Artificial intelligence is a term commonly used to describe many of today’s exciting technological advancements. We have come to expect a customized experience in nearly every environment because machines are learning about each of us individually. In this article, investor Dan Calugar examines what AI is and isn’t and how it affects our lives.
The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) is an often misused buzzword. In scientific circles, the phrase simply refers to any human-like intelligence demonstrated by machines. In that sense, what qualifies as artificial intelligence changes as we become more accustomed to new technology. The old-school telephone answering machine was, at one time, considered to be artificial intelligence. That crafty little device had the wherewithal to know that the phone was ringing and then to answer it, play a message, and record a response — oh, what will technology think of next?
What most people mean when they refer to artificial intelligence is machine learning. Machine learning is when a computer draws a correct conclusion that it was not explicitly programmed to understand. It learns new information. Machine learning is the type of artificial intelligence that is currently enabling much of our latest technology.
Not to buck a trend, now that you, the reader, are better informed, this article will continue to use the term artificial intelligence to describe today’s life-altering technologies.
Indeed, the environment where artificial intelligence has made the most significant impact for most people is related to surfing the web. From chatbots with whom you can hold an intelligent conversation to ad servers that know — seemingly before we do — what we want to purchase, AI is deployed at every corner of the web.
2. Digital assistants
Digital assistants, those little devices that sit quietly in the corner of our rooms just waiting for us to say their name so they can wake up and serve us, are a great example of AI. They remember where we live, what we like to do, and what we are interested in so they can present us with all types of information customized to our needs.
AI is at work in eCommerce, more than most people realize. Every time you visit an eCommerce website, your behavior is being analyzed. AI servers have learned that you are more likely to make a purchase if they can subtly direct you to a few key web pages. Depending on how you respond to their promptings, AI servers will change tactics to entice you to make a purchase.
4. Entertainment recommendations
Our entertainment options have become so numerous that it’s little wonder we struggle to decide what to do with them. Not to fear, AI is here. As you make entertainment choices, an AI algorithm is behind the scenes figuring out what you like to watch, listen to, and play. That information is then shared across multiple platforms in the form of ads, suggestions, and recommendations.
5. Autonomous transportation
Think about how many decisions you make just driving to the office or going shopping. Stop at the light, or zip through during the yellow? Turn now, or wait for that next car to pass? AI can now make all those decisions for you. Driverless cars are in our future; some are here already. It’s hard to imagine the day when autonomous vehicles will be so commonplace that we will wonder if they should still be classified as artificial intelligence.
About Dan Calugar
Dan Calugar is a versatile and experienced investor with a background in computer science, business, and law. He developed a passion for investing while working as a pension lawyer and leveraged his technical capabilities to write computer programs that helped him identify more profitable investment strategies. When Dan Calugar is not working, he enjoys spending time working out, being with friends and family, and volunteering with Angel Flight.