Artificial intelligence may sound like something out of the movies, evoking images of super-intelligent robots that strongly resemble humans rising up and overthrowing their inferior human overlords. Artificial intelligence (AI) is much more subtle, however, and affects your life in ways you probably aren’t even aware of. Here are five ways that AI probably affect your life on a daily basis.
1. Social Media Feeds
Your social media feeds are powered by AI, which determines what shows up by analyzing what you’ve clicked on and interacted with in the past. Not only that, but all of your social media accounts are building complex pictures of you and your likes and dislikes, then passing that data on to advertisers who are trying to sell you their products. Every new story that shows up, every suggested friend that pops up in your network, even the random ads that pepper your timeline are all informed by the site’s AI. Some of these social media sites know you better than you even know yourself, and in particular, they know exactly what will make you open your wallet.
2. GPS Navigation
In the olden days of GPS technology, you’d have a dedicated GPS device in your car that would simply tell you the shortest route to get to your destination. Nowadays, though, your phone doubles as a GPS that can tell you the moment there’s an accident, extra traffic, or construction along your route, and can almost instantaneously re-route you to get you there in the shortest time possible. Even though you know your way around town, you may still use your GPS just so you can shave some minutes off your drive. All of those rapid calculations and turn-by-turn directions are accomplished through AI, no matter what GPS app you’re using. Even more amazing is the app’s ability to help you navigate all over the world, and not just while driving; they can help you make sense of a foreign country’s public transit system in no time at all.
3. Online Banking
You know those weird texts or calls you sometimes get from your bank if you make an unusual purchase on your card? That’s security monitoring courtesy of powerful AI systems your bank uses to build a spending pattern for you. Every time you swipe your card, a machine somewhere is learning what’s typical for you on how you spend your money, and every time there’s some activity that deviates from that norm, the bank is alerted to the possibility of credit card fraud. While it may be annoying, this is actually an incredible feature that allows you to have the peace of mind that a crook won’t get far with your card, even if they do manage to steal it.
4. Streaming Apps
While Netflix perfected the design, many other streaming apps these days have been able to give you a tailored experience in your recommended movies. Netflix uses powerful AI and algorithms to keep you watching by making sure that the next suggested show or movie is something you’ll probably like, based on your viewing history. Music streaming apps like Pandora or Spotify also use the same concept, taking songs and music that you’ve liked or thumbed up and generating playlists of similar music that you might enjoy.
5. Ride sharing
Ride sharing apps, like Uber and Lyft, wouldn’t be able to exist without powerful AI behind them. The entire app is enabled by knowing minute-by-minute locations of thousands of drivers and users, understanding peak hours and off hours, and planning complex driving routes to ensure that a ride is always only a few minutes away. AI also determines the price of the ride, and manages the complex rating system that ride sharing apps use as well. In short, the ride sharing industry is wholly dependent on lightning-fast AI systems and couldn’t survive without it.
Artificial intelligence enables the majority of daily conveniences you can think of. This list is only several of those items that may impact you on a daily basis. Many of the most exciting technologies that are just on the horizon (driverless cars, autonomous delivery drones, next-gen marketing, and complex logistical services) are dependent on advances in AI as well.
Written by Sinclair Somadina Obasi