Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for good is like a modern quest for the holy grail in which the best scientists, engineers, and tech visionaries have been investing their knowledge and efforts for many decades in a row. People are fed up with cliche apocalyptic scenarios: at the beginning of a story an AI computer was a benevolent and good helper, but later, after gradually learning and improving itself, it goes out of control and overthrows humans in a matter of hours or days, and that’s all because we granted it too much power and… intelligence! Today, various applications of Artificial Intelligence finally move out of research labs and sci-fi films to our everyday lives.
AI: Benevolent Or Potentially Malicious?
At times of severe armed conflicts, climate change, polluted environment, coronavirus pandemic, and other global challenges, being optimistic about the future is not easy. Fortunately, it’s pretty safe to say that both abstracts of either “benevolent AI” or “evil AI” are debunked by science.
In a nutshell, AI is a computer-aided analysis and data management system that works with huge loads of data and is trained with Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. Most often, it improves its performance in a narrowly defined scope of tasks.
Empowering AI to do good or bad depends on us, humans. It’s sad to admit, AI-assisted systems are already used to control minorities in China, but besides it, there are dozens of ethical and benevolent AI applications.
Let’s check AI features making it efficient for social use:
- Big Data: It’s capable of combining and processing large volumes of data to produce consolidated analytical pictures with a productivity level unreachable for traditional organizations.
- Fast and accurate decision-making: AI can take a great number of factors into account, carry out multivariate testing, find patterns, predict outcomes and, after all, suggest the next best action in each situation.
- Combination of tech: It utilizes web and mobile interfaces, cloud and edge infrastructure, various data channels, including the Internet of Things (IoT), cameras, sensors, statistics, and more to receive all data needed for a well-balanced solution.
- No corruption or human errors: Unless a system is somehow manipulated or intervened, AI-aided decision making is always data-driven and thus free of emotions and personal weaknesses peculiar to human beings.
Keeping everything said in mind, let’s learn a few ideas and fields where applications of Artificial Intelligence can unveil its potential for the public good.
Flexible Education For Everyone
All students have equally good potential, but many of them may need a very different approach to keep up with the standards, right? Imagine an educational system that can deliver personalized learning plans to everyone based on their talents and interests. So-called “adaptive learning” is an education technology that adjusts materials and tasks in response to each student’s own needs and learning progress.
Such an AI-driven digital tutor can analyze the rate of a person’s progress in gaining certain experience or mastering certain skills, correlate it with other students and available methods, and offer individualized educational content that is most likely to help them improve proficiency and academic results. It sounds like a farewell to classic education!
Urban Management: No Chance For Traffic Jams
Modern urban agglomerates need better traffic and resource management. In the U.S. alone it is estimated that traffic jams cost more than $160 billion annually in terms of wasted time and gasoline burnt. Because of traffic problems an extra 50 billion tons of CO2 are released into the atmosphere every year. The top reason for the said traffic congestion is incorrectly timed traffic signals. These pre-planned signals are not working well with real-life traffic that is often different from ideal parameters. Once the situation suddenly changes because of an emergency, the plan completely falls apart and results in huge traffic jams across the urban area.
A smart city AI application controls the road situation via a network of cameras and by accessing police reports. It can dynamically orchestrate traffic signals 24/7 to avoid bottlenecks and traffic jams. In the City of Pittsburgh, which has had smart traffic lights since 2012, the results are impressive: the system named Surtrac has helped to reduce traffic by 40%, average travel times by 25%, and emissions by 20%. The same approach works for city illumination, pollution, disease control, and other vital areas of operations.
Ecology: Animal Research And Pollution Control
Complex observation of the natural environment around us requires a multifaceted system capable of keeping abreast of numerous factors, including tracking animal migration, measuring chemical levels in water and air, analyzing climate parameters and stats, and more. There are a bunch of projects aimed at harnessing Earth-friendly AI that would help scientists to maintain water security, sustainable fishing, healthy oceans, biodiversity, and conservation on land, air, and sea. AI-augmented methods of ecosystem control may require:
- Installing video surveillance and sensors in the natural habitats of animal species.
- Using GPRS to track bird, fish, or mammal migration.
- Sending flying or underwater drones to have eyes on the situation when required.
- Applying satellite technologies to oversee large areas.
All that allows ecologists, scientists, or national park rangers to better study the environment, get efficient data-focused insights and predictions, and receive an early warning on pollution, veterinary disease spreading, illegal deforestation, forest fires, or other issues.
AI Applications in Health Service And Diagnostics
Data is critically important for public and individual healthcare. Feeding the years-long anonymized medical records to AI can help professionals to spot previously unnoticed patterns in an epidemic or non-epidemic disease mechanisms, identify their early signs and take preventive measures.
Some applications of AI for public health include:
- Disease control and monitoring nationwide or even globally.
- Assisting doctors by suggesting individualized medical therapy for each patient.
- Chatbots supporting psychotherapy.
- Health predictions for individuals and groups and offering early prevention therapy.
- Planning healthcare system procurement and workflow organization based on long-term analytics and predictions.
AI and machine learning have an extremely powerful potential to improve people’s lives by helping to address some of the world’s fiercest problems and inefficiencies. The brightest expectations of applications of Artificial Intelligence are combined with advances in IoT and mobile computing, so it promises rapid growth in every industry.