The role of AI is about to change dramatically in 2022 and beyond

The latest technological advancements make it clear that we are on the cusp of a monumental shift in the way artificial intelligence (AI) is used in our lives and businesses.

First, let me address the misconception that AI is synonymous with algorithms and automation. This misconception exists because of marketing. Think about it: when was the last time you previewed a new SaaS or technical product that was not “powered by” AI? This term becomes something like “all natural” on food packaging: always present and practically meaningless.

However, real AI is fundamental to supporting the future of how businesses and individuals function in the world, and massive advancements in AI frameworks are accelerating progress.

As a product manager in the deep learning space, I know that the current commercial and business use of AI is nowhere near its full or future potential. In fact, I’m arguing that we just scratched the surface.

Ambient Computing

The next generation of AI products will expand the applications for ambient computing.

  • Ambient = in your environment.
  • Computing = computational processes.

We’ve all grown accustomed to asking Siri for directions or letting Alexa manage our calendar notifications, and these systems can also be used to automate tasks or settings. That is probably the most accessible illustration of a form of ambient computing.

Ambient computing involves a device performing tasks without direct commands – hence the ‘environment’ or the concept of being ‘in the background’. Ambient computing significantly narrows the gap between human intelligence and artificial intelligence. Some of the technologies used to achieve this include motion tracking, wearables, speech recognition software, and gesture recognition. All this serves to create an experience in which people execute wishes and machines.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has unlocked continuous connectivity and data transfer, meaning devices and systems can communicate with each other. With a network of connected devices, it’s easy to envision a future where human experiences are effortlessly supported by machines at every step.

But ambient computing isn’t nearly as useful without AI, providing the patterns and helping software “learn” the norms and trends well enough to anticipate our routines and perform tasks that support our daily lives.

On an individual level, this is interesting and makes life easier. But as professionals and entrepreneurs, it is important to see the broader market reality of how ambient computing and AI will support future innovation.

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