1 Virtual assistants
They are called Siri, Google Now, Cortana. Very kind and always available, they respond to our voice commands to remind us of a commitment, search the web, send an SMS, or answer a phone call.
These are softwares that use artificial intelligence algorithms for language recognition but also to learn our habits and preferences over time and to better meet our needs.
2 Video games
Video games are one of the most popular artificial intelligence applications. AI algorithms allow characters, environments, stories to evolve according to the player’s behavior, creating ever new and unpredictable situations.
Among the games that make extensive use of artificial intelligence are first-person shooters like Far Cry or Call of Duty, where enemies react to the player’s maneuvers and moves with the aim of eliminating him.
3 Customer care
Many online services today use automated systems to manage customer support chats. These applications, called chatbots, are based on advanced artificial intelligence systems able to understand what the customer is asking them, what their problem is and provide the most appropriate answer.
The real challenge for these systems, as well as for virtual assistants, is being able to understand the natural language of the human who is in front of the screen.
Our cities, airports, stations are controlled by thousands of cameras. These images are examined in real time by human operators aided by powerful software capable of recognizing not so much suspicious faces as the patterns of behavior that can be an alarm signal.
With appropriate training, these programs, which are able to process thousands of images per second at the same time, can detect if someone leaves a suitcase at an airport, carries a weapon or wanders suspiciously near a school.
5 Purchase forecast
The big names in electronic commerce could further increase their already hefty earnings if they could predict the needs of consumers. Several companies including Amazon are working on AI algorithms that can understand what we will need in the near future before we ourselves realize it.
If we buy a science fiction bestseller every month, chances are we’ll be interested in what’s coming out next month. So why not offer us a preview, perhaps at a discounted price?
But Amazon, selling virtually everything from electronics to food, has an enormous amount of data on the tastes and consumption patterns of its customers: an excellent basis for allowing electronic brains to elaborate and guess our needs.
6 Fraud prevention
Even if we may not notice it, we are very habitual, even in purchases. We go to more or less the same shops, we always ship more or less the same figures. If we do something very different than usual, the banking system notices it. And it is very important for our safety because this type of surveillance serves to avoid scams against us, for example, misuse of our credit card.
If we just made an ATM purchase at the supermarket next door and after 10 minutes our card is swiped in a New York store, we probably need to worry. The AI systems that monitor the world of banking transactions are trained to notice all these inconsistencies and to report them to the banks that intervene, avoiding us from being scammed.
7 Digital journalists
Journalists tremble: you have electronic colleagues who write news for you. Already today. And who have fewer demands in terms of holidays, breaks, and salaries. Some online news sites including AP, Fox, and Yahoo, in fact, use automatic systems to write short financial or sports news.
These systems are not able to write in-depth articles or news articles but they manage without too many problems to deal with the summary of a sports meeting or financial day on the stock exchange.
8 Smart Home
One of the most interesting applications of artificial intelligence concerns homes automation. These are all those systems that manage environments in terms of temperature, lighting, sound according to our habits and preferences.
Thermostats like Google’s Nest that are able to understand how many people are in a room, but also electrical networks that optimize the operation of appliances in order to take advantage of the best energy rates. Or electric shutters connected to our smartphone that close by themselves when we leave the house and reopen on our return. The only limit is the imagination.
9 Smart car
The latest generation cars keep the traffic around us under control, anticipate braking in the event of a sudden slowdown and, in the case of Tesla’s autopilot, are also able to follow the lanes of the road on their own. In short, these cars are able to make decisions based on what happens in the surrounding environment.
To do this, they use artificial intelligence algorithms similar to those of video games that learn and modify their behavior with experience. Like humans or almost.
10 Recommendation systems
The strength of artificial intelligence systems is to learn with experience. For example, they can learn what we like to watch on TV, what we usually listen to on the radio or order in restaurants. Once our tastes have been discovered, the AI algorithms can give us consumption and purchase suggestions in line with our tastes.
For example, if we often listen to music with long guitar riffs, we will probably be willing to listen to other similar ones, perhaps new or by emerging authors unknown to us but with that characteristic.
Who uses them? Virtually everyone: Netflix to recommend movies; Spotify to report the music to you; even Facebook: the algorithm that chooses which posts to show us is based on experience and is based on an AI engine.