“Smart” AI: The next generation of automation

Automation is a force that every business needs to be aware of; a paradigm shift that will permanently change the economic status quo. Manufacturing is increasingly becoming integrated with robotics and programmed assembly lines. Logistical networks make use of machine learning to improve efficiency. Even the cars on the road may soon become self-driving. However, this is only the beginning of the automation revolution. As computing research marches on, the possibility of true artificial intelligence grows closer by the day, and with it, exciting opportunities for businesses everywhere. 

Onward and upward

At the moment, what many people think of when referring to artificial intelligence is actually machine learning. Facial recognition databases are built through neural networks that collate large amounts of information in order to identify persons through facial features. Machine learning is thus the ability for computer systems to learn and improve, according to Forbes. In contrast, true "smart" AI is a system that is able to perform functions with similar or greater proficiency compared to humans. While machine learning has taken the market by storm in recent years, AI is only just beginning its journey, and with it comes new possibilities.

Artificial intelligence can improve upon the new, efficient processes that machine learning has brought, while offering new ways to solve problems. The concept of a "smart workplace" is an exciting one; a work setting controlled partially or entirely by a computer program that can make decisions without human intervention, according to WIRED. While current programs can collate and learn from information to make decisions, most are ultimately beholden to human operators. In contrast, an AI program in charge of, say, a warehouse could assign workers to shipments, manage forklift traffic and much more, all without the need for human approval.

True artificial intelligence is slowly but surely becoming feasible.True artificial intelligence is slowly but surely becoming feasible.

An emerging market

Artificial intelligence can make work environments more efficient. But why stop there? An AI in charge an airport would be able to analyze flight traffic, assign gates, manage runway traffic and much more, without the need for operators. Artificial intelligence has the capacity to handle many different operations that were previously controlled by a company's personnel, and the more feasible the implementation of the technology becomes, the more ambitious its uses can be. While current systems might handle simple operations for a business, such as managing temperature and security, more advanced programs can control large operations, such as the aforementioned airports. 

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