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Artificial intelligence, deep learning, and robotics are all set to change our lives, and our gadgets, says Matt Pluckrose.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around us for years, but we just don’t always realise it.

If you turn on StreetView in Google Maps, there is a great chance that the faces of people have been blurred by AI. AI is also helping to fight crime through street security cameras automatically recognising faces to help security forces. Smart (AI) consumer web cams installed in many homes for home security also use the same technique to automatically distinguish family members from potential burglars.

Great computing power

Artificial Intelligence is a collective name for different types of machine intelligence, where algorithms or a series of computer instructions, analyse problems, solve them and learn from data.

The term AI dates to the 1950s and became common when chess computers defeated chess champ Garry Kasparov, in 1997. As computers became more powerful, they could calculate all kinds of moves from start to finish and win.

Smart, smarter, smartest

Facial recognition uses ‘Machine Learning’. These are self-learning algorithms and they can, to a certain extent, learn from the data you provide them. Let the computer see a billion cat photos and it will learn to recognise cats.

A modern smart webcam does exactly that. You put it in your house and every time it sees your daughter or son, it will ask you to confirm which family member it is. After a few days, the webcam will have learned to recognise the whole family. However, if your daughter enters the house wearing a new hat, then the webcam suddenly does not recognise her, so it uses Deep Learning computers, which can learn in a similar way to the human brain.

The 2011 Watson Supercomputer defeated the two best human champions in the TV game Jeopardy. Google’s AlphaGo defeated a top player in the Asian board game Go last year. Deep Learning computers also have more serious applications. IBM Watson helps cancer research to develop better treatment methods by analysing clinical studies and is also deployed in self-propelled cars.

AI has been forecasted to be integral to the global economy with an estimated $15-30 trillion attributable to its contribution between now and 2025. Technology which touches us all to this extent cannot be ignored and will further rapidly expand the desire and demand for AI gadgets and technology which can be tailored to marketing applications and brand enhancements.

Matt Pluckrose is managing director of Desktop Ideas.

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