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Artificial Intelligence: How Did We Get Here and Where is it Heading?

April 1, 2019

The use of AI and smart technology is on the rise, becoming a common and deep-rooted part of our everyday lives. In a world where we’re constantly demanding more adaptability and convenience, artificial intelligence now finds itself at the forefront of technological advance and something that we rely on more than ever.

 

How did we get here?

We’ve been imagining the capabilities of artificial intelligence for some time now. Unbelievably, our curiosity first sparked in 1950 when mathematician Alan Turing posed the question ‘can a machine imitate human intelligence?’ Through his studies, he predicted that a computer could successfully fool someone into thinking it was a human by the year 2000.

 

The media has also played a significant role in the portrayal of AI. Take 1968’s ‘A Space Odyssey’ for example. This novel depicts HAL 9000, a fully functioning and sentient computer that was incapable of error. This work also mirrored the public’s concern that AI could turn on us or be used against us – fears that are still widely discussed today.

 

In 2008, a major breakthrough was achieved when the new iPhone featured a Google app with speech recognition. 11 years on and technology has advanced rapidly. From Googles billion-dollar investment in driver-less cars to Skype's real-time voice translation, intelligent machines are now becoming an everyday reality that has and will continue to change our lives.

 

Present day

There’s no denying that smart technology is on an upward trajectory, gaining motion at impressive rate. The first smart speaker was released in 2014 and it is now estimated there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US alone by 2020.  By 2021, the predicted number of people using digital assistants worldwide is projected to reach 1.8 billion . We live in a world where a single device can both manage and improve our lives drastically. Whether it’s the way we make payments, monitoring our security or controlling our appliances, advanced technology is becoming more integrated in all aspects of our lives.

 

Artificial intelligence is also used to help us refine our businesses every day. Sales information is continuously fed to databases that collate and process the data, automatically recommending ways to increase sales, e.g. promotions, reducing or increasing stock in certain areas. A study published by the Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review showed that 72% of respondents in the technology, media, and telecommunications industry expect AI to have a significant impact on product offerings in the next five years.

 

What does the future look like?

In coming years, we will likely see existing AI processes not only becoming smarter and more refined but also start to expand through business. It will move into enhancing logistics and procedures as it becomes increasingly informed by automation. The aforementioned study reveals that 84% of respondents say artificial intelligence will enable them to obtain or sustain a competitive advantage. Research shows that AI will be the beginning of entirely new business models and transform the competitive landscape of entire industries in the next five years.

 

To sum up

Smart technology has improved immensely over the years and will continue to do so at a rapid rate, just look at the progress we’ve made in the last 10 years! It’s becoming easier to imagine a future in which AI will be fully integrated into every area of our lives, from making our coffee in the morning, to driving us to work, to locking the door at night. That’s why here at HTEC, we’re always creating and innovating to stay at the forefront of technology that will drive change and development. We believe not only in embracing these changes but developing and refining them to ensure an effortless transition into the future.

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HTEC Limited is the wholly owned subsidiary of Universe Group plc, a company registered in England and Wales at the same address with registration number 2639726.

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