There’s been no small level of controversy surrounding the development of artificial intelligence, or AI. For decades, manufacturing workers have worried about losing their jobs to robots. As it turns out, robotics brought cleaner, safer, and higher-paying jobs to manufacturing. Machines now do the dangerous, tedious, monotonous and backbreaking work. This leaves humans with the jobs of designing, building, testing, programming, developing, maintaining, and repairing robots. But how does this apply to mobile apps?
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 a splendid reality.
Another controversy, sparked in no small part by claims by tech geniuses like Stephen Hawkins and Bill Gates, is worried 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 moulding. 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 Mobile 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 head to the subway, 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 change 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 are 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 there are many marginalised groups despite a great need for their skills.
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 humans to do all the app development.
Currently, when it comes to mobile apps and AI, it has helped in many ways. From filtering offensive content from dating sites, monitoring auction sites for illegal sales through to helping correct common writing and grammar mistakes.
AI approaches problems differently from the human-established norms. In other words, it thinks objectively. When people approach problems like balancing budgets, driving, or cooking, they take their previous training and experiences with them. 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.
Several companies with advanced AI development and deep pockets have made their AI compute infrastructures available for app development projects to expand the use and potential of AI for app development. The hope is that all humans can benefit from the potential of AI in the apps they use every day.
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