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AI – Solving Complex Problems with Simple Solutions
Vittal Devarajan Senior Vice President | June 3, 2020
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When we think of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we think about algorithms, analytics, and other technologies which are perceived to be complex. For complex technologies to be adopted, the user interface should be simple. For instance, Excel, a very commonly used tool, was originally designed for multivariate analysis, the ability to do regression across periodicity, trends, cluster analysis etc. But is it being used for this now? No. The reason being– a lot of this is complex.

In most management discussions, the tool used for analysis is a standard 2*2, because it is easy to analyze one variable on the X-axis and one variable on the Y-axis. It is easy to comprehend that top right is good, bottom left is bad.

As a workaround, a lot of analysts still use seven or eight variables for performing multivariate analysis, yet they depict it as 2*2, primarily because we believe, 2*2 is easy to understand and interpret. The same perception holds good for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Artificial intelligence is seeping its way into our lives, touching how we live, work and entertain ourselves. From voice-powered personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, to more underlying and fundamental technologies such as behavioral algorithms, suggestive searches, and autonomous vehicles boasting powerful predictive capabilities, there are several examples and applications of artificial intelligence in use today.

AI is seeping its way into our lives, touching how we live, work and entertain ourselves

Here are some applications of artificial intelligence (AI) of how it is making life simpler for us:

Healthcare

A defibrillator is used to revive a patient who has passed out, using electric shocks. Automatic external defibrillators are placed at public places like malls, airports, etc. A few of the employees (volunteers) in the emergency response team are trained to use the defibrillator. However, a defibrillator is used rarely, and when it is required, invariably, the emergency response team is not around. The people near the patient at the moment of the incident do not know how to use a defibrillator. In such a scenario, an AI-based voice assistant can converse with the folks and detail out the steps to use a defibrillator and save the patient. Rather than a simple replay of voice instructions, AI technology can help convert the monologue into a dialogue and verify critical steps in the procedures.

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) equipment is used by patients whose kidneys either do not function well or do not function at all. Patients have to use it multiple times a day and cannot travel to the hospital every time to get the dialysis done. Hence, most patients get peritoneal dialysis done at their homes. Invariably, the patient is a senior citizen, and the person who does the dialysis is invariably their spouse who is not a doctor, surgeon, or a trained nurse and who are themselves a senior citizen. If PD equipment has an integration with voice assistants like Siri/Alexa, all they will have to do is get instructions from Alexa/Siri to first calm themselves and then go through the procedure.

One good thing about these voice assistants is that they use a lot of NLP (natural language processing), hence they can understand different dialects and can respond accordingly. Instead of using voice assistants just for fun and entertainment, they can be used for life-saving use cases like these - making these applications of AI a totally different experience for the users.

Aviation

Aviation is centered around providing comfort at 30,000 feet, which is a challenge of its own. Passenger traffic, air cargo, and overall air movements have gone up and are continuously growing. What are the simple things that can be done via applications of AI to improve the experience in this area?

With different manufactures and aircraft models, the way of using the entertainment system, lighting system, and AC system change are different. If there could be standard gesture recognition, to be able to switch channels, increase volumes etc., the user experience can be so much enhanced. This can be one of the uses of AI in this industry. Similarly, so many applications today have facial recognition. If facial recognition was also used inside the aircraft, it will make it easy for the aircraft personnel to support the travelers inside the aircraft.

In terms of security, as there are no cameras in the restroom of an aircraft due to privacy reasons, millimeter-wave sensors can be used to detect if a person is assembling a gun or something else that hampers the security of other travelers, making it one of the best uses of AI in aviation.

Automotive

The biggest advantage of new-age cars is that they are software-defined and hence, are capable of over-the-air updates. This allows personalizing the experience for individual users. For instance, during the hurricane Irma, Tesla sends an over-the-air update to extend the battery life of cars in Florida, helping drivers evacuate quickly. This over-the-air update increased the miles a car can run without a recharge.

With the help of AI technology and AI solutions, it is now possible to know the likes and dislikes of the people in the car. Hence you can upload playlists based on the genre of music liked by the driver. You can personalize so many things that are essential from the entertainment point of view for the driver.

Food and Beverage Industry

The fast-food restaurant chains have fires, grills, microwave ovens, and other equipment. With sensors, you can track various parameters such as the temperature inside an oven, pressure, fluid in terms of oil, etc. Thereby, given the recipe of a food item, you can ensure that chicken is fried at 130 degrees, and thereby it comes out nice and crisp without burning, and so on. Another advantage is that if you can tie it up with electric/HVAC/AC systems in the restaurants, you can also optimize the energy consumption, and thereby save money and be more socially responsible.

AI solutions are changing our lives across multiple facets of life. Technologies powered by AI and machine learning have already begun transforming the ecosystem, providing organizations with tremendous benefits and consumers with enriching experiences.