Technological advancement has long brought fears about employment. The Luddite fallacy is a constant worry for employees and there has never been a more significant advancement than artificial intelligence to the 21st century. Misconceptions about AI are leading to a fear of progress and the benefits AI brings.

Within the tech sphere, one thing always grabs everyone’s eyes; from Elon Musk to Stephen Hawking, one thing everyone seems worried about is artificial intelligence. To talk about AI, there are often misconceptions that need to be addressed about how AI works and what it is currently capable of. A common misconception when discussing this is equating machine learning to artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is the general study of how computers process data and how they can use it to generate a new output. Machine learning is taking that one step further to narrow the bridge between how human and computer minds interact. Currently, we speak and give instructions to computers through their language, code. But what if we could talk to them how we talk to each other?

It is arguable that the best way to learn something is through experience. Machine learning is enabling machines to witness or experience situations and extrapolate the data from that experience thus eliminating the need to code in the data. This enables far more adaptability to everyday life.

How It Works:

Modern AI is built of off thousands upon thousands of lines of code. Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Machine learning changes the way we input code into machinery/electronics. It does this by coding itself based on the most human exercise there is; trial and error. How researchers are teaching these machines is by exposing the AI to a scenario, recording its output/result, and telling the machine if it was right; over and over, and over. A common example is showing AI photos and asking them which photos have cars in them? Then you would grade the results until it reasonably can identify cars. We can extrapolate this function into the workplace improving companies’ decision making through fast reliable data.

How Businesses Are Using AI Now:

The popular music streaming platform Spotify has utilized AI to provide users with a personalized listening experience. Spotify users can select whether they like the song they are listening to and the takes that data and suggests them similar songs. The base of this technology is AI tracking what similar users also liked and suggesting those to the user. This is in the Discover Weekly section which provides the user with 30 personalized song recommendations based on the users viewing preferences. Discover Weekly has had resounding success having 40 million users in its first year. This is just one example of companies taking utilizing their data to provide users with a better, more tailored, experience with the power of AI.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Worried:

AI is already here, but what is coming is so much more. Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

AI and machine learning present a technical revolution that offers great advantages for us. But there are reasons to be concerned. AI will almost definitely eliminate jobs from the market as with any technological innovation. They are cheaper and will be more efficient workers. But the issues we imagine AI doing are decades and decades away from what AI is capable of currently. Currently, the AI we have is so narrow it can only focus on one area; like distinguishing if something is or isn’t a car. The AI systems we have currently available for the workforce are designed for sifting through data, assisting us with identifying the important information we need as decision-makers. This eliminates mundane data sorting and risk of human error in data analytics while exponentially improving the speed and quality of the data we can use as managers.

SAS. “Artificial Intelligence What it is and why it matters”
Sen, I. “How AI helps Spotify win in the music streaming world”.
Mr. Trask (June 2,2018). “General vs Narrow AI”.