Looking back at our most recent articles, you could be forgiven if you thought we were only focussed on Artificial Intelligence. Michele’s excellent, and thought provoking look at Google Home devices a few days ago was followed by Mark’s exceedingly useful look at the capabilities of the Amazon Alexa yesterday (I’m a big fan myself).
It is no surprise we have featured quite a bit of Artificial Intelligence of late, with AI being the hit of the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas this year. The annual show where consumers and retailers get to try out the very latest in gadgetry is always a huge pull – so expect to see its main theme to get huge purchase in the year ahead.
Artificial Intelligence at CES 2017
“It is not about adding connectivity to devices but giving them intelligence to make them more useful,” says Tim Bradshaw of the Financial Times in his review of the show and the claim that AI is indeed everywhere.
Last year it was Virtual Reality, and we have certainly seen the explosion this year (though, I’m with Tim Bradshaw about the VR shoes – what on earth are they…?)
From Artificial Intelligence at CES 2017 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Moving on from CES, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (I couldn’t follow CES with MIT in the same sentence!), produced one of the most widely shared articles of the week on social media (nearly 8,000 shares) looking at 5 predictions for AI in 2017.
Whilst this is an interesting look at some of the technological advancements, including their expectations of “duelling neural networks” and “language learning” – both fascinating in their own right – it is the final sentence that pricks my interest for next year.
“Perhaps 2017 will feature some sort of backlash against the AI hype machine—and maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.” – I think this is a fair assumption for 2017.
We are hearing AI being used as a buzzword for everything at the minute – whether it really is AI or not. New innovations include AI all the time (not to mention the AI hairbrush from Withings (with built-in microphone, would you believe!), or the AI toothbrush mentioned in Tim Bradshaw’s report earlier) and this will start to test the general population as they start to understand both what AI is and what the capabilities of true AI really are.
It is on that note I want to mention another of the most shared articles of this week, with nearly 45,000 shares.
Japanese Insurance Brokers Replace Workers With AI
It covers 34 office workers being replaced by AIs in Japan, saving the firm over £1 million a year. The firm is an insurance broker, and processes over 130,000 payouts each year as part of its Health Insurance division, and the AI (based on IBM’s Watson Explorer) is said to “be able to read tens of thousands of medical certificates and factor in the length of hospital stays, medical histories and any surgical procedures before calculating payouts”.
Therefore, and to conclude, there are certainly some very interesting innovations and exciting gadgetry to play with that consumers will love, although their very jobs could be at risk from the more serious side of the industry.
When you hear that the Japanese (from the report issued by the Nomura Research Institute) predict half of its workforce will be replaced by robots, you get a sense there is an inherent risk to certain futures with Robotics and AI.
The key? Learn more about AI and Robotics now and evolve with the technology. Period.
Artificial Intelligence at CES 2017 and Beyond… Your Thoughts
What are your thoughts and predictions on artificial intelligence in 2017? As usual, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to message us via our Facebook and Google Plus pages. Alternatively, you can tweet us and James directly.