligence will remove humans from the farms. It will power machines and robots to do the tilling, planting, tending and harvesting all the while ensuring the highest yield possible.
This will enable us to feed more people while farming on shrinking land sizes.
Solving the World’s Biggest Challenges
Upcoming AI technologies will bring a host of personal conveniences with it. Just look at Google Assistant. But what I see as the biggest impact upcoming AI technologies will have on our future is the ability to solve some of our most pressing problems. Currently, researchers are working on ways to deploy artificial intelligence to find effective solutions to problems like climate change, urban crime and poverty.
We have tried for years to fight these challenges with varying levels of success. Maybe the upcoming AI technologies are exactly what we have been waiting for to turn our fortunes around.
If it can keep our planet from warming up, keeps urban streets safe, help our kids learn better and keep families from descending into poverty, then we welcome it with wide open arms.
What achievements do you think we will get with artificial intelligence? Leave your comments below.
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