There’s been no small level of controversy surrounding development of artificial intelligence, or AI. For decades, manufacturing workers worried about losing their jobs to robots. As it turns out, robotics brought cleaner, safer, and higher-paying jobs to manufacturing. Machines do the dangerous, tedious, monotonous, backbreaking work, while humans have jobs designing, building, testing, programming, developing, maintaining, and repairing the robots.
Computers and Humans Aren’t Even Competing with Each Other
Maybe it isn’t Us versus Them. Perhaps it’s both, working together, for the greater good. That makes for splendid reality.
Another controversy, sparked in no small part by claims by tech geniuses like Stephen Hawkins and Bill Gates, is worries that computers will take over the world. The reality is that, as AI stands today, there are things humans do best and things AI does best. Together they make excellent companions. It’s not unlike a traditional marriage — one partner brings spontaneous energy and the other brings careful, methodical planning. One partner brings the ability to decorate a beautiful home, while the other brings the skills and muscle to move furniture and hang crown molding. Each makes the other better. AI can improve how humans do what they do, and the world of app development is beginning to capitalise on it in a big way.
Humans are exceptionally creative, great at relationships (well, most of them are), and excel at things like sales. Computers are horrible at these things. What they do well is analyse enormous sets of data, which humans do very poorly, and find patterns and correlations that the human brain could never identify without their help.
AI in App Development
In the realm of app development, AI is used to supplement and enhance what humans do for a better outcome. Consider the app, Tempo. It gains access to your email, calendar, and contact or messaging apps and mines those for related information. Let’s say you are running late for a meeting with an important client across town. As you hurry to the subway terminal, you realise you can’t remember if you told them you’d meet them at O’Charley’s or Olive Garden. Your Tempo app scans all of the related information in your scheduling and correspondence and is able to tell you where you’re supposed to meet Mr. Smith at 12:30 on Tuesday. The app saves the day (and an important customer).
AI apps can also help us learn. For example, Fan Hui, a professional player of the Chinese strategy game Go, was ranked 633rd worldwide before he began playing with an AI Go app. Now, he is ranked in the 300’s.
App development using AI can also changing hiring bias based on sex, race, weight, age, and other factors commonly discriminated against in the workplace. One AI app analyzes social profiles and photos of job seekers and then determines which candidates recruiters are passing over to determine if there is racial, sexual, or other biases at work. There’s tremendous potential here for erasing the gender and racial inequalities in STEM professions (science, tech, engineering, and math), where women and minorities are scarce, yet their skills are greatly needed.
AI Helps to Make People Better at What They Do
We are entering an era in which computers can programme computers. But, it’s up to the humans to do all the app development.
Currently, app development projects have, for example, helped filter offensive content from dating sites, monitor auction sites for illegal sales, helped correct common writing and grammar mistakes, improve driving habits, and improve health habits.
AI approaches problems differently from the human-established norms. In other words, it thinks objectively. When people approach problems like balancing a budget or driving to work or making Baked Alaska, they take with them all of their previous training and experiences. They are affected by the last time they inverted numbers and bounced a check for $300, rolled through a stop sign and got a ticket, or burned their hand on the stove as a 5-year-old and made their mum scream. Computers don’t. That means they can approach problems in practical ways humans may never consider.
To expand the use and potential of AI for app development, several companies with advanced AI developement and deep pockets have made their AI compute infrastructures available for app development projects. The hope is that all humans can benefit from the potential of AI in the apps they use every day.
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Simon has worked in the software industry for over 20 years; intent on always producing work of the highest standard and creating software products that genuinely makes things better for people. Simon has previously held positions ranging from Developer, Technical Consultant, Head of Development through to CTO and more recently founder and CEO of several high profile technology companies.