In the past few years, AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been slowly taking over our homes and businesses without us necessarily realising.
Such things range from a simple question of “What’s the weather today” on our phone, to pressing a button on a device to order something online.
All of which can involve a range of AI that we may not really understand, or even realise is happening, as it starts to become the norm.
Where can you spot AI in your daily life?
What we might take for granted, such as voice control (your phone, home lights, heating etc) are all part of a bigger picture.
Each command we say or button we press, instructs a computer to perform a small automated task for us.
This may not seem a big deal, but with each we do, AI can remember and start to build a pattern of the regular tasks we do.
Is this a positive or negative thing for our lives?
By example, schools are now using AI tools to mark homework and tests, allowing teachers to focus more on their students.
This allows them time to develop more emotional skills, useful for students and something computers have yet to fully understand.
It does however take teachers away from marking students work, interpreting their words and maybe some of their communication skills.
Will AI mean these key areas are missed, or need to be separately fostered?
Similar situations can be seen in the banking sector, with several banks and lenders now using AI tools to aid mortgage applications.
This can make for a more efficient process, but does it remove the personal factor from the process, which may result in a rejection to what could be a valid future customer?
Putting numbers into a computer can make things more reliable, more stable, but does this mean we rely too heavily on just getting an answer?
Would we, could we, be unable to do these tasks in the future?
AI and Sci-fi
On the other side is that science fiction scenario often raised, of whether Artificial Intelligence will become both smarter and faster than us, a question of whether we will be become subservient to AI.
We still have the ability to shut a machine down, the greatest weakness to any device (think what damage accidentally unplugging a PC can cause).
However, with all the negatives recently in the news around AI, it’s not necessarily like the scare stories tend to emphasise.
As humans, we are progressing faster than ever and because of this, there are now talks to see if AI can understand the universe or break the code of fusion power.
The answers to these questions could see us moving into the next generation of cleaner power or space exploration.
On a smaller scale, a business starting up now can have a computer managing their data on site with AI assistance and even their banking, so don’t need to hire extra staff and can concentrate more on their product/sales.
This can also mean an abundance of this type of working arrangement in our hospitals or other situations such as with the police, to ensure we have a safer environment in which to live.
What are the biggest threats?
AI is an excellent tool, but as with any computing tool, they can have their flaws and need of maintenance.
So, the key question is, what is the risk of letting AI into our homes and businesses?
One key issue is security, in that we are being asked to put our trust in a computer to put the data exactly where we want it to go.
This is fine when starting out, but what happens if during the lifetime of your AI device, the location of that data changes, this could effectively steal your data?
Similarly, voice commands are the starting point and unless properly setup, can come with little or no default security – just you, the device and the internet.
This could mean, you can go into any home and use a device to change the house lights or heating, just using the right commands.
Mainly this is down to either the device not having personal voice recognition (so only you can control it) set up, or a strong password on the device administration features.
Similar to the issue of facial recognition (which is another example of AI), this default lack of initial security one of the biggest risks we face, to not start out using AI from a secure stand point.
With our world heavily relying on computers it’s becoming our biggest risk.
This is why here at LBT, we always suggest having the latest patches and upgrades as soon as they are released.
It is believed AI will be adding a staggering $15.7 trillion (£12.8 trillion) to global GDP by 2030, and this is simply the integration of the products rather than purchasing.
Businesses can thrive from using computers alongside people to do jobs, which if done correctly can benefit our personal workloads as well as be excellent for businesses as a whole.
It’s all a matter of having that right starting knowledge, to employ AI for you, rather than the other way around.