AI is not just Robots, it’s for Everyone

By 2025, AI could have significantly altered and improved our everyday tasks both professionally and personally. It’s already anticipated that by the same year the market value will reach $190b.

At Rootstrap, we are often asked “is there a difference between AI and robots?” Good question, but there’s much more to AI than just robots, evident by the technology reshaping industries across the board.

AI can vastly improve productivity and reduce costs while doing so, and with only 7% of companies currently not using it, this is not a group you want to be part of. It’s time to utilize it to the best of its abilities.

In this article, we will break down AI by looking at the following:

  • Benefits of AI in work and everyday life
  • Benefits of AI and human interaction
  • How AI can help the environment
  • How AI can help humanity
  • The future landscape of AI

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence

The unlimited reach of AI is never-ending. When effectively used, it can perform and master mundane and complex tasks.

When this technology bases its decisions on data over human gut feelings, it can improve accuracy in decision making and help with inputs for decisions.

AI and big data

With AI, you can process information much faster in real-time, allowing you to review a lot more info and find patterns in data. This can save valuable time and money as it could take humans weeks if not months to do the same task.

How AI can help us:

  • It takes into account more variables: with AI we can take into account a huge amount of variables that better represent reality.
  • Algorithms can improve over time: with the help of machine learning, algorithms can be improved as soon as we generate more data. 
  • It is a need in any area – all areas need AI to get the most value from it, since more data is now being generated, it’s impossible for humans to process it on time without the help of AI.
  • Multi-tasking: machines can do several things at the same time.
  • Reduces costs with the help of AI we can reduce operational costs and time. 
  • Automates work: many hard, manual, or boring tasks can be automated by AI.
  • Creates jobs: while the automation of tasks will see jobs removed, AI can also open up other job opportunities, and give us more time to do what we like.

AI is everywhere

A lot of people may be unaware of this or find it hard to believe, but we are already using AI in our day-to-day lives, and quite a bit.

Online shopping, social networking, Netflix, Youtube, Spotify, etc, are all platforms we use where AI is applied. It’s important to know this so we can decide how and when we want AI in our lives.

To achieve this, it’s crucial that we have transparent communication from governments and companies alike, as this technology continues to evolve in the workforce and our homes.


Benefits of AI and Human Interaction

Home-based virtual assistant technologies such as Alexa and GoogleHome, are prime examples of humans effectively interacting with AI as a tool.

We also now have ‘Smart Houses’, where homeowners use their smartphone or tablet to remotely control everything from lights to thermostats to appliances.

This integration with IoT (internet of things) devices allows AI to interact with humans providing information or completing tasks, such as cooking, buying groceries, cleaning, etc. 

AI is helping create art and inspire artists, look no further than NTFS. Just like Alexa and co, virtual assistants are also helping us in the workforce, particularly with high-risk and complex jobs.

AI can help people with disabilities by creating Brain-Computer-Interfaces (BCI) via machine learning models to understand a person’s specific needs.

AI and healthcare

There is massive potential for AI to have a positive impact on the healthcare industry. A recent study showed how Medical Physicians are eager to use this technology to help them gather complex data from historical medical records.

There are multiple high-performing healthcare apps using AI to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for people. These types of apps played an important role for people during the pandemic lockdown.

AI and education

In education, AI can create more personalized learning, mood functionalities from a person’s personality, and make recommendations based on history. While some people are more visual, others are not so much.

Machine learning algorithms are able to understand how students learn, which methods are more effective, what their difficulties are, and create custom practices for each student to help them reach their potential.  Detecting the best approach and methods for a student can help reduce frustration.

Depending on the best way to learn, AI can suggest different methods to learn the same thing, as seen with language learning apps like Duolingo. Machine learning and AI bring the power to language learning apps to provide a specialized service, beneficial to both students and teachers.

AI is applied in several activities during learning, such as pronunciation feedback, grammar corrections, creating custom practices, detecting common patterns in learning, etc. Machine learning apps learn specific characteristics from an individual and learn collectively from the group of users identifying common problems among them, or finding different clusters.

This does not mean that teachers will be replaced by AI, instead, they can adapt their classes and effectively use machine learning as a tool. Taking advantage of the power of these tools can save teachers’ and students’ time.

How AI can Help the Environment

Just like its humanitarian benefits, the productivity and intelligence gains that come with AI have the potential to discover solutions to our critical environmental challenges including air pollution, climate change, water management, ocean health, biodiversity, resilience, etc.

Artificial intelligence for the Earth

With the advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT), WEF (World Economic Forum) saw the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR, or Industry 4.0) as an opportunity to make significant change and harness  AI for the Earth.

They brought Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment and the Silicon Valley technology community together to combine University’s research departments and their strong relationship with Silicon Valley on how best to utilize 4IR innovations to change our environmental agenda.

This collaboration led to the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth publication which shows how harnessing innovative technologies backed up by fresh and effective approaches to governing and financing, could help us solve critical environmental challenges.

Priority action areas for addressing Earth challenge areas. Image: PwC

Their report shows how AI can help address and positively impact urgent environmental challenges and revolutionize our earth initiatives. It highlights the potential for AI to help traditional systems and sectors, and address key areas such as climate change, human well-being, food and water security, biodiversity, and natural resource security.

AI and recycling

If our current trajectory continues, it is estimated that by 2025 our landfills will hold 12 billion tons of plastic waste. To put that into perspective, that is about 35,000 times the weight of New York’s Empire State Building.

This is an alarming statistic and further highlights the positive impact AI-powered machine Learning systems and robotics can have. The technology can help us correctly deposit waste and solve the ongoing plastic sorting crisis.

This was highlighted in a recent study that showed the development of a waste classifier app that used machine learning to build a ‘Waste Classifier App’ to help correctly deposit waste and recycling.

AI and weather forecasting

The effects of climate change are impacting how we anticipate potentially adverse weather. With the use of highly complex equations, traditional methods can generally only forecast between the time of around six hours and two weeks.

AI-powered systems such as the ‘Nowcasting System’ have the capabilities to accurately predict short-term weather conditions. These AI predictive analytics can help us prepare for and monitor natural hazards like critical floods, storms, tremors, sea-level changes, etc.

Having this type of information in real-time is crucial as it allows for governments to take necessary action such as making the public aware of a natural emergency and ordering evacuations.

How AI can Help Humanity

Arguably, the most important consideration in the development of AI is ensuring that it benefits humanity as a whole. While some might disagree and feel it can harm humans, there are multiple ways in which we can utilize AI to help us.

AI and disaster response

Not long after COVID-19 was declared, WHO (world health organization) stated that AI could play an integral role in managing the crisis from the virus. As a result, patients and practitioners should expect to see AI in the continued pandemic response and overall healthcare engagement.

The WHOs Chief Scientist and Director General have both stated that it will continue to support countries to prepare them for AI healthcare management and next-generation pandemic response. Ensuring that this acceleration succeeds is crucial for all countries to reap the benefits of AI.

AI and bias

While AI is being used to combat COVID-19, we have unfortunately seen during the pandemic how bias in data can lead to bias in machine learning algorithms. Therefore, resolving this is key to building more trustful algorithms.

But, how can we reduce bias? Great question. Several factors influence bias, not only data but also humans, as they generate and choose the data that program the machine learning models.

Algorithmic bias affects society in many ways, and it’s important that we act on it.  A key issue is a need for more women in teams to allow for better representation in society.

AI and future warfare

Can AI change the future of warfare? Maybe so, judging by the U.S. The Department of Defense using it to support its armed forces. No surprise, as AI and machine learning-based technology could potentially revolutionize how warships make decisions and process thousands of strands of intelligence and data.

While humans will most likely remain in charge of AI weapons (probably for the best), the age of autonomous war is already well underway. Powered by its speed and scale, Governments are using AI to make key decisions on warfare and national security.

Drones, missiles, and guns already have the capability of thinking themselves and have been in combat for many years now. AI-powered tech such as image recognition and autopilot software, have seen drones become a key part of modern warfare.

While this type of lethal fingertip technology comes with its own human rights issues as seen with the debate on autonomous weapons, there is potential for it to replace or vastly limit the role of humans on the front line of tomorrow’s wars.

The Potential Future Landscape of AI

We get asked all the time if there is a future for AI, and if so, how will it affect us? Our answers are always the same, Yes, the future of AI is now, and it’s here to stay, hopefully for the better.

Ginni Rometty, the former Chairman, President, CEO, and first female head of IBM once said, “Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.”

Similarly, Google’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, believes that by the year 2029 computers will have human-level intelligence.Perhaps we should listen as he has a track record of accurate predictions, with a self-proclaimed 86% accuracy rate on 147 of such since the ’90s.

Whether he gets the year right or not, it is highly possible that we will see this technological singularity in our lifetimes, as AI is changing the world as the greatest present and future technology at our disposal.

AI is currently impacting the future of every industry and human being as the Driving force behind the emerging tech, IoT, robotics, big data, etc. Will this eventually lead to machines being smarter than humans? Maybe so.

Ideally, our relationship with this technology will be value-aligned in which will benefit humanity and the environment positively. Therefore, governments and industry leaders have an important role to play in ensuring we are leveraging AI technologies for the best.

Picture of Mikaela Pisani

Mikaela Pisani

Mikaela Pisani is a Data Scientist Based in Montevideo, Uruguay. With a Computer Engineering degree, Mikaela successfully applied for a Fulbright Scholarship and received a master's in Data Science from Texas Tech University.

She is the Chief Data Scientist at Rootstrap and also runs Girls In Tech Uruguay; a global non-profit organization focused on the engagement, education, and empowerment of women and girls in tech, as well as educating children on STEAM.

She was recently featured in LifeWire and spoke about ‘How Women Need To Be Involved In Data Science To Prevent Bias In Algorithms’ at Women In Tech, 2021.