Years back, the idea of machines learning from data and simulating human intelligence would have sounded outrageous and too wild a dream. But today it is already happening. Technology is evolving so fast that the next big challenge may be to catch up with its advancements which, apparently, are already part of human daily lives. This is true about artificial intelligence (AI).
AI is, in essence, the core driver of other technologies that have emerged such as big data, IoT, and robotics. As such, the AI certification has become the foundation and starting point for most professionals who seek to pursue AI-related specializations.
AI focuses on computers being programmed to mimic human intelligence to perform tasks and make decisions previously done by humans. AI has become so powerful and grown into such a broad field with vast applications. LinkedIn’s 2020 emerging jobs report found that demand for AI specialists had grown by 74% over the last four years.
The AI engineer
AI engineers have a significant role to play in the foundation, maturity, growth, and future of the AI field. These individuals develop the tools, platforms, systems, and processes that drive AI-powered solutions. They (together with machine learning engineers) model algorithms that are trained to learn from input data to enable machines to operate like the human brain on their own. Overall, the AI engineer has a part to play in formulating an organization’s AI strategy and implementing it successfully.
The AI engineer typically has a solid background in software development, programming, data engineering, data analysis, and/or data science.
5 ways artificial intelligence engineers are changing the world
When in September 2016, the world’s largest technologies which included Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, and later Apple, joined hands to form the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, it became clear that the time was ripe for the maturity of this innovative technology that has years later completely disrupted normal ways of doing things. This partnership is aimed at advancing the public’s understanding of AI and formulating AI best practices.
Uknown to many, AI is a part of their daily routine. For instance, when we use Google maps to find the direction to our desired destination, book an Uber taxi to work, capture 3D photos, or when we use facial recognition to unlock our smartphones, this is AI in the application. Behind every convenience that we enjoy in life, thanks to AI, sits an AI engineer.
Here are five ways AI engineers are changing the world.
The healthcare industry is one of the biggest beneficiaries of AI. From patient care, administration workflow, automated diagnosis, to virtual nursing assistants, research has it that up to 86% of mistakes in the healthcare industry can be prevented through the adoption of AI technology. The bottom line of AI invention is to do what humans do more efficiently at a fraction of the cost and this too applies to AI during patient care.
AI together with IoT have made it possible for healthcare professionals to better understand their patients’ medical history, day-to-day living patterns such as eating, sleeping, and exercising habits as well as other information that is crucial to delivering improved healthcare for better patient outcomes.
AI engineers are constantly conducting research, developing prototypes, and testing AI-powered systems and applications that will not only help doctors diagnose illnesses in advance and deliver personalized treatment but also help patients take charge of their health and be a part of the treatment process. Imagine a smartphone or fitness app that captures voice records to detect signs of a stroke or cold or one that captures facial images to detect eye diseases or other conditions.
The future of healthcare is in robots and virtual nursing assistants that will conduct patient follow up and interact with a patient’s health status and even evaluate the need for a patient to see the doctor way before the patient arrives at the doctor’s office in what is known as predictive care.
Safe driving with autonomous cars
There are far too many accidents up to 95%, that occur as a result of drunken, fatigued, or plain simply distracted driving. AI engineers have contributed significantly to road safety by building AI-powered systems for self-driving cars. Part of the solution is eliminating human drivers and letting vehicles navigate the roads based on input data gathered from cameras, ultrasonic sensors, radars, lidars, GPS in the environment, and other sensors inbuilt into the vehicle.
Autonomous vehicles are set to revolutionize the transport industry in a big way. Think of fewer crashes and so no street/roadside parking, the consistent distance between vehicles and so less congestion and literally no traffic, as well as convenient mobility for the elderly and disabled people.
AI and customer experience
Ever checked the Amazon website and noticed just how many types and models of each product are available? This is where AI comes in. AI engineers are constantly discovering ways of improving customers’ search experience through such tools as recommender systems that deliver personalized search to improve customer experience. With recommender systems, customers do not have to scroll through scores of products and pages just to land a relevant product.
With the advent of eCommerce and online shopping, businesses have to contend with high and ever-changing customer expectations. 80% of customers are highly likely to purchase from a brand that has made the initiative to personalize their experience while 71% of consumers will experience frustrations where a personalized shopping experience is lacking.
AI engineers crunch the vast amounts of transactional and social data available to enterprises to build and train systems that can use this data to personalize the customer experience. Another gamechanger in the retail industry is the use of natural language processing and AI-powered assistants and chatbots. Virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Apple Siri offer virtual automated customer support throughout which saves both time and money for both the consumers and the business. Other businesses use AI-powered chatbots integrated into messenger, email, and websites to handle customer queries. Customers no longer have to be queued for common queries to be resolved. Secondly, customer service agents will be more productive in handling only the complex queries that need human intervention.
AI and the internet of things
While most of the examples we have provided such as autonomous vehicles are a combination of AI and IoT technologies in action, there is much more that is being discovered in the newly emerging field of artificial intelligence of things.
Perfect examples of artificial intelligence of things devices in homes include the:
Amazon Echo Plus Voice controller that is capable of playing songs, asking questions, making phone calls, checking the weather, setting alarms, and controlling devices and appliances in the house.
August Doorbell Cam connected to the door locks allows homeowners to answer the door from any remote location by capturing motion at the doorstep and unlocking the door to let in guests
FootBot Air Quality Monitor checks the level of indoor air pollution and automatically improves the air quality by regulating humidity and temperature
WeMo Insight Smart Plug that helps turn on/off and monitor lights and appliances in the home.
AI in banking
The banking industry has also benefited greatly from AI by learning customer behavior to deliver enhanced customer experience while also mitigating risks, particularly when advancing loan facilities to customers. By the end of 2030, AI’s worth in the banking industry is expected to reach $300 billion and shows just how much impact AI is making in the industry. Personalized customer experience cuts across all industries and the banking industry have not been left behind.
Further, AI-powered systems are key to banking as they are relied upon to detect fraudulent activities.
There are many more smart applications and systems designed, built, and trained by AI engineers that have changed the world. AI and most emerging technologies introduced after it leverage data to optimize processes, products, and services. Research has found that AI adoption can save businesses up to $340 billion in cost by 2022 and will thus significantly influence the success of businesses directly or indirectly. Is it the right time to acquire AI skills?
Well, the future is no doubt promising.