From work to school and recreation, artificial intelligence (AI) plays a huge role in your day-to-day life – even if you’re not yet aware of it. Currently, AI powers a variety of tools and technologies we often take for granted, such as email spam filters, social networking image uploads, and eCommerce searches and recommendations. The technology has come a long way in recent years but will continue to evolve at a dizzying pace. Let’s take a closer look at the future of artificial intelligence:
How AI Emerged in Today’s Society
While most people think of AI as a 21st-century concept, it has existed in some form for decades. Historians differ in their accounts of its origins, but most trace it back to the 1940s and 50s. At that time, experts from fields like engineering, psychology, and mathematics began to discuss the possibility of intelligent agents, or machines capable of mimicking cognitive functions that humans take for granted.
The field took a leap forward when computer scientist Alan Turing published a paper about the potential for developing thinking machines. Several years later, a variety of scientists joined forces at the Dartmouth Conference to discuss “every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence…so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.”
The next few decades saw astonishing improvements, including the release of the first personal computer. While the field briefly experienced an “AI winter” during the 1980s, the pace of innovation picked up again by the late 90s and early 2000s. At this point, robots could beat chess champions and simulate human emotions. The last decade has seen an explosion of AI applications, including everything from autonomous vehicles to blockchain.
How Will AI Be Implemented to Improve Our Healthcare System?
AI holds the potential to deliver considerable improvements in patient outcomes while also reducing healthcare costs. Already, it can be relied upon for the following:
- Cardiac Imaging – Currently, AI makes it possible to conduct chamber measurements for 2D echocardiograms. This ability promises to improve echocardiography efficiency while also limiting variability in image quality.
- AI-Assisted Surgery – Advanced surgical robots already play an important role in complex procedures. Machines can draw on data from previous operations to deliver better outcomes and reduce the potential for later complications. Options such as the cardiac robot HeartLander can be used to provide minimally invasive procedures.
- Colonoscopy – AI systems can promote automatic polyp detection, thereby making routine procedures like colonoscopies more effective. Equipped with such systems, doctors are less likely to miss polyps and are more capable of making precise diagnoses.
- Virtual Assistants for Alzheimer’s Management – Reminders from devices such as the Amazon Echo Dot allow those with dementia and Alzheimer’s to maintain a greater degree of control over their daily lives. With the assistance of AI-powered virtual assistants, those struggling with memory issues will be more likely to take medications or pursue other condition management measures on a consistent basis.
These options are only the beginning of the future of AI in healthcare. Solutions powered by machine learning will ultimately deliver greater precision and efficiency than human healthcare workers can provide on their own. As a result, we may eventually see longer lifespans and reduced medical expenses.
How Will AI Provide Solutions for Other Complex Problems?
Healthcare represents a huge area of promise for the AI revolution; however, it is just one of several industries that could be transformed by this exciting technology. Additional opportunities exist in the following sectors:
- Agriculture – AI can be used to replace a variety of problematic farming practices that, while capable of producing high yields, create other problems, such as soil depletion or air pollution. For example, AI sensors are capable of targeting specific weeds, thereby limiting the use of pesticides.
- Renewable Energy – New AI applications hold great potential for the rapidly growing renewable energy sector. Forecasting tools may deliver much-needed improvements for weather-dependent options, such as solar panels and wind power.
- Education – While skeptics worry about supposed efforts to replace traditional teachers with AI solutions, the classroom of the future will likely involve a mix of personal instruction and advanced tech. AI will prove especially useful for future remote and mobile learning applications. Such technologies can easily be adapted based on student learning styles and other factors.
AI has come a long way in a short amount of time, but we’re just getting started. As the main driver behind several of today’s most exciting technological developments, AI promises to transform almost every industry imaginable. From healthcare to education, the AI-powered solutions of tomorrow could make us healthier, safer, and more productive – but it’s up to us to use this opportunity wisely.
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