Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere in our daily lives – search engines, social media, intelligent personal assistants such as Siri – and today's schoolchildren are a generation who will grow up with these AI technologies. I have a one year old daughter; it is distinctly possible that she does not need to learn how to drive when she grows up because self-driving vehicles will be the norm. As a computer scientist who works in a medical research institute, I witness firsthand how AI is transforming the way we screen our three-billion-character genome to discover disease-causing mutations, and detect cardiovascular risks by analysing data from wearable fitness trackers. Like it or not, AI will be an integral part of our children's future. The term AI may sound scary, possibly due to association with killer robots in science fiction.
Artificial intelligence has begun seeping its way into every tech product and service. Now, companies are changing the underlying hardware to accommodate this shift. Apple is the latest company creating a dedicated AI processing chip to speed up the AI algorithms and save battery life on its devices, according to Bloomberg. The Bloomberg report said the chip is internally known as the Apple Neural Engine and will be used to assist devices for facial and speech recognition tasks. The latest iPhone 7 runs some of its AI tasks (mostly related to photographer) using the image signal processor and the graphics processing unit integrated on its A10 Fusion chip.
Without a doubt, 2016 was an amazing year for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) awareness in the press. But most people probably can't name 3 applications for machine learning, other than self-driving cars and perhaps their voice activated assistant hiding in their phone. There's also a lot of confusion about where the Artificial Intelligence program actually exists. When you ask Siri to play a song or tell you what the weather will be like tomorrow, does "she" live in your phone or in the Apple cloud? And while you ponder those obscure question, many investors and technology recommenders are trying to determine whether,,, or will provide the best underlying hardware chips, for which application and why.
For many people, the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a thing of the future. It is the technology that has yet to be introduced. But Professor Jon Oberlander disagrees. He was quick to point out that AI is not in the future, it is now in the making. He began by mentioning Alexa, Amazon's star product. It is an artificial intelligent personal assistant, which was made popular by Amazon Echo devices. With a plethora of functions, Alexa quickly gained much popularity and fame. It is used for home automation, music streaming, sports updates, messaging and email, and even to order food.
We never have been so closer to the future than we are now. There are news spreading across the media about the robots takeover of our jobs, driverless cars hitting the road with outstanding proficiency in driving standards, while at the same time, virtual assistants make us feel a bit less lonely telling us jokes and spending time with us. In fact, Siri, Alexa or Cortana have something machines didn't have before: a simulated human conscious capable of keep conversations with humans without being uncovered. AI is now at its most advanced development stage ever, but… do we need to worry about how smart are getting the robots? Will we ever need to?