Artificial intelligence–or AI–is a fantastic technology which will revolutionize products and services, in the most disruptive way since the internet. Let us explore what AI is, and how it will change your lifestyle.
The confusion about AI
I find that defining AI is always useful, especially because many people have quite an unclear understanding of what it is. In the common imagination, people often separate into two opposite camps.
On the one hand, we have the apocalyptic vision, where we either have an all-powerful, omniscient computer starting to control the world, or mean, heavily-built robots that are starting to rebel against humans when they notice that they do not need us anymore. We humans are then forced to fight against our own creation, an army of fanatic cyborg killers with tremendous strength and no sense of pain. Thanks Terminator, and iRobot for the great image.
On the other hand, many people see AI as cute robots helping us with our everyday needs - think of R2-D2 in Star Wars or Wall-E in the Pixar movie.
What artificial intelligence really is
The reality is different, and while many people are starting to plan for the apocalypse while other are still looking for their loving friend robot, this could take a little while longer. The things is, AI is already here, but it is not in the form depicted by sci-fi books and movies.
According to Aberdeen, 43% of businesses today are already leveraging AI technology one way or another. You see it and use it every day, even though you might not be aware of it. When Spotify suggests you a song or Netflix proposes a movie based on your listening/watching preferences: that's AI. When your email blocks spam emails that you do not seem to read: that's AI. When you ask Siri to text Stephanie to tell her you are running late, this is definitely AI as well.
AI can, but does not have to, have anything to do with a physical form. Basically, anytime that a computer/code/machine is set to imitate human intelligence one way or another, this is AI. Under the broad name of AI, we have many sub-categories. Neural networks–a process mimicking the human brain– Deep learning–AI designed to learn without human supervision–, natural language processing–AI for recognizing and producing speech –, and machine learning–algorithm that becomes more effective as they are trained with data.
Some AI ensure the security of your server, some play chess, some detect shoplifters on security cameras, some instantly translate text in the language of your choosing, some have a conversation with you. The possibilities are endless.
IDC predicts that by 2023, worldwide AI spending will almost reach $100 billion, meaning that, for clients, contacts with companies will increasingly happen through intelligent algorithm rather than human beings.
Yes, that's great and all, but how will Artificial intelligence make me rich?
I'm getting to it. As we are trying to describe the impact of AI on consumers, one approach is to think of it as a tool to turn you into a wealthy person. By this, I do not mean that it will find a way to grow money in your pocket, but rather, it will offer you services that were only available to the extremely wealthy beforehand.
Think about it: wealthy people can afford to have everything taken care of for them. A personal doctor, financial advisor, personal travel agents, people helping them dress and shop according to their tastes. Everything can be tailored to their personal desires and anything that can spare them from additional effort is welcomed. Any issue involving a form of complexity can simply be pushed aside to be handled by someone else. That is luxury.
Well, AI is offering to offer just that, to everyone. With the help of this technology, every service and product will be tailored to each customer, regardless of their wealth.
In the same way that superior services will be available to more customers, companies will be able to deliver at much lower costs. A study showed that companies should save around $8 billion only by using chatbots in 2022, which is insane.
It is nothing new that AI can replace humans for repetitive and simple tasks. However, recent technology advancement gives them the possibility to undertake the role of advisors, managers, and supervisors in different businesses and situations. For example, Deep Knowledge Venture, a Hong Kong based company, appointed the first AI robot to their board of directors.
To better grasp this change, let us explore different industries where we'll witness the strongest changes through AI technology.
Artificial intelligence and healthcare
When the rich enter a hospital, they are like injured gods: everything shall be put in place to offer them the best treatment and chances of recovery possible. A personal healthcare plan based on family history, the best physicians, medical advice based on the latest research, a thorough follow up to make sure everything is going well.
With the help of AI, this service will be offered to every patient. We can easily imagine having our medical data collected all the time by connected objects Our smartwatch for example, transmitted directly to the cloud, processed in complex algorithms will, in the end, send you a text message telling you that you might want to get a flu shot, or to detect worse issues early on, such as first stage cancer or tumor.
For diagnostics specifically, AI can offer an unprecedented support. Imagine a robot that has read all the medical papers ever published on the planet. This machine can take into account every single detail given by your body (fatigue, temperature, blood pressure, heart rate) and offer you the most precise diagnostic. However, they are not perfect yet, and are not programmed to double check or analyze their mistakes – they still make some. Human physicians are thus still necessary to make the final call.
Artificial intelligence and Manufacturing
When a major company outsources part of, or all of its manufacturing process, they can get a personalized and tailored service, simply because of their size and the amount of the contract. The manufacturer will do anything to get that Fortune 500 company contract, whether that means changing processes, acquiring new equipment, etc.
With AI and Industry 4.0, manufacturers will be able to deliver the same quality of service, independently of the size of the contracting company. Not only will AI be able to suggest designs and processes at minimum cost, sensors will help assess the product advancement, detect maintenance needs and alert for quality issues. Finally, manufacturers could leverage the data from the buying company to see how they are using the products, which would help them come up with better design for the next batches, entering a spiral of enhancements.
Artificial intelligence and Insurance
The rich do not have one fit-for-all insurance. It is – you guessed it – tailored to their needs. They might have an insurance for their watch, boat, specific rare box of cigars – very cliché but you get the point. AI could offer the same level of personalization to all customers, which would be insured based on their habits, assets and activities.
Furthermore, AI could deploy a service analyzing your data, such as driving history. After all, should you not pay less for your car insurance if you are a great driver that never exceeds the speed limit? AI could also analyze the state of your car, such as the reliability of your breaks. Don't you want to get a cheaper insurance? Then replace your old tires with something safer and more solid. As another example, we could also imagine lowering your medical insurance cost as long as you eat well and stay in a decent shape.
Artificial intelligence and Banking
When you are rich, you have a personal financial advisor who helps you make all your money-money related decisions. The advisor takes everything into account: wealth, income, risk tolerance, investing interests, etc. He will do his best to come up with tailored investment alternatives which might satisfy its client.
You see where I am getting here: financial institutions who have the AI technology will be able to deliver a very similar service to all of their customer, from the wealthiest to the most modest. Financial institutions get to save a lot of time and money and are able to put more effort towards innovation, while clients can benefit from a quality service without being discriminated on the size of their wallet.
Artificial intelligence, Travel and transportation
The extremely wealthy do not book their hotels, restaurants, and flights. This is an extremely annoying task, and it is always better to have a travel agent do this for them. Things get even worse when something goes wrong, such as a cancelled flight or the sudden closing of your favorite steakhouse – big problems I know, but remember we are rich spoiled brats in this scenario.
AI can offer a good substitute to this service, with the help of digital agents and smart ticketing systems. It will automatically find you another plane or book another restaurant based on your dining history. In the same way, whether it be in the transport of persons or things, AI can analyze everything, squeeze out inefficiencies and make sure to maximize space and time to reduce costs, both financial and ecological.
Finally, self-driving cars are also about to heavily disrupt the transportation industry. Self-driving trucks are already on the roads. Remember that a robot driver is never tired, never drunk, never distracted. Did I mention that he does not mind working 24/7 for free?
Will Artificial intelligence really make you rich?
Alright, this was a clickbait and I kind of lied to you. However, one thing is certain: AI will enhance living quality in many domains. Even if the measure of the enhancement is not monetary, the quality of life will be much higher as many people will get access to services that they could not dream of 10 years ago. Now, that is what I call progress.
Mindy Support: an AI robot on the board of directrors
DCX Technology: AI predictions for 2019-2021
Deloitte: Tech trends 2021