AI’s role is poised to change monumentally in 2022 and beyond

The latest developments in technology make it clear that we are on the precipice of a monumental shift in how artificial intelligence (AI) is employed in our lives and businesses.

First, let me address the misconception that AI is synonymous with algorithms and automation. This misconception exists because of marketing. Think about it: When was the last time you previewed a new SaaS or tech product that wasn’t “fueled by” AI? This term is becoming something like “all-natural” on food packaging: ever-present and practically meaningless.

Real AI, however, is foundational to supporting the future of how businesses and individuals function in the world, and a huge advance in AI frameworks is accelerating progress.

As a product manager in the deep learning space, I know that current commercial and business uses of AI don’t come close to representing its full or future potential. In fact, I contend that we’ve only scratched the surface.

Ambient computing

The next generation of AI products will extend the applications for ambient computing.

  • Ambient = in your environment.
  • Computing = computational processes.

We’ve all grown accustomed to asking Siri for directions or having Alexa manage our calendar notifications, and these systems can also be used to automate tasks or settings. That is probably the most accessible illustration of a form of ambient computing.

Ambient computing involves a device performing tasks without direct commands — hence the “ambient,” or the concept of it being “in the background.” In ambient computing, the gap between human intelligence and artificial intelligence narrows considerably. Some of the technologies used to achieve this include motion tracking, wearables, speech-recognition software and gesture recognition. All of this serves to create an experience in which humans wish and machines execute.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has unlocked continuous connectivity and data transference, meaning devices and systems can communicate with each other. With a network of connected devices, it’s easy to envision a future in which human experiences are effortlessly supported by machines at every turn.

But ambient computing is not nearly as useful without AI, which provides the patterning, helping software “learn” the norms and trends well enough to anticipate our routines and accomplish tasks that support our daily lives.

On an individual level, this is interesting and makes life easier. But as professionals and entrepreneurs, it’s important to see the broader market realities of how ambient computing and AI will support future innovation.

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