Is artificial intelligence seeping under our radars becoming intrinsically part of our lives without us even realising it?
As new innovations, software, and developments in IT forge ahead every day, just how dependent are we with artificial intelligence – and will it only get more and more?
Dave Edwards, Co-founder of Quartz AI – the artificial intelligence research division of Quartz - and his wife Helen, recently in New Zealand as part of Creative HQ’s Lightning Lab Electric innovation challenge and accelerator, have done extensive research in the AI space and says we are already surrounded by artificial intelligence today.
“Every internet search, every time you look at your social media feed, every major e-commerce transaction is full of artificial intelligence making recommendations, personalising the experience to you based on your individual history, and based on the history of other people that are like you.
“This is an area that we’re already using for many, many hours a day and it’s changing our digital experience as consumers.”
The addictive side of Artificial Intelligence
He says in 2016, we started using smart media an extra hour per day from 9.5 hours roughly to 10.5 hours.
“It’s an enormous increase in the amount of time we use smart phones, pads, and all of those devises.”
Dave thinks a lot of it has to do with the almost addictive quality that AI can create in terms of that experience.
“We’ll see those same impacts transitioning to the workforce.
“We’re seeing it today now with some level of exposure - more companies are adopting technology both internally to help manage their systems to be able to analyse their own data to be able to make better decisions.
“This could also be providing new interfaces to experience the world around us whether that’s just an AI that gives a particular prediction to one that has a new interface using a new mixed reality screen that can layer digital information on top of the physical world around us.”
And the AI researcher says it’s all happening relatively rapidly.
Businesses could find themselves quickly being left behind
“It’s something that if companies aren’t thinking about today, it’s one that they’ll find themselves quickly being left behind.
“We like to think of AI as similar to the internet in the past in that in the past 20 years the internet and the mobile has allowed every technology product to communicate, and in the next 20 years AI is going to allow every technology product to think and learn.”
Dave believes just as people were caught behind in the late 90’s and early 2000’s by underestimating how quickly internet communications could change their businesses, this same level of early rapid progress will be felt in the artificial intelligence space.
“In some ways enabled by the fact that the internet exists because all of these products can already communicate. There’s no physical infrastructure that needs to laid, we don’t need new faster modems or larger telecom wires. We don’t need fibre pass by our homes to be able to be able to access this new technology, it already exists.”
Math in new AI products been around for decades
Dave says much of the math in new artificial intelligence products has been around for decades so there is very little resistance in being able to use these new technologies.
“And you’ll see some things that will surprise people,” he says. “There’s been a lot of press attention to Google’s Deep Mind business which famously beat the world champions in Go, a very complicated game and an extremely difficult thing for a computer to do.”
But he says a more practical application was when Google used the same deep learning algorithms and applied it to their server farms and were able to reduce the cooling expenses dramatically much more than anyone really expected especially for such an efficient company like Google.
“That all happened without any real warning, they decided to experiment and, at least from the outside, it seems to have happened very quickly.
“So I think we can anticipate that kind of very rapid change happening across many different industries and it will catch a lot of people on guard if they aren’t prepared for it.”