Everyone has been talking lately about the miraculous ChatGPT and how it can help us on a great variety of occasions where language is involved, starting from translations, writing applications, speeches, emails, essays, code to leading human-like conversations (excellent for chatbots). ChatGPT has been in the news a lot recently, partly because of its wide range of use cases, its easy accessibility (everyone can use the free version) and because of its astonishing performance.
But by no means is ChatGPT the first AI tool which is used by the masses. Maybe it’s (one of) the first obvious AI tools because actually, all of us are facing AI on a wide variety of occasions in our daily lives. From social media, navigation, games, e-banking to healthcare, AI is used in many different areas to facilitate or improve our lives. One of its main purposes is to enable us to save time, for example through automating routine tasks. Besides that, through the collection and analysis of big amounts of data, services, products and experiences can be personalized.
The most important technologies that are used for AI are machine learning (ML), deep learning, and natural language processing (NLP). Chat GPT uses NLP for example.
Here are 7 ways AI is impacting our daily lives:
Many online platforms like Netflix, Spotify, Youtube or Amazon use AI to make recommendations to you based on your (browser) history and what you have chosen to watch, buy, listen to, etc. in the past. So for example the playlists Spotify creates for you (daily mixes), the top picks Netflix shows to you matching your interests at a certain percentage, the related items Amazon displays when you are in your shopping cart or the videos Youtube suggests to you to watch next are all based on data which AI collects through analyzing your online activity, your recent searches and your preferences.
Social media uses AI for its algorithm as well to make content recommendations to you, for example through the explore page of Instagram or the For You page of TikTok. One of the primary goals of AI (in social media but also other platforms) is to keep you engaged so you will come back to using the app. Furthermore, the data collected are used to improve the efficiency of advertisements, so the “right” users can be targeted who are more likely to be interested in what is shown in the ad. Besides that, AI is used to detect cyber mobbing and other content that violates the platform’s guidelines.
AI is used for a wide range of different medical applications, for example to enable early and accurate diagnosis of fatal blood diseases. Many thousands of blood sample images are used to teach the machines how to identify harmful bacteria and predict their presence in new samples.
Another example of AI used in healthcare is virtual health assistants, which help patients manage their health through taking care of their medical data, answering their medical queries via call or email, making appointments for them with doctors, sending appointment reminders, etc. These assistants are made possible through integrated systems which unite cognitive computing, augmented reality and body and speech gestures. They provide patients with a personalized experience and reduce their number of visits to the hospital.
Other applications of AI are creating improved treatments, reducing dosage errors, managing medical records and data, developing new medicines, assisting in surgery, to name just a few.
The advantages of AI in healthcare are that through improved diagnosis people can be treated better, the access to health care is facilitated, better medical decisions can be made and time and money that can be saved on redundant tasks can be invested in more important activities. But of course as with everything there are not only advantages. Human oversight is still necessary and with these vast amounts of data being collected comes the increased risk of security breaches and data abuse.
Even when we travel from one place to another, AI is very likely to be involved. Google Maps, Apple maps and other types of navigation systems use AI to suggest the best route to you to avoid traffic or inform you about current weather conditions. Also rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft take advantage of AI: from matching drivers with riders, calculating the fare to improving safety through using sensors and GPS data to detect irregularities, AI is involved in numerous processes.
Furthermore, autonomous vehicles and driver-assist technology are also making use of AI. For example Tesla’s self-driving cars are able to navigate roads without human intervention thanks to AI.
Smart home devices use AI to learn user preferences to shape a home that complies with your needs. For example smart refrigerators create shopping lists based on what’s left in your fridge, smart thermostats adjust the temperature to your liking before you come home, smart lighting systems take care of the perfect lighting or smart security systems make sure your house is protected when you are not there.
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, our virtual companions who help many of us through everyday life are also AI-powered. They are integrated into smartphones, smart speakers or other devices and are able to complete a wide range of different tasks for you, for example making calls, sending messages, answering questions, playing music, giving directions or controlling your smart home devices.
Face recognition and detection
Face recognition and detection are further examples of how AI is part of our daily lives.
For example when you take a selfie and use a filter or the portrait mode, face detection (which means any face is detected) is used. When you unlock your phone with your face ID, it’s face recognition (means a specific face is identified) which makes it possible. Apple’s FaceID places 30 000 invisible infrared dots on your face and captures a 3D image to compare the scan of your face with the images that have been stored.
Besides that, face recognition and detection are also used for security and surveillance purposes. For example security cameras send notifications or trigger alarm when they detect humans.
Also the banking sector has not been spared from AI. One exemplary use is fraud detection to improve the overall security of online banking. For example the Danish bank Danske Bank implemented fraud detection algorithms which increased the fraud detection capability by 50%.
Besides that, AI and its monitoring capabilities are very useful when it comes to preventing potential cyber attacks. Early warning systems detect malware, trojans and phishing campaigns before they can create irreversible harm.
Furthermore, AI can be used to inform credit or loan decisions. Through looking into the behavior and patterns of customers, banks can better determine their creditworthiness.
As you can see, AI is something we encounter at many different occasions in our daily lives, already long before ChatGPT started to exist. The presence of AI will continue to increase in the following years, with the primary goal of making our lives easier and better. While there are definitely a lot of convincing arguments which speak for using AI, the downsides like data security and privacy concerns can’t be overlooked. A good approach would probably be a balanced view which takes different factors into consideration.