By Lisa Froelings

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been at the forefront of innovators minds for decades and as the technology makes breakthroughs, the public is becoming more aware of its implications.

The scientist, innovators, and entrepreneurs who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of high-level artificial intelligence are pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished every day.

We are seeing the direct result of their breakthroughs in the forms of automation and autopilot. Through this pursuit one thing becomes clear: AI will change our lives dramatically in the coming years. That is why it is not only fascinating, but also imperative that we stay abreast of the current climate in the world of AI. These innovations are doing amazing things in the world of AI that could affect the planet for decades to come.

SELF-DRIVING CARS
The most popular innovation, as well as the most exciting, is the advent of autonomous vehicles. For the last 50 years people have imagined a world where driving would no longer be necessary to enjoy personal and private transportation.

Driving in the United States has been a leading cause of death among youth for a number of years. One of the primary goals of autonomous vehicles is to reduce the number of casualties, while simultaneously increasing the efficacy of transportation services across the globe. With safety and value in mind, autonomous vehicles ranks as one of the most ambitious and exciting innovations to come.

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING
A main goal of AI in the future is to create machines that can reason and write with the lexical skill of a human being. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the software that will hopefully achieve one such future.

Companies are working constantly to replicate human thought and speech patterns. The goal of this is to ultimately create machines that can communicate with us, and us to them. This would fabricate a new type of machine with unlimited possibilities of growth. This could lead to machines replacing lawyers, doctors, or even therapists. The projected future of this technology is endless. This makes NLP one of the most intriguing innovations to watch.

VIRTUAL AGENTS
Virtual Agents (VA) have a simple but profound goal: to create AI that can guide us through customer service effectively and quickly. As of now the AI is mostly used for automated chat resources but with enough progress and innovation, businesses hope to replicate the experience of human customer service. Fused with the efficiency of a machine, this would also eliminate the wait time problem that we all have been through.

Companies like Apple and Amazon have put themselves on the cutting edge of this technology with the view that great customer service would help their brands exponentially. This technology, however, is closer than we imagined due to programs like deep learning in which a program can watch and learn from humans interacting. This innovation will most likely be affecting us, and easing tension, very soon.

ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION
One technology that businesses are particularly keen on is the Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) AI software. RPA is simple in its conception and seeks to automate more complex human tasks, like filing reports or reading mail. This, however, has some obvious concerns for workers in the middle classes as they may get replaced, but the impact of such a comprehensive technology could change the nature of work forever.

RPA could alleviate issues that arise from companies with too few employees or too tight a budget to hire who they need. Still in larval stages, this AI platform won’t hit full stride just yet, but it is on its way.

MACHINE LEARNING
Machine learning is the process whereby a program can analyse a system and replicate its functions automatically. This could consolidate machine usage and create more efficient algorithms. It helps with predictions and forecasting by synthesising data and outputting a report which streamlines the data gathering process.

Whether we like it or not AI is here. With it comes fears and hopes, but most importantly change. Some of these technologies are right around the corner, some are far off. Keep your eyes on the future.

Article originally published on www.forbesafrica.com

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