Four Waves of AI and What The Future Holds For It
Let's take a quick look at the four waves of AI and also explore what the future holds for it. Explore Internet AI and perception AI.
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Artificial Intelligence is omnipresent — what we once thought of as a futuristic technology will soon permeate all life spheres. So how will it impact business and the world in general? In his book, AI Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee, a prominent Chinese IT investor with an executive background in Google, Apple, and Microsoft, dwells on four waves of AI, their present and future use cases.
The Four Waves Of Artificial Intelligence
In Lee’s opinion, the four waves are Internet AI, Business AI, Perception AI, and Autonomous AI.
Internet AI is already familiar to most of us. There are recommendation engines out there, collecting your browser data and offering you exactly the information you’re interested in based on your browsing behavior. Facebook seems to know exactly what you’ve been thinking — so does YouTube and Amazon. That’s Internet AI at work. On the Internet, AI is fueled by user-submitted data — our clicks or non-clicks, likes, comments, shares and time spent on a webpage.
But the future will take Internet AI even farther. What started now as complex data analytics, sketching a detailed portrait of your personality based on your web-surfing behavior, will soon bring us to fully personalized Web, tailored to your desires and needs with even headlines rewritten to appeal to your individual taste.
Chinese content aggregator Toutiao already uses natural language processing (NLP), computer vision along with data analytic tools to bring users fully personalized news feeds, based on detailed analysis of preferences and behavior. The platform now has 120 million users daily and looks like it’s setting the standard for Web 3.0.
Business AI, on the other hand, will work with data previously recorded and submitted during our interactions with financial, healthcare, legal and business institutions. Using complex data analytics, which, unlike the human brain, are trained to detect and process weakly correlated data, business AI can predict your future health and wellness, financial status and social behavior. For example, it can predict your likelihood of becoming a regular offender, if you already have a record of criminal suits and even the probability of getting into a car accident.
Currently, Chinese mobile app SmartFinance, intended for mobile payments and microloans, can determine your capacity to repay loans based on seemingly unrelated data stored in your phone. In the future, the same approach applied by insurance, health, travel and legal institutions will change our habits and lifestyles forever.
Perception AI may sound like we are entering the science fiction realm but is, in fact, our nearest future. Smart homes and IoT devices, AR and VR combined with artificial eyes, ears, and other sensors will erase the line between digital and physical environments, and online-merged-offline (OMO) world will enrich physical reality with the variety and endless opportunities of the Web.
Imagine, what it would be like entering a grocery store and being reminded by a personalized virtual assistant (aware of your nutrition needs and family status) to pick up veggies and milk — and paying with your face instead of credit card since there are facial recognition systems everywhere.
But the final frontier of Artificial Intelligence, according to Kai-Fu Lee, will be autonomous AI. Powered with all the sensory and intellectual abilities, the machines will finally be capable of operating on their own as separate entities. This, in fact, is happening now, as Elon Musk promises to go on a first road trip in a self-driving car by end of 2018. According to Musk, autonomous vehicles will become common during the upcoming decade. Driving your own car could soon become a recreational hobby, just like horse riding. This, of course, will imply building smart roads equipped with sensors and allowing the cars, roads, and vehicles to interact with each other. Moreover, all manual labor in production and agriculture will be done by machines.
AI Technology And The Future Of Work
This brings us to an important question — how will AI transform the way we work, if so many human jobs are becoming obsolete? McKinsey & Company predict almost 800 million workers worldwide could be replaced by machines by 2030. What will happen to the human workforce? Which human professions or roles will make sense in a digitally transformed world?
In his Forbes article “7 Job Skills Of The Future”, big data expert Bernard Marr answers this question: jobs that require compassion and empathy, critical and strategic thinking, imagination and creativity will have the upper hand. The support and maintenance of IT systems will still require human approach, at least until their deep learning skills teach machines to take care of themselves. Surely, with the rise of IoT, and a significant increase in devices connected to the Internet, experts in cybersecurity will be in huge demand.
AI and Cybersecurity
AI technologies are ambiguous from a security standpoint. The machine learning and data analytics used with malicious purposes could lead to drastic effects and cybercrimes of previously unthought of scale. They also can be used to detect cybercriminals and develop strong defense mechanisms. No wonder, IT companies, from tech giants to startups, are working on harnessing the power of AI to strengthen cybersecurity.
Luckily, according to some experts, the skill sets required to use AI for malicious attacks will be unavailable to most cybercriminals. But that may only mean cybercrime will be getting more organized. Today, cybersecurity is a rapidly developing branch of AI and the market for security solutions is expanding, with players like Telecom company AT&T or defense firm Raytheon moving into business.
But cybersecurity isn't the only industry impacted by Artificial Intelligence: IT Outsourcing is now being disrupted by AI.
AI Outsourcing Revolution
Artificial Intelligence and robotic process automation are capable of speeding up production, ensuring better quality control and, ultimately, increasing company revenues by many hundred percents. Chinese enterprises are already replacing their human employees with robots and achieving a dramatic increase in production rates.
So why haven’t all enterprises jumped the AI bandwagon yet? Can we attribute China’s success in adopting AI to the mere fact that the country’s enterprises aren’t using legacy infrastructures on a large scale and can quickly embrace new technologies?
“The truth is not only legacy infrastructures are hindering the process, it's the lack of AI expertise that acts as a major roadblock to AI adoption,” says Vladimir Potapenko, CEO and Co-Founder of an international IT outsourcing consultancy 8allocate that runs an own R&D center in Ukraine and helps other businesses build offshore AI development teams. "Established companies with high standing in their industries can’t handle the development of AI solutions in-house for one simple reason — Artificial Intelligence isn't their field of specialization. They are also hindered by the lack of AI experts with expertise relevant to their industries.”
Here's when AI Outsourcing comes into play.
Experts and analysts speculate on how AI is going to change business process outsourcing - some predict its total demise, but it actually looks like the industry will be pioneering AI adoption and the digital transformation. The smartest companies on IT outsourcing scene now offer AI solutions -- they are also recruiting the world’s best specialists in data science, NLP and machine learning to join their teams. The stakes are high - sticking with outdated technologies and a business model that no longer serves its purpose could leave them far behind their more savvy competitors.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, blurring the lines between virtual and physical, changing the way we live, work and learn, and impacting all industries, including finance, education, and healthcare. Now only does it bring new benefits, it also brings challenges that every business has to stand up to. In today’s competitive environment, silo approached don’t work anymore; enterprises need help from third-party companies with a very niche specific expertise to be able to streamline and facilitate AI adoption fast and cost-effectively.
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