Artificial Intelligence is no new concept. The phrase was first coined by John McCarthy in 1956, when he invited a group of researchers to discuss the notion of'thinking machines' during a conference at Dartmouth College. Since then, it has been a point of fascination for scientists, academics, software developers, and moviemakers alike. Fast-forward to today where you'll find lots of examples hiding in plain sight. From digital assistants like Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri, who use AI to learn from user interactions, to automated email responses and search engines predicting what you're looking for.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned apps and devices that collect personal health information must notify consumers if their data is breached or shared with third parties without their permission. In a 3-2 vote on Wednesday, the FTC agreed on a new policy statement to clarify a decade-old 2009 Health Breach Notification Rule, which requires companies handling health records to notify consumers if their data is accessed without permission, such as the result of a breach. This has now been extended to apply to health apps and devices -- specifically calling out apps that track fertility data, fitness, and blood glucose -- which "too often fail to invest in adequate privacy and data security," according to FTC chair Lina Khan. "Digital apps are routinely caught playing fast and loose with user data, leaving users' sensitive health information susceptible to hacks and breaches," said Khan in a statement, pointing to a study published this year in the British Medical Journal that found health apps suffer from "serious problems" ranging from the insecure transmission of user data to the unauthorized sharing of data with advertisers. There have also been a number of recent high-profile breaches involving health apps in recent years. Babylon Health, a U.K. AI chatbot and telehealth startup, last year suffered a data breach after a "software error" allowed users to access other patients' video consultations, while period tracking app Flo was recently found to be sharing users' health data with third-party analytics and marketing services.
Apple didn't even touch on the HomePod line during its iPhone 13 event, but that doesn't mean the smart speakers will go untouched this fall. To start, you can set two or more HomePod minis as your default speakers for an Apple TV 4K. You won't have to specify them when it's time to sit down for a movie. They won't exactly produce thunderous audio, but they could save you from buying separate smart speakers or a pricier soundbar. The update enables Siri voice control through supporting HomeKit accessories.
While social or companion robots may sound like something one would only see in a science-fiction movie, conversational AI bots are becoming the norm in Asia, and are beginning to be commonplace even in the United States. Microsoft's Xiaoice, for instance, has 660 million users in China, and recently had a valuation of $1 billion dollars. The Xiaoice chatbot is included in 450 million smart devices, and according to the Xiaoice company, which split off from Microsoft in 2020, 60% of all worldwide AI-human interactions are conducted via Xiaoice technology. Many enterprise businesses use AI chatbots for customer service and product inquiries, but for millions of users today, the AI chatbot is seen as a romantic partner or companion. Likened to the AI-character Samantha in the 2013 movie Her, Xiaoice is not the only AI entity in the conversational AI space.
Machine Learning (ML) is NOT the same as Artificial Intelligence. That said, the connection between the two is undoubtedly undeniable. Machine learning is part of AI in which the algorithms allow the system to locate patterns and learn the trends in the data and try to make decisions without human intervention. ML technology is evolving so rapidly that every generation is entirely different from the last. The first types of ML were just programmed to perform certain tasks in case of a specific event.
We all know about the paradigm-changing use of AI for Netflix recommendations, chatbots that impersonate customer service agents online, and the dynamic pricing of hotel rooms. Such efforts are the value creation engines of countless large, successful companies. But organisations can also adopt a decidedly less splashy and, at face value, more pedestrian use of AI--to process documents faster and simplify operational procedures. Although this use is aimed at reducing costs rather than transforming industries, 'boring AI' is actually quite exciting--because it confronts issues that all companies wrestle with, and because the gains in productivity are real. Recent research by PwC on automating analytics found that even the most rudimentary AI-based extraction techniques can save businesses 30–40% of the hours typically spent on such processes.
When you sit back and think about the changes that have been made in technology over the past few years, it is quite amazing. It was not that long ago that home phones were more common than mobile phones. However, now almost everyone has a mobile phone and many people do not have a landline. The same can be said for newer technologies such as Google Nest Audio or Amazon Alexa. Households that own a smart speaker state that using it has become an essential part of their day.
Deb Norton spends her days helping teachers in Wisconsin's Oshkosh Area school district get more comfortable with technology tools they're using to engage students. A few years ago, she started seeing increasing mentions of artificial intelligence. Around then, the International Society for Technology in Education asked her to lead a course on the uses of artificial intelligence in the K-12 classroom. She was initially intrigued when she saw students light up at the mention of artificial intelligence. It soon became clear to her that they were already experiencing AI in their daily lives, with tools like Instagram filters or chatbots on websites.
Customer service, while likened to back-office or desk jobs, has long been outsourced to third parties (call centres) for resolving customer queries. Over the years, outsourcing customer support services has hampered organizational flexibility, brand value, and privacy. With some automation, the digital revolution shifted businesses toward adopting Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology for handling and prioritizing high volume of calls, simplifying customer service processes, and cutting overhead expenses. Although IVR allowed companies to automate their customer support and increase professionalism, the complex routing mechanism and inflexibility resulted in customers dissatisfaction towards an organization or a brand. In today's highly connected and personalized world, customers demand instant resolution of grievances and high-quality customer service at anytime, anywhere.
O-Chat is an automated tool that offers a unified platform that uses a broad range of methodologies to create an interactive interface to address customer queries. As a result, it is easy to deploy, and the pre-defined industry models act as the primary conversational agents with your customers. O-Chat's self-learning algorithm identifies the intent of the conversation and responds accordingly. If the machine fails to understand the intent, it immediately escalates the issue to a human agent. One of its unique features is that the tool recognizes a customer from the stored data, recollects previous conversations, and diagnoses the situation.