There are two areas that have been constantly making headline news in the tech industry: cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence or AI as it is more commonly known these days. What is artificial intelligence? Well, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages”. Sounds like the stuff of science fiction. Today – due to massive leaps in technology – science fiction is becoming reality. Although we all hope not along the lines of a Terminator, Skynet situation.
It’s not just the private sector that is spending big on AI investments, governments are investing in the right infrastructure to help these businesses succeed. China is developing a campus strictly for the purpose of progressing technology including deep learning in relation to AI. The commitment is large as well. A total of US$2.1 billion will be spent over the next five years to construct the campus and surrounding technology park.
By looking at companies that have AI arms, you can indirectly invest in the technology. Here are six areas where corporations are investing in AI:
1. Autonomous Driving
Other than electric engines, this is without a doubt the biggest trend in the automotive industry. Just about every major car manufacturer on the planet is in someway implementing autonomous driving into their vehicles. This is being implemented in stages, with different levels of autonomy being allowed by safety regulators.
One technology companies making headways in the field is Nvidia. You may know them as the company who makes graphic cards for your personal computer, however, they have also developed computing platform known as Pegasus that allows car manufacturers to have their vehicles operate at Level 5 automation, which is completely driverless. Today the latest vehicles with the highest level of automation are Level 3, which still requires a driver. Level 5 automation will enable services like driverless taxis and trucks.
2. Customer Relationship Management
Salesforce purchased a company called MetaMind in 2016 to offer a new range of capabilities to its customers. Their latest offering, Einstein, uses AI to allow companies to offer better customer service through image and text recognition. Other companies are using virtual assistants to further enhance the customer experience and enable 24-hour customer service.
3. Speech Recognition
4. Content Recommendations
5. Digital Assistant
Companies such as Google, Apple, and Amazon – to name a few – have created digital assistants to help with day to day tasks that can be commanded by voice. For example, you can ask Google Home to complete many tasks such as to find out information online, make a phone call, play a program on Netflix wirelessly on your television, and turn on your house lights. The development of digital assistants is only in its infancy and the possibilities are immense. Alibaba and Microsoft have both developed AI so advanced in reading and comprehension that both computers scored higher than humans when tested by Stanford University. As AI continues to develop they’ll become self-aware. And that leads to our final AI investment area…
6. Social Robots
We’ve saved perhaps the most well-known area of AI for last. Sci-fi has portrayed the future to have human-like robots assisting and sometimes destroying civilisation as we know it. That future – at least, hopefully, the “assisting” aspect – is not as far away as you think. Robots such as Sophia from Hanson Robotics are being developed to act and learn just like humans. These robots are able to process conversational and emotional data according to their creator, which allows them to form relationships with people. Some experts are predicting that by the middle of the next decade, we could have fully self-aware robots that have the brain capacity of a child and are able to think for themselves.