By Tony Robinson, Corning
It never ceases to amaze how filmmakers are able to introduce concepts that at the time seem so far from reality, but in time those concepts make it into our daily lives. In 1990, the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recallshowed us the “Johnny Cab,” a driverless vehicle that took them anywhere they wanted to go. Now, most major car companies are investing millions into bringing this technology to the masses. And thanks to Back to the Future II, where Marty McFly evaded the thugs on a hover board, our kids are now crashing into the furniture (and each other) on something similar to what we saw back in 1989.
It was way back in 1968 (which some of us can still remember) when we were introduced to Artificial Intelligence (AI) with HAL 9000, a sentient computer on board the Discovery One Spaceship in 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL was capable of speech and facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting emotional behaviors, automated reasoning, and, of course, Hollywood’s favorite trick for computers, playing chess.
Fast forward to the last couple of years and you can very quickly identify where AI has become an essential part of our daily lives. You can ask your smartphone what the weather will be like at your next travel destination, your virtual assistant can play your favorite music, and your social media account will provide news updates and adverts tailored to your personal preferences. And without insulting the tech companies, this is AI 101.
But there is so much more happening in the background that we don’t see that is helping to improve, and even save, lives. Language translation, news feeds, facial recognition, more accurate diagnosis of complex diseases, and accelerated drug discovery are just some of the applications on which companies are developing and deploying AI. According to Gartner, AI-derived business value is forecast to reach $3.9 trillion by 2022.