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You’re already using AI

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Headlines keep telling us that artificial intelligence (AI) is coming. But, if you step away from the paranoia about the impending robot invasion, you’ll notice that AI is already here. In fact, you’re likely using it every day without even thinking about it.

According to Nick Polson and James Scott, authors of AIQ – How artificial intelligence works and how we can harness its power for a better world, what we should think of is an algorithm, rather than a creepy humanoid robot. And the easiest example of how you’re likely already interacting with AI algorithms daily is social media. 

AI takes all behaviours on these platforms, from searches to clicks to interactions, and tailors the experience based on the profile it’s created for you. From what stories or posts you see in your timeline to the notifications that you receive from these apps about things that may interest you, everything is curated by AI.

In a similar fashion, AI is what helps YouTube, Netflix or Spotify to suggest content you might like. And it’s what helps advertisers send targeted ads your way too.

AI is also behind many of the digital services we use, from ordering an Uber to plotting the best route on Google Maps or booking airplane flights. AI helps navigation services to interpret huge streams of data to give you real-time traffic information, while ride services like Uber or Taxify match your request with nearby vehicles and sets pricing.

One of the most ubiquitous AI tools already lives in your pocket or handbag if you own a smartphone. The device’s smart assistant is the obvious one, but many phones also use AI in their cameras. The AI Cam, like the one in LG’s new V40 ThinQ phone, is what helps the camera to make smarter decisions to give you a better photograph. By recognising the type of content in the image and making suggestions on everything from composition to filters, the AI helps you capture the photo you’re imagining.

AI is also behind the ability to animate certain parts of the photo, or to add virtual reality elements (reminiscent of the Snapchat effects). Next time you snap the perfect selfie, remember to thank AI.

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