The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Current and Future Applications
Updated: Apr 7
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The world is changing at a rapid pace and an important driver of these changes is the emergence of AI and its use. The amount of data that is generated in modern times far outpaces the ability of humans to absorb, interpret and make decisions. AI forms the basis of computer learning and aids in complex decision making.
During the covid-19 pandemic, AI was used by researchers to develop treatments and vaccinations at speeds not previously possible through traditional methods. Besides medical applications, businesses are also seeing significant benefits to their operations due to the intelligence and automation AI brings, leading to improvements in performance, efficiencies and other benefits.
In February 2023, Education Minister Chan Chun Seng spoke about ChatGPT (GPT is an acronym which stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) in response to questions from MPs about what the Ministry of Education was doing to address the possible abuse of the intelligent chatbot in schools. The AI chatbot attracted public attention and went viral in Singapore due to its ability to answer questions and create content within seconds.
At the same time, it also sparked conversations and concerns from educators on its possible abuse like academic plagiarism and fraud as well as from security experts for its potential usage to commit cybercrimes.
Current Applications of AI
Besides its use in chatbots and the medical field, AI has also been applied in multiple industries to perform repetitive tasks, analyse information and optimise programmes in ways never used before.
AI enables “precision agriculture,” where farmers can make use of it to:
Analyse weather patterns for the purpose of predicting forecasts and planting schedules
Determine the best crops to grow
Address pest attacks
Measure soil conductivity and pH
The ecommerce industry has capitalized on AI to predict trends, analyze performance and assist with inventory management. The ability to track usage patterns and verify information also enables its use to prevent credit card fraud and false online reviews.
Chatbots feature heavily in e-commerce platforms to assist clients in answering their queries.
AI is currently being utilised by modern educators to facilitate automation in repetitive and data-heavy tasks such as:
Scheduling of lessons and meetings
Sending personalized communications to students
Creating or digitizing lectures and study guides
Chatbots to answer routine questions
The field of finance leverages on the use of AI at multiple levels such as:
Allowing customers to get information about their banking and investment accounts.
Detecting changes in transaction patterns to catch fraud.
Predicting and assessing borrowers’ risk levels to make lending decisions.
Generating customized insights and financial risk management decisions.
Future Applications of AI
According to an article published by Forbes in May 2022 titled “The Future Of AI: 5 Things To Expect In The Next 10 Years”, we can expect that AI will feature heavily in 5 areas.
Transforming the scientific method: AI enables an unprecedented ability to analyze enormous data sets and computationally discover complex relationships and patterns. AI augmenting human intelligence is primed to transform the scientific research process, unleashing a new golden age of scientific discovery in the coming years.
AI will become a pillar of foreign policy: The US has publicly embraced the importance of partnering with innovative AI technology companies to maintain and strengthen global competitiveness. AI can be expected to be imperative to the continuing economic resilience and geopolitical leadership of the United States and with other countries will be following suit.
AI for next-gen consumer experiences: Next-generation consumer experiences like the metaverse and cryptocurrencies have garnered much buzz. These experiences and others like them will be critically enabled by AI.
Addressing the climate crisis with AI: Many promising emerging climate ideas require AI to be feasible. New technologies such as carbon dioxide sequestration cannot succeed without AI-powered risk modeling, downstream effect prediction and the ability to anticipate unintended consequences.
AI to enable personalised medicine:
Emerging applications of AI involve synthesising individualised therapies for patients to predict personalised treatment modalities in near real-time without the need for clinical trials.
Will AI Eventually Replace Humans?
Today’s advanced computers are intelligent thanks to AI because they have the potential to learn and make decisions based on the information taken in. However, the current level of AI is only suited to be implemented in lower-level routine tasks that are repetitive and take place within a closed management system. In such a system, the rules of the game are clear and not influenced by external forces.
Human abilities are thankfully more expansive and we possess the ability to imagine, anticipate, feel and judge changing situations as well as think long and short term. These abilities are unique to humans.
Instead of thinking that AI would eventually replace humans, we should embrace the enhancing collaborative potential which human abilities and AI could bring in the future. The future of work is one that harnesses both human and machine abilities to improve humanity and well-being through efficiency of job execution.
Curious about how students could learn AI using just block based coding platforms to create applications like video sensors and chatbots?