The human brain is considered very unique – its extents and ability to learn, adapt, infer, ideate etc. seems to be an exclusive privilege to the human species. So much so, that we’re on the brink of replicating and imparting our abilities into our own creations – machines. AI, Machine Learning or Deep Learning, whatever you want to call it, is progressing swiftly in this direction – transcending the limits of just executing commands or following rules, machines are now gaining the ability to LEARN various abilities simply by using experiences.
What we’re about to explore are the possibilities of deep learning which are already enabling machines to peek into the future. Driven by data the predictions come with greater confidence than ever before, and the scope of growth is quite akin to magic!
While machines are not 100% error free and have their own requirements for appropriate operation, when applied well, the width and depth of their understanding is far greater than that of a human brain despite only being cheap emulations of the same.
Let’s take a brief look at the technology, how it actually works, and some of its novel uses to improve our society!
So, How Can AI See Into The Future?
Machine learning is typically a program which takes INPUTS (usually huge amounts of data), runs them through various layers of NEURONS (like the ones in our brains), each of which run simple functions to assess them, finds patterns in them (overall probability), and finally provide an output.
This process is then repeated to “TRAIN” the machine for optimisation, and because the machine doesn’t inherently know right from wrong, providing as much context (historical data) as possible, significantly improves the machine’s ability to be accurate with it’s learning.
For example, most of us have figured out by now that, when the sky is getting dull, the air becomes breezy the birds start scattering back to their trees, rain is likely- further, if it is the monsoon season, we would know our probability to be right is much higher since we’ve learnt to expect rains during those times.
Now just imagine this done by a computer with terabytes of information about every cloud movement and temperature change, and you can expect some scarily accurate predictions about the weather!
Then, How And Where Does This Really Help?
The world of healthcare is full of data – huge volumes of readings across numerous specialisations from research and fieldwork alike. While most healthcare is backed up heavily by science, it is essentially (highly intelligent) guesswork based on symptoms & results from tests made by doctors who have studied enough material to notice these patterns.
Doesn’t this sound a lot like how AI works? Well, it is…and the applications in this field, then, are both revolutionary and critical in the journey of human existence…
From being able to make more accurate diagnosis for otherwise difficult conditions at the earliest of stages, to enabling wearable-tech to predict when a person is likely to need medical attention based on their real-time metrics, AI is turning out to be a savior in this very important industry with its growing ability to anticipate many aspects of the healthcare both at an industry and personal level.
Education is another industry with huge volumes of data with patterns that couldn’t be identified too easily by human intelligence. AI is being employed to use data of grades of thousands of students across schools and over years to optimise curriculum, predict remedial steps for every individual & even improve the methods of teaching.
AI can potentially predict the journey of a student and suggest an academic journey that would best cater to their interests and strengths. So, the next Picasso isn’t spending more time than needed in gym class & the next Usain Bolt isn’t forced to take up advanced physics.
This is probably the industry with the largest amount of data for the longest time and the use of analytics has been crucial in predicting weather trends for decades. Now, with the advent of AI, these techniques have become significantly superior – government and private companies alike are using deep learning algorithms to better process the massive amounts of data collected by the thousands of weather satellites every minute to generate better predictions for much longer windows into the future.
We are likely to see a day where we know exactly when and where a natural disaster is going to happen years in advance, thus allowing for zero causalities and minimal infrastructure damage. This kind of prediction is invaluable to many other aspects of city planning & anthropology.
The day’s of guessing which segment is likely to buy a product to shift marketing budgets are on their way out with AI-driven analytics being able to accurately predict probabilities-to-buy at an individual level! It’s the end of generalisation and the advent of personalisation – companies like Boxx.ai are able to make recommendations to each individual based on behavior, time of day, day of month, the weather and other factors in real time.
Deep Learning is thus becoming a key to reducing high marketing spends, high operation costs, customer attrition, business leakages and improve inventory management, customer engagement, conversions, retention, loyalty, increase ROI & even garner cultural progress!
But effectively, whether you look at this from a customer’s point of view or from a business point of view, the benefits are huge!
Others Segments Reaping In Benefits Of AI
From managing transportation hassles in big cities to making video games really learn from your every move, from helping farmers plan their crops based on weather predictions, to assisting the mentally ill plan for another episode, the applications of predictive AI are not just vast, but incredibly useful – people are beginning to use this tech to crunch data in every field possible.
With more and more companies providing AI-based tools at affordable prices, the field is more than likely to sky-rocket in the coming years, especially since it’s growth would effectively catalyse its own growth.
AI and Deep Learning is an exciting step towards pushing the world to the next-level of progress – Machine Learning is probably going to be that critical step in this age of tech that will overhaul all other industries and technologies to become highly optimized.
And whether it’s really looking into the future or just exercising the extents of computation on big data, the end result seems just as promising.