Engineering 101

Just how important is AI?

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Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Artificial Intelligence (AI) as:

  1. A branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers
  2. The capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior

However the second definition is perhaps somewhat an understatement. Human intelligence perhaps could process and analyse the data that computers are now instructed to, however the problem is quantitative rather that qualitative.

With billions of IoT and connected devices, there is an overload of data, and for a human to be able to analyze this data, and in real time, would be impossible.

Just one person could be accumulating masses of data – from multiple personal wearables to smartphone apps, to smart home devices.

The real question is: what do we do once we have all of this data?

It’s all very good collecting information about what times you turn the heating on at home, and how many steps you take in a day – but is all of this information slowing us down? Yes. But implement AI, and it could speed us up.

At the Wearable Technology Show 2017 in the Performance Sports Conference, this topic was debated by various panels, you can read about their discussion here.

Once AI is implemented, this data becomes useful – assuming it is valuable, reliable and accurate. Suddenly, smart home devices don’t just collect information, but they can react to it. Sensors can be added to water meters, and automatic readings sent back to suppliers, with adjustments made to payments. Your coffee machine can start brewing your morning cuppa just as you open your eyes.

Though the potential of AI goes much further than just encouraging a lackadaisical easier lifestyle where everything is done for you – AI is currently being utilized to fight back in the battle against cancer.

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