Eight ways AI could transform our lives

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Over the next few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will transform business, home and schooling.

At its core, AI is a type software or hardware that learns - and it could become programmed to learn mostly about us, its users. The technology is being applied to learn our habits, our likes and our relationship patterns. Just as Netflix uses an algorithm to suggest films you might watch, a similar “Lifestyle AI” could help choose your wardrobe, your next meal, your job, and romantic partner.

So, how might AI change our day-to-day existence?

Here are eight ways our lives could be different in future as a result of AI:

1.                 Better Dating and Partner Selection.

From one-off dates to life partners, AI could access and evaluate the array of big data being amassed about us every day. The matching algorithms could consider everything about us including our social media activity, communication styles, interests, dislikes, DNA profile, medical records, walking speed, aspirations, and relationship history. The systems would help find the right intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual match, maybe even determining how long a marriage is likely to last and advising on whether we should even consider longer term relationships.

2.                 Wardrobe Management.

The in store or ‘on App’ AI mirror could show you what you might look like in different colours and sizes of the same dress and under different lighting conditions – simulating work and leisure settings.

Knowing your wardrobe, usage patterns, accessorising approach and changing fashion interests, your AI could call ahead to the store to have a range of suitable items waiting for you with a human or robotic personal shopper to assist you. When wracked with doubt over whether to make a purchase, your AI could call in the advice of your friends for trusted instant opinions.

3.                 Mandatory Personal Growth.

The ability of AI to help us understand ourselves and learn could lead to lives filled with learning. The “unexamined life” could become obsolete—it may one day be legally impossible to avoid the constant “big brother” data gathering and feedback about one’s daily progress against officially defined or personally set physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development goals. The absence of such goals or tracking information might indicate antisocial tendencies.

Everyone might be expected to make full use of AI to become better students, employees and friends. The gathering of data to improve one’s performance in every area would be viewed as a must-do, otherwise, what’s the point of collecting it – or indeed – what’s the point of living in an organised society?

4.                 The End of Solitude.

The days when someone could take a few days off the grid and disconnect from everything may be coming to an end. For AI to really know its user, the blanket of visible and hidden data collecting sensors that enshroud us must be on and working everywhere and around-the-clock. While you could be physically alone, your digital footprint could reveal your whereabouts in a microsecond.

Privacy issues may arise if terms and conditions are not properly established, and security systems will remain vulnerable to hacking. Even in this scenario, it is very likely that you could still be ‘allowed’ to voluntarily turn off your AI, but that alone would be a red flag that might trigger further and more in-depth scrutiny of your behaviours.

5.                 Super Personalisation.

Previous industrial revolutions have favoured mass production over personalisation - mainly because of the costs of customisation. With the introduction of AI and 3D printing to manufacturing processes, a new generation of adaptable production machinery and control software would lower the cost of delivering more customisable products.

Today, Amazon and Google use search algorithms to prioritise the results that they believe best match your digital profile. In future, AI could order a unique cereal that would match your desires and diet requirements for the following two weeks. Adoption of AI could enable individually tailored products and services to replace generalised market segmentations.

6.                 Community Building.

Communities may be better organised since AI could monitor and analyse the ‘health’ of the community – covering everything from environmental indicators through to levels of crime, engagement in public spaces and discussions on web boards and social media.

Community planners could harness the intelligence of AI for optimal planning, ensuring that public works and services are available where and when residents need them. For example, AI mapping might help planners identify and predict faster that an area with a rapidly growing population will soon lack sufficient access to schools, health facilities, libraries, and even a fresh food markets.

Community managers might send mobile classrooms, GPs, libraries, and fresh food trucks to those areas, or help reorganise the community to self-provision some of the missing essentials.

7.                 Environmental Monitoring.

Environmental conditions may improve by using AI and sensors connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) to help monitor the local and even global environment. Sensors may constantly feed AI software that records and analyses the latest local environmental data on factors such as air and water quality.

Based on AI predictions and recommendations, commuters may be redirected to public transport or to use reduced emission roads on certain days. In addition, trees and greenery might be planted in specific areas to reduce soil erosion and decrease potential flooding, while entire cities may be redesigned to lessen overall environmental impact on the planet.     

8.                 Personal Travel Agent.

Artificial intelligence could be the brain behind future travel and transport planning. Smart tools might evaluate travel preferences in different circumstances and match them against the travel options available. Should I drive, take an Uber, or the train? Should I fly and where from and to? What connections do I need to reach my destination? How can I make all my business meetings on Friday and still be home in time for my daughter’s school play? What is the greenest and least environmentally impactful route I can take?

Having created a bespoke itinerary, the AI could complete the necessary reservations, submitting the personal data required to confirm a booking. Not only would AI manage that process, it may also be at the centre of the experience where autonomous vehicles control the journey. Whether car, train, bus, plane; the AI would hopefully keep transport system users safer from accidents – where human error has long been the predominant cause.

Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, April Koury, Alexandra Whittington, and Maria Romero are futurists with Fast Future
Image Credit: John Williams RUS / Shutterstock