Not so long ago, a new verb entered the layman’s lingo in most countries- Uber. Now Uber is a ride sharing app, and not the only one either. In fact, Uber has lost huge chunks of its influence globally, with competing services giving it touch competition. However as the primary mover in the market, Uber became synonymous with the ride sharing services industry; so much so that people stopped saying that they came in a “Taxi” and started saying they “Ubered”. “To uber” somewhere became the new cool 21st century way to commute within cities. And well, what’s not to love? You didn’t need to explain the address to the taxi driver, didn’t need to stay alert in fear of missing the correct turn, didn’t need to beg and fight against cabbies who refused to go anywhere! In fact the entire system was designed to minimise the need for interaction between the passenger and the driver. The app assumed the central responsibility- right from booking till reaching your destination. The passenger could simply get in and relax. To top everything off, passengers and drivers could even rate each other at the end of the journey, thus building a promise for a feedback driven database which could cull the worst offenders in both the drivers and passengers. What a brilliant solution to the city traveler’s owes!
More and more revolutionary apps like Uber started getting developed which have gone on to change the way we live, and change so much that the previous decade almost seems tinted in shades of sepia! Today our cell phone is our access pass to pretty much everything- from hailing a cab to ordering food or to even plan complicated travel itineraries. All this has been possible thanks to the rapid strides we have made in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and apps are where AI has been most useful. However AI is a double edged sword. While there is no denying its success and usefulness, AI also has a few negatives which are important topics of debate. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of AI in mobile apps, as things stand today in 2019.
1. Less error prone- One of the biggest arguments in favor of AI is that it is almost perfect. Human efficiency cannot match machine efficiency, and due to this reason, more and more professionals have advocated the use of AI in complicated data related processes. AI can prove to be a game-changer in the fields of banking, travel itineraries (where it can actually the best possible itinerary based on past information, trends etc). Apps which deal in such services will be able to benefit immensely through the infusion of AI.
2. Medical- There is a growing clamor for creating medical apps which one can carry out basic diagnosis based on symptoms and statistics that are fed into the app by the end user. It can diagnose the possible ailment and suggest safe and proven cures, including prescribing medicines. In areas where there is a dearth of doctors, such apps can enable to lot of people to access basic healthcare and would be much safer to consult than ad hoc or fraudulent medical professionals who benefit from an absence of proper doctors in such areas. This will be a great boon to developing and under developed countries. Such apps can also be used by pare-medical personnel successfully in the absence of available doctors to provide basic healthcare to a region.
3. Cross platform apps- Cross platform apps have been possible due to AI, where the skillsets of two or more domains meet to create an end product. For example logo creator apps or apps that help you to design templates or even games require the expertise of a whole host of people, including designers, developers and even animators. AI is helping bring all these specialised skills together in an all in one setup to benefit the end user.
4. Mapping and tagging- You already see it on Google. AI has made it possible for actual streets to be mapped through visual aids so that the rest of world can virtually visit major tourist attractions around the world.
1. Job loses- Soon, there might come a time when people won’t seek hire mobile app developers or engage a mobile app Development Company to create business related apps for them. They won’t be required, because AI enabled apps will be perfectly capable of creating another app without any human intervention. This will lead to massive job losses since companies will want to employ the much more accurate and quicker AI for such work in the future.
2. Inability to think outside the box- AI, despite all it’s apparent smartness ultimately is a machine. It cannot actually think on instinct. Hence every decision of the Ai is based on cold rationale only, which again comes from the trillions of possible scenarios and patterns that the AI has worked out based on the available data in front of it. Hence AI can replace the human mind in terms of intellect and original ideas. No AI will ever have a Eureka moment.
3. Expensive- AI is a new technology and it is very expensive to use in mobile app development. Hence only the biggest players are currently being able to integrate Ai into their apps. Example- Uber.
4. Static brilliance- AI cannot improve, because it is as close to perfection as one has been able to get. Hence apps based on AI, while being perfect in many ways, will have limited scope to improve UX. And when AI becomes the norm, there will be a whole host of competing apps which all have the same features and are equally efficient, muddying the waters somewhat.
In conclusion, I would like to advocate moderation when it comes to using AI. Going full throttle on it without understanding possible implications might result in huge unrest and volatility around us. However completely shunning it would be a mistake too, given the kind of benefits we can accrue by using Ai in the fields of healthcare. One thing that is a given however, there will be an increased usage and even dependence on AI as far as apps are concerned. Where it leads, is something to be seen.
John Tie, Digital Marketer and content strategist, Virtual Employee
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