Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 45 seconds

The untapped potential of AI is mind-boggling, the stuff of wild imaginations that see no limit to the possibilities. Theories expound about a world in which robots and machines manage the basic and advanced functions of living, like grocery shopping or performing tasks and jobs. The whole purpose of robots and machines is to allow humans to be more productive in other pursuits, ultimately paving the way for humans to use their ample free time to advance as a species.

But as in all things theoretical, the practical applications are another story and not as glamorous. The real abilities of AI are just emerging, and we’re learning which do or do not work among other findings. We’re far from a world in which humans are free to pursue their higher purpose without distractions like taking out the garbage.  

Also, when it comes to artificial intelligence, there are many variations on a sliding scale from robots exhibiting artificial intelligence to devices that just use AI for certain functions. What is reasonable to expect from AI today, and what is the reality of a future containing autonomous AI?

In The Lab, Dreams Inspire Reality

Today’s scientists who research the possibilities with AI have big dreams. What if we build robots that can build other robots? What if robots can scan and detect illnesses in people? What if robots can go to battle? Their eyes are on the future, but these ideas drive current research from which we gain useful AI today.

While we’re a long, long way from any of these robots working autonomously, the ideas about robots built with AI lead to some interesting work conducted in today’s labs. Breaking down the behavior of the robots of the future, we see the steps that lead to their development.

For example, robots will need to manipulate the world around them, so they will need input from limbs that can perform functions. Scans that detect illnesses will need to distinguish between diseased and healthy tissue. Battlefield robots will need to be adaptable to a swiftly changing environment. All these needs lead to research focused on developing better robotic sensory equipment, refined machinery movements, and high-level processing of patterns to create responses to change.

Out Of The Lab, Into The World

The practical applications for machine learning are applied in industries from medicine to automotive. The following are just some of the practical ways that AI has emerged out of the lab and into the real world:

  • Automobiles use AI to assimilate data from sensors and cameras to follow the rules of the road, allowing self-driving cars to become realistic options.
  • Medical fields such as radiology, pathology, and psychology are able to use the pattern recognition capabilities of AI to catch if not recommend diagnoses, saving lives.
  • Publishers are relying on the data processing capabilities of AI to work through large amounts of text to seek patterns in language, correct text, and in some cases, build content.

Many Small Steps For Mankind

If theory drives practice and imagination fuels progress, then the world is already benefiting from the potential of AI. Even though we’re at the tip of the iceberg for fully harnessing all the capability of AI, the small steps along the way make a real difference.

Last modified on Monday, 28 October 2019
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Deborah Huyett

Deborah Huyett is a professional freelance writer with experience working for a variety of industries. She enjoys and works with all types of writing, and she has been published or ghostwritten for blogs, newsletters, web pages, and books. A former English teacher, Deborah’s passion for writing has always been grounded in the mechanics while appreciating the art of writing. She approaches projects as creative challenges, matching voice and tone for any audience.

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