Artificial Intelligence: What’s Everyone So Afraid Of?

Sutherland Labs

Prior to the turn of the millennium, investment in AI development was at an all-time low. As computing power has increased, however, the possibilities of AI have taken off. If you’ve been following the latest tech news, you may have even heard Samsung’s recent announcement that they had allocated $1 billion for purchasing AI related companies in 2017.

The power of AI in the customer experience and service environment is evolving. As technology becomes more intelligent, Sutherland improves business processes by identifying customer behavior and integrating these technologies to improve customer experiences, and Sutherland Labs, our design agency, works with the leading brands to put people at the heart of those solutions. Each day, AI surrounds us in our personal lives - on the streets, in stores and at work. The possibilities are endless for how businesses will leverage AI in the future to enhance everyday human experiences.

AI is Already Everywhere

When we talk about AI, people immediately start picturing shiny robots that look suspiciously like humans striding down the street. In reality, AI are already a part of the systems that we interact with daily. Every time you use the internet, it is artificial intelligence that guides you to the pages that you are looking for; In fact, it might even have brought you here.

Manufacturing was one of the first industries to recognize the benefits of automation. As computer processing speeds have advanced, so have the complexity of tasks that robots are programmed to complete. The transportation industry has made self-driving cars such a priority, that we're expected to see the first fully functional self-driving car on the streets as early as 2018. being. Artificial Intelligence also plays a large part in the finance sector, making transactions and stock trades faster than humans can even comprehend.

Saving Lives and Cutting Lines

In healthcare, automated anesthetic systems have already been approved by the FDA and AI diagnostics are increasingly being used more and more to eliminate human error. On the research side, the Precision Medicine Initiative plans to collate genetic and lifestyle data from over a million subjects to identify preventative measures and tailored solutions.

The retail sector has already changed massively with the emergence of the online marketplace. As algorithms and data analytics advance it becomes increasingly easy to connect the right product with the right customer at the right time. In old-fashioned brick and mortar shops, the impact of AI and machine learning is being felt too. By automating replenishment, one German retailer saved almost €30 million in 2016 by practically eliminating waste. Amaazon Go, a prototype grocery store, uses AI to streamline your grocery shopping experience by tracking what you items you pickup from the shelves and charging your account automatically, eliminating the customer checkout all together. More than just retail, in fast food, major chains like McDonalds are working to automate their in-store customer services and innovators like Eatsa are synchronizing mobile ordering with their automated dispensers in store to create a seamless experience.

Your Boss Is A Robot - But Don’t Panic!

The AI that we use now are extremely specialized, to the point of being useless outside of their one function, but as a whole, AI lives up to its hype. The world dominating supercomputers of science fiction still only exist in the world of imagination, but real AI is already infiltrating our daily lives.

Ever since automation first hit the manufacturing industry there has been a fear of machines “taking our jobs,” and while many menial back-office processes are now being taken over by software, the role of humans isn’t going to be vanishing any time soon. Instead, we are going to see the role of humans in the workspace evolving, with humans becoming innovators and analysts, fulfilling the roles that machines can’t.

Technology never takes over the world, humans take over technology and then incorporate it into our daily lives and our culture. You don’t have to take my word for it, why don’t you call someone on your smartphone, look it up on the internet or drive in your car, guided by global positioning satellites, to a library stocked with books that were created on a printing press for a second opinion.