AI In Our Daily Lives
Does artificial intelligence have the ability to take over the world? Some prominent scientists and tech industry leaders, including the late astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Google research director Peter Norvig, have issued dire warnings about AI’s potential threat to the human race, calling for ongoing research into its social implications.
Others haven’t been as quick or believe that to be the case. In particular, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have taken issue with this outlook, emphasizing the positive benefits of AI and cautioning against alarmist panic.
Whoever turns out to be right in this debate, one indisputable fact remain: AI has already become part of our everyday lives in ways we often don’t consciously recognize. With that in mind, here are three ways AI is already impacting your daily life, even if you don’t know it.
Over the past decade, AI has been influencing society and has altered the way consumers shop via the roll-out of recommendation engines or software programs that make product or viewing recommendations to visitors by analyzing their search history, recent purchases, and product ratings, to name a few.
Netflix helped pioneer the use of recommendation engines in the late 2000s by developing an algorithm that suggested videos to customers based on their viewing history. Other video platform providers like YouTube followed suit by using algorithms to suggest videos and gear ads toward audiences with demographics matching those of the recommended videos.
Meantime, Amazon has also popularized the use of recommendation engines by suggesting books and other products based on buyers’ search and shopping history. Indeed, with the popularity of AI technology soaring, McKinsey estimates more than a third of Amazon’s sales are now generated by artificial intelligence through recommendation engines.
Automated Customer Service
Another way artificial intelligence already pervades our everyday lives is through the prevalence of automated customer service. In an effort to shorten wait times, an increasing number of companies have adopted IVR that use voice-controlled phone menus to provide customers with self-service options.
For instance, the number of healthcare providers offering IVR-managed payment options rose from 7 percent to 50 percent in 2017. Additionally, according to Inc., the dependability of chatbots providing automated customer service via instant messenger systems is also growing, with Gartner projecting chatbots will handle 85 percent of all customer service interactions by 2020.
In order for these automated solutions to work effectively without alienating customers who prefer live agent phone support, IVR and chatbots must continue to rely on AI to determine which support tickets can be handled through self-service and which require live assistance. In fact, today’s leading cloud call contact center solution use AI-powered analytics to rapidly identify customer service issues that require voice-to-voice dialogue before routing these requests to available live agents.
Another way artificial intelligence is already influencing us is through computer-generated news articles. Automated journalism algorithms are programmed to scan newsworthy data, such as marketing statistics, sports standings and voting trends, and package it in a style that can be consumed by human readers.
With that in mind, a wide range of industries are doing their part to join this movement. Major news organizations are already using robots with a developed journalistic pedigree to produce stories. For instance, The Washington Post adopted a robot reporting program called Heliograf that was able to generate 850 news stories between 2016 and 2017.
Meantime, Reuters uses an AI tool called Lynx Insight to help human reporters analyze data, develop story angles and craft articles. The future looks bright for automated journalism. In fact, within a decade, 90 percent of news stories will be written by computers, according to automated news provider Narrative Science.
A Key Role in Our Personal and Professional Lives
Through the expanding market of recommendation engines, AI has and will continue to influence the manner in which we shop and make purchases. Plus, with automated tools like IVR and chatbots, AI has already transformed the way we experience customer service. Finally, through automated journalism, AI will increasingly influence the news we read. Indeed, all signs point to AI playing a key and growing role throughout all phases of our everyday lives in the near and long-term.