Pretty much the only limit with most AI is how imaginative its creators are in what they build it to do. If we think of the rise of AI as the next Industrial Revolution, it becomes clear that we haven't even scratched the surface AI's capability and implementation. Relative to 100 years ago, we're already in a sci-fi film!
Most of this article is based on pre-existing tech and extrapolated out, so if it seems far-fetched, just remember how alien 'Smart Homes' or driverless cars would've sounded only 10 years ago...
1) Doctors of all sorts will use AI to diagnose and treat you
An excellent example of how AI and ML can be used in health is in the analysis of patient medical records. I wrote a more in-depth piece that was featured in Startacus recently, check it out here if you're interested.
The points of interest for AI would be analysing millions of records to show what medication patients are taking, what side effects they experience as well as what illnesses they have. Here’s where it gets exciting; firstly, the AI will identify these points of interest using a prediction and recommendation model. For example, with enough patients and their data one could draw conclusions on whether or not the medication was working. In a data set that large, when patients are on the same cocktail of drugs you would be able to identify the negative interactions (which are not currently studied, nor required to be by the FDA). In the same thinking, you could also find positive interactions.
As the data pools became larger, as more people start to use health tracking tools (such as smart watches and home blood test kits) the AI analysing it will become smarter; enabling greater predictions and recommendations. Imagine being able to have all of your health data scanned and analysed in real-time. You would be able to receive earlier and more detailed diagnoses of diseases from Cancer to Parkinson’s and more. As treatments for different illnesses can vary so wildly, the AL & ML could understand which treatments are most effective, and the reasons for that. As technology becomes more advanced in general and everything we do gets tracked (exercise, diet, so on and so forth) this could also inform how these lifestyle changes affect health and illnesses. Currently, this is not able to be done, because, in clinical trials, datasets are far too small, and the level of tracking and data required is far too high to make it possible for humans.
AI & ML essentially make it so we’re all continuously in clinical trials; making the treatments we receive more tailored to us as individuals and far more successful. Obviously there are huge ethical implications here – I'm going to touch on this in a later piece (Subscribe to the blog if you're interested to hear more about this.)
AI is already starting to be adopted across the medical profession, these algorithms are already being used to diagnose cancerous cells by analysing different scans. They can successfully reveal problems in scans that a normal doctor could miss, it will also be immediate, and could intricately analyse thousands in a fraction of a second. Let’s say you’ve got a small tumour and need laser treatment, the laser can be controlled by an AI powered robot that automatically attacks the cancerous cells with cell to cell precision. This not only makes the treatment far more effective, but it also reduces damage to the surrounding cells significantly. Think of AI as an unprecedentedly precise tool that can be used to treat pretty much anything.
2) You’ll have your very own butler and personal assistant, all rolled in to one! Albeit, not a physical one - but there to fulfil all your needs!
Your day and schedule has already been planned while you were sleeping. Last week you and a potential client agreed to meet, both your assistants automatically scanned your calendars, and based on a variety of criteria agreed on a time and place. Traffic is non-existent as driverless cars seamlessly drive together, all constantly communicating, ensuring their movement is of maximum efficiency; think a huge shoal of fish or a flock of birds which seems to almost move together as a single group. It’s essentially going to be able to do most things a human personal assistant does, just faster, because it’s part of a network of millions of others which automatically communicate; so your schedule is executed seamlessly.
By the way you forgot your siblings birthday - no problem, their favourite flowers have already been sent.
All your devices will be connected to the ‘internet of things’ and be able to communicate with one another. As your routines, likes and dislikes become known the more you use them, they start to anticipate your every move. Your coffee is ready before you even realise you want coffee. You forgot to buy eggs, because there’s really no such thing as supermarket shopping, most things are ordered automatically as and when you run out or need them. Sounds creepy? To be honest, it is a bit.
As you walk through your home lights will automatically illuminate your way, while shutting off behind you. A bath has already started running for you, and your speakers placed around the house play your bath relaxation playlist without even the need for a voice command. Essentially, the same way a great butler would anticipate you and knows what you like, and when you like it - so does your home. Between your personal assistant and smart home, you’ll probably start to feel Regal, but just remember, your friends and family won’t start to bow or curtsey, because they’ll have all this too!
3) You might even generate an income from AI, without having to 'work'.
AI will take jobs, there's really no way around it. For now, it will just take over the mundane parts of your job – we think and write about this extensively at PLATO, if you're interested in AI's relationship with the job market, be sure to subscribe and read around our blog (check this out for a good start).
Due to all these changes its quite likely there will be a need to redistribute the profits from AI or rework our current economy for the AI wave.
Want an example? Sure. As your data becomes a 'commodity' you’ll get income from it, allowing you to generate some money from just living your everyday life. In reality, your data is already commoditised, think about how much better social media adverts have got recently to individually target you. Within the AI revolution though, data becomes the 'fuel' to power and improve the machine learning algorithms – it's not unreasonable to expect the public to be paid for their vital contribution to this.
The main limit to the application of AI and robotics is the human imagination.
I would urge you not to worry, AI is going to make your life pretty amazing. I struggle to see eventualities where the negatives outweigh the significant positives. Keep an eye on our Blog to see our comments and takes on developments in the future!
About the Author: Aron Brar is PLATO Intelligence's COO. Aron loves strategy, film and business. He is also fascinated with how AI can be applied to every industry and almost every problem