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) …
Sharp jawline, doe-brown eyes and fluttery eye-lashes; Sophia, the world's first AI-powered humanoid is quite a stunner with impressive features. Besides looks, she boasts of an admirable sense of humour. Designed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics, Sophia has many human values like wisdom, compassion and kindness. She is also capable of expressing her emotions, holding eye contact, recognizing faces and understanding human speech. Well, Sophia is not the only humanoid robot the world is gushing over.
Artificial intelligence can help to bring together the twin megatrends of digitalization and decarbonisation. There has been a lot of talk about how artificial intelligence (AI) will affect various aspects of our lives, but little has been said to date about how the technology can help to make the world more sustainable. A new report from the consultancy PwC, commissioned by software giant Microsoft, looks at how the twin, powerfully disruptive megatrends of digitization and decarbonisation could come together in future and it concludes that AI could make a significant dent in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. PwC defines AI as "a collective term for technologies that can sense their environment, think, learn, and take action in response to what they're sensing and their objectives". Applications can range from automation of routine tasks to augmenting human decision-making and beyond to automation and discovery – huge amounts of data to spot, and act on patterns, which are beyond our current capabilities.
As CIO of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Bernardo Mariano is responsible for the IT strategy at a United Nations agency that aims to attain the highest possible level of health for all citizens in its 194 member states. His key objectives are to deliver the WHO's global strategy on digital health and to provide guidelines to countries on how to navigate their digital transformation journeys. "We will do that by bringing together all the national regulatory agencies from the countries that have them and then start discussing issues such as AI regulation and sharing our experiences," Mariano tells CIO UK from the AI Everything conference in Dubai. "Some agencies have already implemented digital strategies and others have not, so we have to cross-fertilise ideas among the different regulatory agencies to make sure that they all are able to deal with and handle the added power but also maintain the quality of the healthcare existing ecosystem." To help its member states to achieve this, the WHO recently released its first recommendations for digital health tech use.
Mental illnesses affect 15.5% of the global population. They're the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years, accounting for 37% of healthy years lost from non-communicable diseases. Even worse, mental health conditions are on the rise, with some estimates putting the costs to the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if global healthcare systems can't tackle the problem. More than half of all mental illnesses remain untreated, leading to worsening mental conditions, chronic physical health problems, job stability issues, homelessness, trauma, and suicide. Understaffed and underfunded healthcare systems are unable to cope with this mental health crisis, and that's where technology can help alleviate the burden of mental illness on society by helping clinicians diagnose and treat mental conditions while giving patients tools to better manage their conditions on a daily basis.
Harnessing machine learning to improve health is a major ambition for both medical practitioners and the healthcare industry. If the two can join forces on a global scale in 2019, with the right investment and the right approach, AI could propel a revolution to democratise global health and to leapfrog access to health services in low- and middle-income countries. A chronic shortage of human resources is one of the major obstacles to better health and healthcare in many resource-poor settings. When it comes to global health, artificial intelligence offers huge opportunities to fill the gap left by critical healthcare worker shortages, particularly if combined with mobile phone technology. For example, social enterprises such as Peek Vision can use smart-phone based technology to enable healthcare providers to deliver cost-effective and targeted treatment to people with eyesight problems.
A sister company of Google, Alphabet's Wing Aviation, just got federal approval to start using drones for commercial delivery. Amazon's own drone-delivery program is ready to launch as well. As drones take flight, the world is about to get a lot louder – as if neighborhoods were filled with leaf blowers, lawn mowers and chainsaws. Small recreational drones are fairly loud. Serious commercial drones are much louder.
Social and economic inequality has no easy fix, but now a system that automatically detects signs of inequality from street images could be used to help. Esra Suel and colleagues at Imperial College London trained artificial intelligence to detect inequalities in four UK cities, using a combination of government statistics and public images taken from Google Street View. The AI was trained on 525,860 images from 156,581 postcodes across London, along with income, health, crime, housing, and living environment statistics about the areas. A fifth of the data was withheld to test how closely the algorithm's estimation matched real distributions of inequality in London. The AI was most successful at spotting differences in quality of the living environment and mean income, scoring 0.86 for both on a statistical test of how closely its predictions matched with the real data, where a score of 1 is a complete overlap.
Artificial intelligence (AI) could displace millions of jobs in the future, damaging growth in developing regions such as Africa, says Ian Goldin, professor of globalisation and development at Oxford University. I have spent my career in international development, and in recent years have established a research group at Oxford University looking at the impact of disruptive technologies on developing economies. Perhaps the most important question we have looked at is whether AI will pose a threat - or provide new opportunities - for developing regions such as Africa. Optimists say that such places could use rapidly advancing AI systems to boost productivity and leapfrog ahead. But I am becoming increasingly concerned that AI will, in fact, block the traditional growth path by replacing low-wage jobs with robots.
The number of smart speakers in homes and businesses will almost double this year, and within a couple of years these chatty new devices will likely outnumber our former gadget of choice, the tablet. There will be roughly 208 million smart speakers, like Amazon's Echo and Google Home, in use around the world by the end of this year, up from 114 million last year (82.4% growth), according to a forecast from Canalys. The tech industry analyst firm predicts that smart speakers will soon overtake tablets, probably next year. Although Canalys sees rapid growth in smart speakers, it predicts a gradual decline in tablets over the period covered by the forecast. One reason for the decline in tablets may be that smart speakers are taking over some of their functions in the home, such as controlling lights or playing music.
Radhika previously worked in content marketing at three technology firms, and graduated from Sri Krishna College Of Engineering And Technology with a degree in Information Technology. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the United States is currently battling a mental health epidemic. One in every five Americans struggles with mental illness in one form or another. According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health founded by the American Psychiatric Association, up to 7% of full-time workers in the U.S. suffer from major depressive disorder, the economic cost of which is estimated to be $210.5 billion per year. When compared to other developed nations, traditional healthcare in the U.S. is notoriously costly; mental healthcare, even more so.