The biggest hardware and software arrival since the iPad in 2010 has been Amazon's Echo voice-controlled intelligent speaker, powered by its Alexa software assistant. But just because you're not seeing amazing new consumer tech products on Amazon, in the app stores, or at the Apple Store or Best Buy, that doesn't mean the tech revolution is stuck or stopped. They are: Artificial intelligence / machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics and drones, smart homes, self-driving cars, and digital health / wearables. Google has changed its entire corporate mission to be "AI first" and, with Google Home and Google Assistant, to perform tasks via voice commands and eventually hold real, unstructured conversations.
You don't have to agree with Elon Musk's apocalyptic fears of artificial intelligence to be concerned that, in the rush to apply the technology in the real world, some algorithms could inadvertently cause harm. This type of self-learning software powers Uber's self-driving cars, helps Facebook identify people in social-media posts, and let's Amazon's Alexa understand your questions. Now DeepMind, the London-based AI company owned by Alphabet Inc., has developed a simple test to check if these new algorithms are safe.
Everyone has seen all of those sci-fi movies where the machines took over the planet while the unwary humans weren't looking, The good news is that we aren't quite there yet Still, there are real examples of machines that are seeping into our world and most of us aren't really paying attention to them. Artificial intelligence has arrived and the applications that are using it are running the gamut from voice powered assistants like Cortana or Siri or Alexa to the more fundamental ones such as search suggestions, to the downright amazing ones such as self driving cars and trucks, we've got AI working all around us. AI as a technology is a newborn technology, barely in its infancy. Real AI is an entity that actually learns on its own. We use the world entity loosely although many companies and even people call AI an entity.
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.
The uses of artificial intelligence (AI) that get the most press are usually the big, splashy ones. Whether it's IBM's Watson beating Ken Jennings at Jeopardy, DeepMind besting Lee Sedol at Go, the massive influx of news about self-driving cars, the growing personal marketplace, or Elon Musk's increasingly public trepidation, these kinds of AI stories have a way of capturing public attention. But quietly, AI powers search and recommendation engines at places like Google and Netflix, filters out obscene images on your favorite social networks, and proves complex mathematical theorems. You probably hear far less about AI applications in retail. However, AI in retail is something that will affect everyone who shops online in the coming years.