If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
This piece accompanies a dedicated series from Ben around intelligence, A.I, and data-driven design and development in retail – all of which you can find in our 7th Edition. Similarly, you will find references to other'features', which denote to the other editorial pieces in our 7th Edition Report.] Just as WhichPLM did for both of our previous special editorial examinations (covering 3D in 2015, and the Internet of Things in 2016) the last exclusive feature in our 7th Edition acts as the final piece of the puzzle, collecting guidance, food for thought, and practical recommendations for retailers and brands who may be looking to lay the long-term groundwork for their own A.I. initiatives, or to embark on a particular, more pressing project. The clearest question for prospective customers of A.I. solutions: are these viable products, with clear return on investment potential? Broadly speaking, the answer is yes. While general intelligence – a single machine to run everything, with mental capacities far in excess of our own, across essentially all of human endeavour – remains a pipe dream, more focused applications of narrow, specialised A.I. are limited only by customers' ability to find the right technology partner and to gain access to their own information and broader market data in sufficient volume to deliver results.
How far will artificial intelligence (AI) go in disrupting our creative spirits? Will AI ever be a source of innovation in itself? We know AI will supplant many manual tasks and routine decision-making, and there are plenty of demonstration projects in which AI systems write stories, make music and create artwork. However, AI is not likely to replace the human creative spirit anytime soon. If anything, it could make us more creative.
How far will artificial intelligence (AI) go in disrupting our creative spirits? Will AI ever be a source of innovation in itself? We know artificial intelligence will supplant many manual tasks and routine decision-making, and there are plenty of demonstration projects in which AI systems write stories, make music and create artwork. However, AI is not likely to replace the human creative spirit anytime soon. If anything, it could make us more creative.
In March 2016, AlphaGo's deep learning algorithms ruthlessly dethroned mankind's best Go player. The whole world jittered, knowing that the same job-eating AI technology was coming soon to an office near everyone. Civilization has absorbed economic shocks driven by technology in the past, turning hundreds of millions of farmers into factory workers over the 19th and 20th centuries. However, these structural changes didn't arrive as quickly as the breakneck pace we're currently experiencing with AI. Based on current trends in technology advancement and adoption, I predict that within 15 years, AI will theoretically be able to replace 40% to 50% of jobs in the United States.
The skills required of a modern designer are empathy, creative problem-solving, critical thought, persuasion and technical competence. As we travel from the analogue world ever deeper into a digital universe, designers are needing to embrace coding, data analysis, voice technology and beyond to create interactions and experiences that were inconceivable a decade ago. As designers learn and adapt, machines also increase in capability. Companies such as Autodesk, the global architectural software company, use AI-based algorithms with data to rapidly design functional parts for things consumer's trust, like airplanes and cars. The shapes are often organic-looking, high-performing and weight-/energy-reducing.
Google is offering a limited number of gamers the chance to play popular video game Assassin's Creed Odyssey free of charge via its Chrome browser. In a blogpost outlining its plans for Project Stream, the search engine said it wanted to take streaming to "the next level". But it admitted there were technical challenges involved in streaming graphically rich content via a browser. One expert said it was a bold move from Google to grab gaming revenue. According to analyst company IHS Markit, global spending on games content and services is expected to reach $129bn (£99bn) this year.
Most of us can position ourselves somewhere on The AI Fear Continuum. For nearly 100 years, science fiction writers have prepared us for the worst as they explored scenarios from Hollywood 1927's Metropolis to adaptations of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot and Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep (famously the basis for Blade Runner). We're ready to be tricked (Alien), enslaved (The Matrix), killed (West World) or even have our whole species wiped out (Terminator). Conversely, news stories about AI feel overwhelmingly positive, informing us that AI is saving the day in sectors as diverse as health care, law and climate change. Marketing professionals have two key points to consider; claims that AI can help to make marketing more creative and effective, and claims that it will make many of our job roles surplus to requirements.
Good judgement and skills such as emotional intelligence, empathy, creativity and wisdom will become even more important to lawyering as the use of artificial intelligence increases, says UNSW Professor of Law Michael Legg. The director of the Law Society of NSW Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession (FLIP) stream at UNSW Law discussed what an AI-enhanced lawyer looks like at the Law Society's FLIP Conference in Sydney this month. "Whatever the nature of their practice, it has been said that the most important skill of lawyering is sound judgement," Professor Legg said. "Sound judgement is about more than answering legal questions – it encapsulates the relational and contextual elements of being a'problem-solving' lawyer. "None of the AI technologies currently available have the capacity to completely replace lawyers, as each still requires the exercise of human judgement as part of the process."
Whether we're working side-by-side with autonomous robots on the factory floor, spreading the happy news about a new addition to the family on Facebook, or asking Siri to help us get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, all aspects of our lives are closely connected to technology in one way or another. Some of those "connections" are downright threatening. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, is expected to cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labor markets over the next five years, the World Economic Forum reports, with "enormous change predicted in the skill sets needed to thrive in the new landscape." According to an Oxford study, developed nations can expect to see job loss rates of up to 47% within the next 25 years. Additionally, a Pew Research Center study found that "robotics and artificial intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries such as healthcare, transport and logistics, customer service, and home maintenance."
In a month, prestigious auction house Christie's will invite the upper crust of the art collector world to their Manhattan showroom to bid on a gold-framed impressionistic portrait of a European gentleman. It would be an ordinary affair in the world of high art, except for one detail: The portrait for sale was generated by AI, not a famous painter. It will be the first AI-produced artwork to be sold at a major auction house -- and is estimated to sell for $7,000 to $10,000. AI-generated art has existed for years -- remember those weird, trippy Google projects? Now -- with the Christie's auction, an AI-specific show at the Grand Palais museum in Paris earlier this year and another at one of the largest contemporary commercial galleries in India where artwork was priced at over $30,000 -- AI artwork is being appreciated and valued by the most elite art institutions.