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The benefits of artificial intelligence to mankind has been huge this century. Artificial intelligence, also known as “AI” for short, is an increasingly important part of our lives, whether you realize it or not.

From Amazon’s Alexa to the robot greeter at the mall, artificial intelligence is becoming an increasing presence in all of our lives.

Fortunately, there are many benefits of artificial intelligence. While AI does also have some drawbacks, it has a remarkably positive potential as an emerging technology.

Artificial intelligence is already changing the world in many ways, and it will continue to do so for decades to come – if not for hundreds of years into the future.

What Exactly Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence may seem like something straight out of science fiction.

You may remember the old science fiction film A.I. that starred a young Haley Joel Osment as an AI in the form of a boy who never aged. This movie portrayed the potential emotional side of artificial intelligence, as the robot boy, who cannot feel like a real boy can, tries to find his place in the world.

Or, perhaps artificial intelligence reminds you of the sinister computer HAL 9000 from the classic sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In both these instances, artificial intelligence is something that has a personality, which can either be endearing or sinister. And while we do have AIs today that can express a personality, probably the most common daily use of artificial intelligence today is a mundane business.

Artificial intelligence is not just about having a talking thinking robot or computer (though, that is one potential application).

It is any type of computer system that can execute tasks and solve problems using the traits of human intelligence, such as speech recognition, making decisions, or visual perception.

Our current level of AI is still very rudimentary compared to the advanced artificial intelligence you might see in a movie or science fiction TV show. While we do have walking, talking robots today, they aren’t self-aware or autonomous in the way that, for example, Data from Star Trek is.

Still, artificial intelligence is used in many ways today, from the chatbots that are now replacing human interaction on customer support websites, to the IBM’s Watson technology that is used for business intelligence.

Artificial intelligence is already transforming the world, and it has many positive benefits.

10 Big Benefits of Artificial Intelligence

Despite the scare stories about artificial intelligence taking over and ruling the planet (like in the Terminator movie series), more people are excited by the prospect of AI than terrified by it.

Here are just some of the benefits of artificial intelligence, though even some of these benefits do have their potential pitfalls or drawbacks:

Automation and Consistent Production

Automation is precisely one of those double-edged swords of artificial intelligence. On the one hand, automation can improve productivity and reduce the time spent on repetitive tasks. It can make production more consistent. It can also free employees up to do more important things.

On the other hand, there are many legitimate concerns that automation due to artificial intelligence will also take jobs away from human beings.

Unbiased Decision Making

Artificial intelligence, unless it is programmed to mimic human emotions, is free from the feelings that can interfere with human decision-making. Humans can be biased and let their emotions rule their head. AI can be immune to this problem.

Of course, the downside to this is that an artificial intelligence does not have those feelings that might stop it from doing something horrifying or violent, all in the name of efficiency or productivity.

Innovations in Education

Artificial intelligence has many applications in education. One of the most promising is individualized learning, or personalized learning, that creates and adapts learning paths to best suit the learning styles of the individual student.

Another innovation is the Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS), which can provide an interactive way for kids to learn and study when human teachers and tutors are not available.

Customer Service Improvements

Granted, most of us would probably rather deal with a live human being when we need customer service or tech support from a company.

However, strategic use of artificial intelligence, such as in the form of the aforementioned chatbots, can help reduce strain on busy customer service departments.

The question is: Would you rather wait on the phone for an hour or more before getting help from a real human being? Or would you be OK with an AI helping you with no wait time at all?

Online Community Moderation

As you probably know, online communities can be cesspools of trolls and flame wars. Online community moderation by artificial intelligence could potentially help make moderation of online forums, bulletin boards, comment sections, and social media sites easier.

The downside of using artificial intelligence for moderation tasks is that sometimes it can go overboard or interpret rules too literally. For example, an AI with Facebook deleted part of the Declaration of Independence, which was being posted in parts to celebrate the fourth of July.

The snippet was deemed “hate speech” because of the use of the phrase “Indian Savages.”

Powerful Consumer Engagement

It all started with Apple’s Siri, the AI used on iPhones and other Apple devices to answer questions and interact with users. Then Microsoft got on board with their version called Cortana. Now Amazon’s AI, Alexa, is available in people’s homes through Echo devices and Fire tablets.

These various forms of artificial intelligence are still not a full personality in the way the HAL computer was in 2001. However, they are becoming increasingly regular parts of many people’s lives. While many people cite concerns over privacy with Amazon’s Alexa potentially listening to conversations at home, this does not stop the popularity of these consumer AI tools.

Interactive Toys and Games

We are not quite at the point yet of all average boys and girls getting customizable robots and dolls powered by artificial intelligence in their Christmas stockings. However, we are getting close. Artificial intelligence has unlimited applications when it comes to creating engaging interactive toys and games for kids of all ages.

Artificial intelligence might not be ready yet for a robot boy like the one in the movie A.I., but it might be used extensively in the near future for virtual pets. These can be especially helpful for kids who have allergies to dogs and cats and might not otherwise be able to have a pet at home.

Medical Advances

Artificial intelligence has many applications when it comes to health and medicine. AI will be used to help improve medical diagnoses as well as patient care. While the human touch is still very important for helping sick people heal, having AI as a support to medical personnel could be a huge boon.

Artificial intelligence can also be used to track the progress of contagious diseases, possibly predicting where they might hit next. This could help tremendously in efforts to contain serious diseases such as Ebola or other killer contagions.

Research and Data Analysis

Artificial intelligence can be used to process and analyze data more efficiently and effectively. It can also be used to create predictive models and algorithms to help look at potential outcomes of various trends or scenarios.

The powerful computing capabilities of AI can help do much more with data that might otherwise take humans too long to assess and understand.

In this way, AI can be used to help speed up the process of research and help scientists develop and test new discoveries much more quickly than they might have otherwise.

Space Exploration

For a while there, it seemed like America’s passion for space exploration had died. However, with new and exciting commercial space programs in the works, we are likely to see a space gold rush coming soon.

Artificial intelligence is sure to be a key player in the coming new space age, as it can be used to support space exploration.

As we venture out more into the solar system and beyond, artificial intelligence can potentially be used to power probes and analyze data collected from various space trips. It could plot course trajectories and perhaps even pilot spaceships.

“The sky’s the limit” would not apply – because these AIs could help us travel beyond the sky and perhaps populate the solar system outside of earth eventually.

Enjoy the Benefits of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has many positives that can help individuals, businesses, and potentially all of humanity.

Whether or not AI is ultimately used for good or evil will depend on the people programming it and using it. However, the positive benefits of artificial intelligence are extremely numerous, making this a very exciting time to be alive.

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