Artificial intelligence, or AI, makes possible many of the things we take for granted in our everyday lives. Whether it is streaming movies or music, following family and friends on social media or running a smart home device, machine learning tools are at the core of all of these activities. These tools are designed to pay attention to and collect very specific data.
If you use Netflix or Spotify, you interact with AI every day. Every click adds to the data that is collected and analyzed by algorithms to improve the user experience. Machine learning tools are very specialized and designed to look for specific things. The data they collect can be used to determine what the most popular shows are, what kind of programs a particular person chooses or easily they can use the system.
Every post you make, meme you share or photo you upload comes into contact with AI. The algorithms look for information in each and every post and compare it. Facebook knows your friends’ faces and sends you suggestions for new connections from your friends’ lists. The platform uses data analysis to tailor your experience to what you have done in the past and quickly learns which posts are most important to you. When you tell Facebook to hide an advertisement, machine learning makes a note of that, too.
Smart home devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Dot are designed to learn your preferences and run your home more smoothly. Although they can’t run the vacuum cleaner in the living room like Rosie, the Jetsons’ robot maid, they can alert the Roomba to get to work, as well as turn on lights or lock and unlock the door remotely. Every time we issue a command, AI is learning and analyzing that knowledge to make your life run more smoothly.
People have been collecting data for centuries, but it wasn’t until the advent of machine learning that this information could be used most effectively. Humans are limited in the scope in which they can study and make inferences from data by their attention spans and the amount of time they can spend looking at the information, but machine learning makes many earlier jobs that were felt to be tedious more manageable.
Artificial intelligence is improving all the time and making our world an easier place to live. Machine learning impacts us every day, whether it is through the media we watch, the thoughts we post on social media or the time we want our programmable coffee pot to turn on.