Artificial Intelligence Delivers Its Latest Innovation

Artificial intelligence conjures up justified and irrational fears such as job losses, machine takeovers and insurmountable skill gaps.

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"Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we'll augment our intelligence." -Ginni Rometty, Executive Chairman of IBM

Artificial intelligence (AI) conjures up justified and irrational fears such as job losses, machine takeovers and insurmountable skill gaps. On the flip side, there are also countless reasons to be intrigued and excited about the next level of business and technology innovations that are at our fingertips with AI. As a technologist leading my company to deliver next-level business and technology solutions to customers, I am engaged in the development and deployment of new AI solutions and I understand its potential for impact on our futures. Our lives will continue to be enriched by advanced digital technologies so the best approach is to get familiar and then get going.

How Far Is Too Far

The most recent AI that has captured our global imaginations is ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) which was launched by OpenAI in November 2022. This solution has put us on notice that AI will continue to challenge us on every level for dominance in our ways of living and of being human. In recent months this advanced chatbot has shattered the boundaries of intelligence that we hold dear. While AI does not impede human intelligence, it can change the way people approach and solve problems depending on how heavily they rely on it. The main challenge and question for us is how far we should go. The simplest answer is we should go as far as we can.

AI Then and Now

If you are old enough then you will likely recall competitions between IBM Watson AI natural language solution and some of the world's greatest minds. Watson was designed to compete on the game show Jeopardy and went on to win the top prize of $1 million in 2011. After humans took a beating, IBM shifted its use of the technology in 2013 toward lung cancer research and treatments. Today Watson AI is embedded in advertising, children's toys, cooking apps, building code solutions, electronic teaching materials, smart fashion, tax preparation and more. A decade after IBM Watson came to the forefront, ChatGPT has leap-frogged over traditional search engines to create conversational interactions with users far beyond any AI solution to date. Comparisons between the two solutions are natural.

The biggest differences between the two behemoth AI solutions are training data, models, use cases, integration and cost. First, the amount of training data used by ChatGPT is superior to any AI solution in history by processing hundreds of billions of parameters compared to IBM Watson's few billion parameters. Second, IBM Watson mostly uses rule-based AI models whereas ChatGPT uses deep learning. Third, use cases for IBM Watson are embedded in healthcare, finance, customer service and more while ChatGPT is mainly used for text generation and language translation — for now. Fourth, integration capabilities for both solutions are handled through APIs. Fifth, both AI solutions use subscription-based pricing models with free versions of ChatGPT available online. Given the ability of both solutions to learn and grow without human intervention, we will undoubtedly witness unimaginable applications in the near future.

Productivity Gains

As with all things artificial, too much AI can lead to a decrease in human capabilities such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills which are two of our most important cognitive human traits. Multiple industries rely heavily on AI for productivity gains and have displaced millions of jobs and workers while simultaneously creating millions of new jobs in industries like healthcare, finance, retail, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, customer service, security and energy — to name a few.

AI in healthcare aids with medical diagnoses, drug discovery, patient monitoring and treatment planning. AI in retail helps with demand forecasting, inventory management, personalized marketing and product recommendations. Manufacturing benefits from AI through predictive maintenance, quality control, supply chain optimization, process optimization, and supply chain management. AI in transportation and logistics supports route planning, delivery optimization, fleet management, autonomous vehicles and delivery management. Customer service AI chatbots, voice recognition and natural language processing are popular solutions. Security uses AI for face and object recognition, intrusion detection and cyber security. The energy sector leverages AI for predictive maintenance, demand forecasting and optimizing power generation. This list provides insight into some ways AI is being used to pivot towards productivity gains as we move through the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

More Jobs, Not Less

A recent article shared by the World Economic Forum notes that AI will drive significant long-term job growth in the coming years with 50% of the global workforce, or one billion workers, needing to be reskilled or upskilled by 2025 to keep up with demand—a gargantuan task to be sure. Businesses, institutions and governments working together will usher in a new landscape of knowledge workers who will continue to evolve the ways we think, live and work. A similar approach was required during the internet revolution as fear entered the zeitgeist. Ultimately, the internet created more jobs than were eliminated by technology.

There are countless examples of AI in our everyday lives from digital assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant that interact with us by executing commands or making recommendations to notifications that remind us to exercise, limit screen time or to take our medications on time. Research predicts up to a 40% productivity increase due to AI influence by 2035 in developed countries like Sweden, the United States and Japan. AI can help us save time by taking on repetitive tasks that slow us down such as data processing, process simplification and search engine compilations. All of these tasks are possible with ChatGPT though tool instructions warn of potential errors.

Save Time For Living

Fear not, AI and ChatGPT are here to help us save time. By leveraging these solutions to support us with repetitive tasks, we can spend more time living instead of working. Though AI solutions are capable of performing advanced human cognitive tasks like digital art, content creation, research, language translation, writing essays, writing resumes and cover letters and coding, humanity has the biggest task of all — to evolve. Let's get going.

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