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Happy Blob
Happy Blob 6 April 2017

5 AI Applications You (Probably) Haven't Heard About

When an app claims to be powered by AI, it feels like you’re in the future. But the future is already here. AI has a huge effect on your daily life, whether you’re aware of it or not. Its influence is likely to grow in the coming years across sectors, which we cannot even envision.

There was an interesting online survey done by KRC Research to understand customers’ feelings about AI. Most consumers saw AI’s impact on society as positive. Two-thirds or more said they would trust AI with handling medication reminders, travel directions, entertainment, targeted news, manual labor and mechanics. More than 50% of the respondents trusted AI to provide elder care, health advice, financial guidance, and social media content creation. More than 40% said they would trust AI to cook, teach, police, drive, and provide legal advice. Wow, now that is a lot to trust with!

Yes, consumers are worried about job loss, security issues, and privacy infringement too. But AI will possibly replace “tasks” rather than jobs, and will also create new kinds of jobs. A good example is Stitch Fix, an innovative clothing company which blends AI with human expertise, providing more job opportunities, and at the same time grabbing millions of dollars!

AI is growing and changing our lives daily, and for the better. Here I have listed 5 fascinating applications of AI that can actually make our world a wonderful place. (Psst… none of them include an evil world dominating robot!)

1. Artificial Intelligence in Journalism

AI has already stepped into the world of Journalism and is now a very helpful companion for top companies. Wordsmith and Quill are already being used by companies such as Associated Press, Credit Suisse, USAA, T. Rowe Price etc. for writing long reports on performances, car descriptions, football recaps and earnings preview. Wordsmith, for example, writes Fantasy Football updates for Yahoo; these reports are routine tasks and are always accurate. Quoting them from one of their documented case studies


“The company’s Wordsmith platform uses natural language generation to transform raw fantasy football data into draft reports, match previews, and match recaps. The platform generates millions of stories each week, essentially giving every fantasy owner a personalized sports reporter writing about their team.”


No wonder Kris Hammond from Narrative Science believes “A machine will win a Pulitzer one day”! Not sure about that, but we can definitely be sure that intelligent robots will soon publish sports commentaries, financial reports and other myriad reports that were formerly handled by journalists. Disclaimer: An AI driven bot did not write this blog. I did – the Blob!

Artificial Intelligence Applications

Figure: Man. Machine. And a Beautiful World.

2. Artificial ‘Emotional’ Intelligence

Millions of customer interactions over the phone are improved on a daily basis with a fusion of Machine Learning and Behavioral Science. AI and Machine Learning are effectively improving their skills based on large datasets, to drive an enhanced customer experience. Cogito, a software to assist customer support representatives, is one of the most influential examples of behavior adaption to improve emotional intelligence of representatives. Similarly, there is Boxever, another Machine Learning software that improves customer experiences in the travel industry. It delivers ‘micro-moments’ and drives engagements to delight the customers and make a memorable travel journey.  In an article titled the Six Areas That Artificial Emotional Intelligence Will Revolutionise in the Wired Magazine, Alain De Botton aptly sums up why AEI is the next big step in Technology making the world a better place, ‘We need AEI rather badly because our emotional frailties dwarf our incapacities in raw mathematics or data management’.  I agree!

3. Artificial Intelligence as Judges for Abstract Contests

See, I am not the only online avatar with an opinion!J Robots created using AI have begun to have their own opinion. In the future, these robots will have the knowledge to judge abstract contests, where there is no or little scope for standardizations. In fact, Beauty.AI 2.0 recently used AI to judge a beauty contest. The software evaluated more than 6,000 selfies using algorithms and assessed the participants based on youthfulness, skin quality, symmetry and appearance. As Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of Insilico Medicine said,


“Despite the many challenges in organizing this historic contest, we managed to build a platform, which can be used to put humans in front of a robot jury.”


Though there were tons of critics who slammed the bot for being ‘racist’ (almost all the winners were white), the entire premise that a bot can ‘judge’, probably with less biases than human beings, is very fascinating. The day is not far when robots are going to assist lawyers and judges in handling legal matters. AI software developed by University College London has predicted the judicial decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) with 79% accuracy. This to me is going to soon be the next evolution of AI. Robots judging humans? Okay, this one might be a little scary!

4. Artificial Intelligence & Health Care

The power of Big Data and AI in medicine is huge. It can speed up brain scans, and enable the systems to deliver detailed information about the condition of tumors. Recently, IBM Watson had helped doctors solve a case and was able to identify a disease and deliver the correct treatment. With  cognitive systems like Watson being able to process massive volumes of data and information – for instance every medical journal, symptom, and case study of treatment, we would be able to rapidly analyze conditions and eradicate instances of misdiagnosis. The use of Big Data and AI in the medical field has the possibility to be a revolutionary move that will save doctors time, help streamline appointments and, most importantly, help save lives.  Your.MD’s CEO Matteo Berlucchi said at a conference in 2016,


“With AI we can now answer a patient’s questions like a doctor can.”


This claim is backed on machine learning; the system can learn like a doctor, assimilating and applying knowledge gained from one patient’s case to another’s. I know that AI has only touched the tip of Healthcare in its current form and will snowball into major solutions that will help touch lives and improve lifestyle.

5. Artificial Intelligence & Wildlife Protection

This is a cause that tugs right at the heart. Where humans are probably failing, AI has come to the rescue. One major area where AI will revolutionize is at animal conservation and protection. Game Theory and AI! “Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security” or PAWS is an app that is helping patrol rangers fend off poachers, especially in very large protected areas. It is an app that is built to efficiently map out patrol routes and areas to minimize time, energy, and resources. According to the press release of National Science Foundation, Game Theory uses mathematical and computer models of conflict and cooperation between rational decision-makers to predict the behavior of adversaries and plan optimal approaches for containment. Of course this is just one  small example of what AI can do for wildlife protection. But it does open a completely new door!  With every new technology break, we are going to create better AI solutions to make this a world worthy of its animals and wildlife.

My opinion? We live in a world where we are far from being “scared of AI”.  In fact, the future to me looks even more promising. It’s not far from reality to see driverless cars becoming available to the public. Imagine the more efficient use of our time focusing on other tasks, while our cars drive for us, besides being a lot safer. Howard Rheingold, a pioneering Internet sociologist, consultant and educator, expressed his belief as: “I, for one, welcome our self-driving automobile overlords. How could they possibly do a worse job than the selfish, drugged, drunk, and distracted humans who have turned our roads into bloodbaths for decades?”

There is no doubt that AI is relentlessly thriving to know us “better” than we know ourselves, which is why it is enriching our lives in almost all aspects, making lives happier, easier, healthier, safer, and more entertaining. What more do you need for a beautiful world?

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