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Think artificial intelligence is still in the future? Guess again

April 23, 2018

Think artificial intelligence is still in the future? Guess again

Years ago, artificial intelligence (AI) seemed like nothing more than wild imagination—or the realm of science fiction. But today, AI is a very real tool that you’re probably already using. Whether you’re aware of it or not, AI is in more places than you might think, and its prevalence is spreading like wildfire.

Consider these facts from one report: By 2018, 6 billion connected devices will proactively ask for support (Gartner). By the end of 2018, customer digital assistants will recognize customers by face and voice across channels and partners (Gartner). And AI will replace 16% of American jobs by the end of the decade (Forrester).

While the machines haven’t taken over yet, they’re seeping into our lives in profound ways—affecting how we live, work and play. Here are some of the most popular examples of AI in use today:

Personal digital assistants—Everyone’s familiar with today’s personal digital assistants, like Siri, Cortana and Google Now. They’re on our phones, in our smart homes, even in our smart cars. These friendly, voice-activated computers give us directions, schedule meetings, call our contacts and even play our favorite tunes. They all use AI and machine learning to better recognize your speech, tailor results to your preferences and get smarter about predicting your requests over time.

Smart home hubs—Smart home hubs like Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo, Samsung SmartThings and Google Home are now household names. They use voice commands to deliver weather and traffic reports, play music, control lighting, answer questions, read audiobooks and more—using AI technology and predictive learning over time to improve their ability to be one step ahead of your next request.

Smart Cars—Smart cars with self-driving features are no longer coming—they’re actually here. Google’s self-driving car and Tesla’s “autopilot” feature are two examples of features that have recently hit the news. While these technologies are at various levels of maturity, they all use AI to get smarter and smarter through experience, with the eventual goal of making decisions automatically based on what they “see.” 

Amazon—Amazon’s transactional AI has been around for a while, but it’s a great example of this technology in use. Using algorithms that become more sophisticated with each passing year, the company has become extremely smart at using our past online purchasing behavior to predict what we might want next. And they’ve made billions doing it. 

Movie and TV companies—We all know the movies and TV shows we like best. But thanks to AI and predictive technology, companies like Netflix, Hulu and other sources are quickly learning our favorites, too. These companies analyze billions of records to suggest programs and films you might like, based on your previous selections and your reactions to them. Who knows? Maybe they’ll eventually be able to order our favorite snack, too.

Smart thermostats—Learning thermostats like Nest, which can be controlled by voice commands, use AI and behavioral algorithms to learn from your past heating and cooling needs. This knowledge, which continues to grow over time, helps these thermostats anticipate and adjust the temperature in your home or office based on your personal preferences.

Smart home lighting—Lighting for your smart home is another place you can see basic AI at work. By setting defaults and personal preferences, you’re giving your smart lights the necessary information to adjust based on where you are and what you’re doing—brighter lights for reading, dimmer lights when you’re watching TV.  

There’s no doubt that AI is the technology of the future—and also the technology of today. To learn more AI for you and your customers, contact the experts at Ingram Micro today.