AI 2020 – Make the Planet Great Again!

From Siri to self- driving cars, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly. While sci-fi movies and comic books have portrayed AI as machines with human-like characteristics, AI can encompass anything from Google’s search algorithms to IBM’s Watson to autonomous weapons.

AI has the potential to improve billions of lives, and the biggest risk may be failing to do so. By ensuring it is developed responsibly in a way that benefits everyone, we can inspire future generations to believe in the power of technology as much as I do.

In this article, I’ll be attempting to explore just how far reaching the advantages of AI can be; from developing countries to much closer to home, so let’s begin with one that will strike a chord with many of us.

Arguably leading the field in technological advances, Elon Musk and his various ventures, are currently pursuing a multitude of projects involving AI, his famous driverless cars at Tesla being the one that springs to mind. We’ve all been there, missing the last train home as your quick drink after work got carried away. Thanks to AI now, the days of requesting an Uber or even worse driving under the influence could be replaced with hailing your car to collect you and get you home safely, whilst you finish your McDonalds in the back seat and also potentially reduce the number of DWI accidents. All new Tesla cars are fitted with the necessary hardware to pick up the software (when it’s made available), all you have to do is sit in your car, tell it where to go and it will take you there without any further input - you don’t even necessarily have to say anything, the car will link to your calendar and take you to the location of your next meeting.

All jokes aside, AI will facilitate advances in other salient areas of our life. As recently as January 2020, a team from Google Health and Imperial College London teamed up to design a model tasked with identifying early onset of Breast Cancer from patients’ mammograms. Having fed the model 29,000 examples to learn, the algorithm went on to be compared to top performing radiologists with diagnosis, outperforming all six of them, and proving to be as accurate with diagnosis as two radiologists working together. In addition to this, the AI device was provided just the mammogram, whilst the radiologists were given the patients history to accompany the mammogram. Even with this disadvantage, there was a reduction of 1.2% in false positives (diagnosing it as abnormal when it’s not) and a 2.7% reduction in false negatives (giving the patient the all clear, when they don’t!). 

The progression doesn’t just apply to the developed world, SingularityNet’s platform allows anyone to create and share AI services at scale, demonstrating this by utilising their platform to collect and analyse vast swathes of image data of farmer’s crops. By identifying minute changes in colouring on the leaves, they can then spot early onset of disease so that it can be treated before it takes hold. It doesn’t just stop there, after forming a partnership with HARA in Indonesia, SingularityNet are now supplementing the farmers by providing further data to help them discover a more efficient planting and harvesting schedule to increase their yields. Devoid of a human consciousness, sifting through thousands of photos is thankfully not a job the AI devices will get bored of, so spare a thought for helping our natural friends!

You should hopefully now be forming your own opinion as to the scale of the impact that AI will have on our lives. There is, however, one key area we’ve not yet covered which could swing your view; what impact will AI have on business? Specifically, what impact will AI have on your business? It’s something that we at Merali Digital are already harnessing the power of to grow our clients and so next month’s part of this blog series will be solely dedicated to this topic, covering all aspects from HR to Marketing.


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