Haven’t you heard? Artificial intelligence (AI) is so in at the moment. Forget about jobs in architecture or social media. Everyone wants to know about AI research scientists and machine learning roles.
AI is all the rage. What once was seen as an over-complicated, geeky technology is now high in demand. And not just from tech companies - industries of glitz and glam, including the fashion and film sectors, are getting in on the action.
It’s safe to say that 2017 was the year of AI, and 2018 will continue in the same vein. But why - and how - did artificial intelligence enter the cultural lexicon? Here are six reasons why AI is so hot right now.
1) Access not denied
One of the key reasons why AI is so in demand at the moment is down to ease of access. Infrastructure has allowed those working on the tech to research and create more complex algorithms without the headaches that previous limitations had.
With faster hardware, better processors and the use of cloud services, AI technicians spend fewer resources but create smarter AI. In turn, more funding opportunities arise, as investors can see the progress the tech is making.
If you’re thinking of creating a startup, finding a way to incorporate artificial intelligence into your business model might not be a good idea.
2) More AI means more interaction
More companies working on and creating better AI has led to the tech featuring more prominently in the mainstream. Many even use AI on a daily basis without realising. Every time you ask Siri, Alexa or other personal voice assistants a question, you are directly interacting with AI.
Fire up an app with augmented reality features, and you will find that AI is powering it. When you’re chatting with an assistant online, there is a good chance you’re in dialogue with a chatbot. And guess what, chatbots are powered by AI.
Typing something into Google? Wonder how it’s predicting the rest of your search query? That’s AI algorithms working to better understand your search queries. Google Maps also uses AI to measure the speed of movement from traffic.
Smart cars are slowly being integrated into society. It won’t be long until sitting in one is a common occurrence. Tesla and Google are the closest to putting automated vehicles on the road.
Don’t be surprised to see all major automobile companies having at least one self-driving car prototype by the end of 2018.
3) AI has a face that is so hot right now
It only takes one genetically blessed person to send a topic from reserved curiosity to full-blown information seeker. AI certified it’s moment in the spotlight when Yves Saint Laurent, the high-end fashion label, made Alexandre Robicquet the face of its new fragrance.
The AI research scientist, who works in the lab of Google X founder Sebastian Thrun, found himself propelled into the limelight after appearing on billboards and a 30-second TV ad. AI has literally never looked better.
Call it shallow, but if you’re looking to create buzz around something, sex appeal will do it. Instead of worrying about robots taking over the world, people are too busy swooning over an attractive person. If ever you need proof of AI accelerating into cultural awareness, this is it.
4) Big names on show
Google, Facebook and Amazon have all openly talked about the importance of artificial intelligence. Well-known companies speaking positively about a subject give it validation and acceptance.
Google has made no secret about its desire to lead in the AI field. Amazon fully embraces the tech and is in the process of creating delivery drones and an AI grocery store. Facebook recently opened an AI lab in Canada, the fourth one from the company, to keep itself up to date with the latest AI tech.
These are arguably three of the companies we use the most in our daily lives. The more resources they plunge into tech, the more we reap the benefits on a day-to-day basis.
5) All the cool industries are using it
Other than an AI researcher featuring in fashion campaigns, many brands in the fashion industry are utilising AI. Retail giants ASOS use AI so their customers can upload photos of their current clothes and get recommendations based on their snap.
Burberry dipped its toes into the AI world with personalised offers based on previous buying habits. While this AI method isn’t exclusive to Burberry, they differentiate themselves by offering an in-store service. If a customer is willing to share their buying history, AI allows in-store Burberry assistants to provide a real-life personal shopping experience to the customer.
The film and music industries have also embraced AI, going as far as using algorithms and data research to create movie trailers and even a full song. IBM’s Watson came up with the concept for the movie Morgan, which was then directed by a human.
Musical AI is becoming so popular, there are now dedicated companies working to automate music and create more options for people with a need to license jingles. And let’s not forget the advertising industry, the mouthpiece for many other sectors.
Advertising has embraced AI in various forms, with McCann in Japan going as far as tasking AI with creating an advert.
6) Opinions are changing
Only a couple of years ago, news stories on AI painted a very different picture. Most articles about the tech involved some form of reference to how the robots will take over the planet. While that perception still features in today’s coverage, opinions are starting to change.
We can no longer ignore AI; it’s becoming entrenched into our daily lives. The result is more positive news stories which, in turn, helps to change the perception of ‘evil robots’.
People are challenging the sensationalist coverage, instead wanting to read about how it impacts them now. Not stories on what could - but is unlikely to - happen in 50 years time.
AI is so hot right now, after all.