We’ve all seen plenty of stories in the media recently about the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI). From self-driving car testing through to the businesses being transformed by IBM Watson, the development of computer systems that can think for themselves will revolutionise our world in the coming months and years.
But from a personal standpoint, what does life in an AI-powered world look like? In this blog, we set out a hypothetical working day for a city-living person, and how their normal activities could be influenced by AI innovations that are either already available, in the pipeline, or realistic possibilities for the future.
Your alarm clock goes off so you can get yourself up and ready for work, and everything around you is ready for your morning routine. Thanks to your AI-powered voice assistant that’s connected to the Internet of Things, your heating has turned on automatically and set your living room to the ideal temperature, and the lights have come on in your bathroom so you can take your shower.
While you’re in the shower, your kettle switches on so that you can make your cup of tea as soon as you’re dried and dressed. Then you command your assistant to turn on the radio so you can listen to the news while you have your breakfast. And once you’ve finished, a simple voice command turns everything off as you leave the house for work.
You’ve driven to work, with your satnav helping you avoid the worst of the traffic. But as usual, it’s hard to find a parking space close to the office. In the past, you’ve been late getting to your desk because it’s taken you so long to find a parking space, and on this day, that simply must not happen as you have a meeting at 9:00am.
However, you’ve subscribed to a service where cameras fitted to buses scan the local streets for empty spaces, and real-time information is delivered to your phone, which is on a hands-free mount on your dashboard. That way, you can drive straight up to the most likely places where spaces are still available. And as it turns out, you easily cruise up to a spot at the back of your office building, park up and make it into your meeting on time.
After your meeting, you find that you’ve got a huge amount of work to get through over the course of the day. Among other tasks, you need to deal with a mountain of payments and invoices, produce a report to forecast sales for your company, and assess purchase and shipping orders for the weeks and months to come.
Thankfully, the machine learning capabilities of the business software that you use makes all these jobs quicker and easier for you. Invoices and payments are automatically matched, previous sales figures and trends are analysed to give a clear picture of the future, and logistics problems are automatically detected and flagged up to affected parties.
Meanwhile, your digital assistant points out that after your afternoon meeting, your remaining work can be completed from home, meaning you can avoid the rush-hour traffic.
Once you’ve got home from work, you get ready to head out for dinner with some old friends. You meet at a restaurant that has had very good reviews for its service. After getting some drinks, you order a Hawaiian pizza from a server who looks far less stressed or overworked than you expect.
Twenty minutes later, you find out why that is. A robot comes trundling out of the kitchen, carrying your delicious hot pizza. Powered by AI, it weaves its way between the crowded tables and parks itself right next to you, so you can easily pick up your meal. Once you’ve finished, it collects you and your friends’ empty plates and returns with a card reader so you can pay your bill.
Once you’re home from the restaurant, you feel like watching something on TV before turning in for the night. You’ve become fed up of your favourite shows being constantly interrupted by adverts that aren’t of any relevance to you, but your new AI-supported smart TV has eliminated them.
Instead, you’re delivered advertising that the TV system has learned is of interest to you. After half an hour of watching a programme about mountain biking, you see special offers for new helmets at your local sports store. Remembering that you’ve got a big ride planned for the weekend, you reserve one before you go to bed.
At the end of the day, what can we learn?
The short answer is that a revolution isn’t far away. It isn’t going to be long until this type of technology becomes commonplace in the daily lives of millions of people around the world.
Of course, no conversation about AI can ignore the fact that the public does harbour some concerns about it. Robots taking human jobs and invasion of privacy are two principal misgivings that people hold about intelligent machines. But what these hypothetical examples show is that AI doesn’t have to be feared.
When deployed in the right places for the right reasons, AI has the potential to make people’s lives easier, more efficient and more enjoyable. And with so many areas potentially able to be transformed, there are bound to be huge opportunities for service providers like you to integrate AI capabilities into your solutions and profit from being part of the AI revolution.
Learn more about how you can add artificial intelligence to your solutions with this series of IBM Watson webinars, available on-demand: