10 artificial intelligence applications you already use (and maybe you don’t know)

 

1 – VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS

Some of you will know them. They are called Siri (Apple), Alexa (Amazon), Cortana (Microsoft), Google Now, etc. Very friendly and always available, they respond to our voice commands to remind us of an appointment, search the web, send a text message or answer a phone call. «Remind me to call Maria when I get to the office,” «add the tomatoes to the shopping list,” «tell me how to get to the station,» are just some of the requests we can make to our invisible helpers.

This software uses artificial intelligence algorithms for speech recognition, but they also learn our habits and preferences over time in order to meet better our needs or demands.

 

2 – VIDEO GAMES

Video games are one of the most widespread applications of artificial intelligence. IA algorithms allow characters, environments, or stories to evolve according to the player’s behavior, creating situations that are always new and unpredictable.

Among the games that make extensive use of artificial intelligence, virtual player’s opponents in a game have important advantages over human players, such as the ability to perform multiple tasks and react with inhumane speed. In fact, in some games, IA designers have had to deliberately reduce the ability of an IA to improve the experience of the human players.

 

3 – CUSTOMER SERVICE

Many online services today use automated systems to manage customer service chats. These applications, called Chatbots, are based on evolved artificial intelligence systems that understand what the customer asks them, what their problem is and they provide the most appropriate response.

The real challenge for these systems, as well as for the virtual assistants, is to understand the natural language of the human being that is in front of the device.

 

4 – PUBLIC SAFETY

Our cities, airports and stations are controlled by thousands of cameras. These images are examined in real time by human operators aided by powerful software that can recognize not just suspicious faces but behavior patterns that can be an alarm signal.

With proper training, these programs, which can process thousands of images per second at the same time, can see if someone leaves a suitcase at an airport, if it carries a gun or if it wanders suspiciously near a school.

 

5 – PURCHASE PREDICTION

The big names of international e-commerce could further increase their lucrative profits if they could predict the needs of consumers. Several companies, including Amazon, are working on artificial intelligence algorithms that understand what we will need in the near future before we realize it ourselves.

If we buy a fiction bestseller every month, we are likely to be interested in a new one coming out the next month. So why not propose a preview, perhaps at a reduced price?

Amazon, which sells virtually everything from electronics to food, has huge data on customers’ tastes and patterns of consumption: an excellent base to allow electronic brains to process and guess our needs.

 

6 – FRAUD PREVENTION

Although we do not realize, we are people of customs, even in our purchases or acquisitions. We frequent more or less the same stores and spend more or less the same. If we do something very different than usual, the banking system notices it. And that is very important for our security, because this type of surveillance is used to prevent fraud against us, such as misuse of our credit card.

If we have just made a purchase with the credit card in the supermarket around our neighborhood and 10 minutes later we get a card statement from a store on another continent, we probably have to worry. AI systems that monitor the world of banking transactions are trained to warn about all these inconsistencies and inform the banks involved to avoid being deceived.

 

7 – FINANCIAL SERVICES

AI is helping to observe the patterns and behaviors of the users and is consequently helping to improve the decision making of banks, insurers and investors in different areas.

It can track customer satisfaction and analyze their activities to detect possible closure of the account before it occurs. It can also check spending habits and customer behavior to offer personalized financial advice. These algorithms can identify trends more efficiently than humans and react in real time.

 

8 – SMART HOMES

One of the most interesting applications of artificial intelligence refers to home automation. They are all those systems that manage the environments of the home in terms such as temperature, lighting or sound, always according to our habits and preferences.

There are thermostats like Google Nest that are able to understand how many people are in a room and electric companies that optimize the operation of appliances to take advantage of the best energy rates. There are also electric blinds connected to our smart phone that close when we leave home and open again when we return. The only limit here is the imagination.

 

9 – HEALTHCARE

Artificial intelligence is also present in the healthcare industry and is capable of diagnosing diseases as good as doctors but in much less time. Algorithms can help doctors evaluate patients and their health risks with 95% efficiency. It helps to know the side effects that several medications can have.

AI can also be used to simulate brain function and, therefore, is very useful in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological problems. As in the case of any other field, repetitive or time-consuming tasks can be handled through the application of artificial intelligence.

 

10 – RECOMMENDATION SYSTEMS

The great strength of artificial intelligence systems is to learn from experience. For example, they can learn what we like to watch on television, what we usually hear on the radio or what we order at a restaurant. Once they discover our tastes, the AI algorithms can give us suggestions of consumption and purchase online, after having analyzed and compiled countless records of the material that you have already watched, heard or consumed.

Who uses them? Practically everyone: Netflix to recommend movies; Spotify to offer music; even Facebook: the algorithm that chooses which publication shows us is based on experience through an artificial intelligence engine.

James Metzger

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