Year by year, artificial intelligence is penetrating deeper into all of our lives. That’s bad news if you’re a subscriber to a ‘Terminator’ style doomsday theory, but it’s good news if you’re one of the millions of people who wouldn’t mind a little more automated assistance to make your day to day life a little easier to navigate. We may not have fully functional home assistance robots doing all of our laundry and dishwashing yet, but perhaps we will by 2030. In the more immediate short term, we thought that the end of the year was an appropriate juncture to see what we should expect in terms of AI development during 2020.
We’re not going to go too far with this – it would be foolish to expect to see any major developments that aren’t already in the pipeline. Testing and developing AI technology is a long and difficult process, and so anything that’s likely to appear during 2020 is already at the final testing stage somewhere in the world right now. With only a few days to go and an exciting new decade staring us straight in the face, here’s what we expect to see from artificial intelligence in the twelve months ahead.
The level of use you get out of your Amazon Alexa, Google Dot, or equivalent smart Bluetooth speaker depends on how ‘smart’ your home is. If everything in your home is already connected to the internet, your smart speaker can already do everything from turn the television on and off to dimming the lights and locking the doors. If you live in a less ‘smart’ home, however, the devices are probably limited to working as an oven timer, telling you what the weather is like, and updating your shopping list.
More and more skills will be added to these speakers during the next twelve months, and they’ll have a higher degree of functionality. One of the newer functions is the ability to book appointments for you. Perhaps the most useful of these new skills is the ability to book doctor’s appointments. Nobody likes to wait on hold on the phone for half an hour waiting for a doctor’s surgery to pick up, and now we won’t need to. Your speaker will be able to locate your surgery, send an appointment request, and book it in for you. By the end of the year, it may even be able to do the same for your hairdresser!
Keeping Gamblers Safe
We’ve covered this topic briefly on this website before. Millions of people all around the world enjoy the occasional gamble on website such as Dove Casino, but nobody wants their gambling habit to turn into a problem. In the United Kingdom, online slots companies are already introducing artificial intelligence that monitors the habits of an individual player, and steps in when those habits change. Bet more than you normally would on an online slots game, and the system will step in and ask you if you’re sure you want to do that. If your betting becomes really erratic, the online slots are locked up for thirty seconds to give you a chance to reconsider. It won’t totally eliminate problem gambling, but it will hopefully give people pause for thought before a problem develops.
Not only will artificial intelligence soon be booking medical appointments for you, but it will also soon be assessing what’s wrong with you when you turn up for those appointments. Incredibly, some studies have already shown that artificial intelligence is better than a qualified doctor at identifying a problem when presented with a list of symptoms.
As good as human doctors and nurses are, they’re still human. They get tired, they miss things, and they make mistakes. A computer doesn’t have those limitations. A human pair of eyes will still be required to ensure that any diagnosis given is the right one, but you should expect to see your local doctor turning to the computer for advice and confirmation by the end of 2020. Hopefully, that will save over-worked doctors a lot of time and stress.
Rise of the Chat Bots
Have you ever logged onto a website and struggled to find what you’re looking for? That won’t be a problem for very much longer. AI chatbots may not have reached the point where they can pass the Turing test, but they’re more than capable of holding their own when it comes to a conversation. They can ask questions to better understand what human visitors to a website are looking for, and they can understand responses well enough to point them in the right direction. Just as you might be asked by a store assistant if you’d like any assistance with your shopping today, AI bots will soon be doing the same on Amazon, and also on your usual grocery shopping website.
Self Driving Cars
These have been on every AI prediction list for as long as anybody can remember, but 2020 is surely the year we’ll finally see the first mass-produced self-driving cars hit the roads. Camera technology is good enough, GPS technology is good enough, and more importantly than that, AI technology is good enough. We still expect that the person sat in the driver’s seat will have to be licensed and paying enough attention to take over from the machine at a moment’s notice, but for most journeys brand new cars will allow us to get from A to B without laying out hands on the steering wheel. It’s like having a permanent Uber service that’s parked on your driveway, with the added bonus that you don’t have to make polite-but-awkward conversation with it for the duration of your journey.
This list will be more conservative than some others you might find elsewhere on the internet, but we wanted to stay realistic with our predictions. Every piece of AI we’ve described above is either available right now or is about to become available. Over the next twelve months, we expect to see them become more integrated into people’s lives, and a few years from now, we’ll wonder how we ever lived without them!
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