I have been on a 30-day challenge to improve my knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to understand how it works and how it impacts our lives, and this section talks about how not only have we already integrated it in our everyday lives, but in some cases already love it and depend on it.
In this fifth section, we tackle “AI in Application.” Exploring where AI is prevalent and the data that is being collected already is not surprising but it is humbling how much it has already penetrated our lives and how much we depend on it.
Let’s start with our friend, who is always close by, SIRI
Recently, a friend of mine named her baby Sirius. For those that love the Harry Potter books, the immediate connection is to Sirius Black, so of course being a Harry Potter fan I instantly loved it.
But as I am prone to do, I started thinking about the nicknames that come into play. In this case, the nickname is — yup, you guessed it — Siri!
So if they have an iPhone nearby and they call our for their child — Siri says: “What can I help you with?”
What is Siri?
Siri was initially developed by the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center. It is Apple’s personal assistant and is in every iPhone…so basically in 50% of pockets and in our homes.
How does Siri use AI?
The three main components are:
- Conversational interface
- Service delegation
- Personal context awareness
So basically it first uses “a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Internet services.” — Wiki
However, Siri goes one step further, it adapts to the user by adding personal context. It learns about its user. You. It learns your preferences with continued use so it can individualize and personalize its suggestions for you.
So, the bigger question that came up through the research was and is — Is Siri always listening?
Well, it seems that is really up to you. You can toggle the button off for “Enable Ask Siri”. If you want Siri to answer though, it must be on and then the answer is “Yes, it is always listening!” for the keywords that trigger it…like “Hey Siri”.
We all like to or need to shop and the retail sector has been inundated by AI — it’s everywhere and we have come to depend on it.
Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Adobe, Microsoft are the big CRM Applications, all of them use AI and data to form…
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4. Work on Artificial Intelligence Projects
Customer recommendations, ads, and sales strategy are all driven by data collected through these applications.
It is embedded in all processes and our data is leveraged, and we use these applications every time we shop. We don’t need to know where it is or how it is used. Just that it makes life easier!
Payments and Payment Services
These services make it easier for us to spend money, we all have a card stored in our phones right? And what does it use to unlock that card for you? Facial Recognition AI. Now there are also QR codes available for businesses to enable touch-free payments in person.
And that’s just the front end! In the back end…
Machines using AI are better at spotting manufacturing defects — in factories. They use AI cameras to spot the defects, better than the human eye! Maintenance is improved and the ability to customize products is increased. Considering the way humans are treated in manufacturing in some areas of the world this seems like a blessing…assuming we can find another occupation for the people who will lose their jobs! (Covered in the next article.)
Logistics and Delivery
We are all aware of automated warehouses, right? Supply and demand are better managed with AI and then there is the actual delivery, once autonomous cars take over we aren’t needed in that process anymore either.
Our favorite companion during our quarantines and self-isolation. Netflix.
How does Netflix use AI?
The same as Siri does, it analyses and detects patterns from us using it. Viewing habits are picked up fast and using its algorithms it can recommend content tailored to each of us. The so-called “optimal brand experience” that keeps us on our couches watching series after series for hours on end!
How good are they at this? How much does it really impact our viewing?
“On the platform, 75–80% of viewer activity is influenced by the recommendation algorithm.” — Digital Hbs Edu
How does Spotify use AI?
The other favorite for me is Spotify so I dug deeper into that algorithm. Not surprisingly it is similar to Netflix, with a few nuances to adapt to music rather than visual sensibilities.
It creates a playlist especially for you, based on your listening patterns, repetitions of the songs, the times of day, similar preferences of others, and somehow it always hits the spot! Pun intended!
Now that they have added podcasts to the platform I am guessing they must be collecting the more listening data than any other platform.
How does Instagram use AI?
Okay let’s round this out with Instagram, this is my favorite photo platform superseding Facebook originally due to the reduced level of ads. Of course, that is changing now Facebook owns Instagram, but still, it’s a “personal photo album” and I enjoy that aspect.
They use AI to customize the content and recommend accounts and hashtags to the user, but they have also used AI to fight spam. They have a filter to identify fake messages from fake accounts and once detected they are automatically removed.
I recently reviewed and researched the most recent social media craze, when it comes to advanced AI algorithms penetrating our lives. And that is of course TikTok.
How is TikTok advancing the use of AI in our lives?
I recently got addicted to TikTok which uses an AI algorithm that learns and sucks you into the vortex of the application!
Unlike other platforms the feed is based purely on their algorithm and you have no control over the “for you” feed at all. Yet, due to my swiping and use, in only one month and seven uses, it figured out my sweet spot and has exploited it ever since.
“TikTok will change the way your social media works — even if you’re avoiding it.” — New York Times
I would amend that to say:
AI will change the way we live and work — even if you think you are avoiding it, you aren’t.
Companies have made using AI accessible and easy, it has been a gradual process of integration into our daily lives, and we didn’t even know it was happening. Now it is commonly used in our daily lives and it has become indispensable.
Even if you think that you don’t know what AI is, or how it is used, or feel you have no interest in it, you have unknowingly been a large part of its development, simply by purchasing a mobile phone and engaging with an application.
Welcome to the future!