Is Terminator becoming a reality?

Cornerstone managing director Chris Petty asks where artificial intelligence will take us next…

August 29, 1997; 2:14am. Skynet, an artificial intelligence, becomes self-aware after just 25 days of being “alive”. What follows next is a war the like of which the world has never seen.

Terminator (1985), one of the best science fiction films, leads us to think that in the future computers – or artificial intelligence – might take over the world. In the movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the year Skynet took over was 1997 – 20 years ago.

So where are we now with artificial intelligence?

With Christmas upon us, we naturally start looking for gifts for our loved ones. Some of the best gifts this year are the techie gifts of virtual assistants like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple Homepod.

With our new phones, we already have virtual assistants in our pockets with Siri, Bixby and Cortana, while Facebook is releasing M through its messenger app.

Whilst many of us are loving this tech at home, advances in artificial intelligence mean

AI is becoming increasingly useful in the world of business too.

In fact, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what virtual assistants can do.

But, as machine learning and AI advance more broadly, it won’t be long before these assistants can interpret complex requests, predict what their owners will need and integrate fully with all smart devices.

An AI-driven personal assistant named Amy Ingram is a computer programme that helps eliminate the back-and-forth email exchanges that come with arranging meetings. It talks to customers or clients to fit a meeting into an available date in your calendar.

Such is its level of realism that many clients believe that they’re talking to a real PA. They’ve even sent it flowers and chocolates!

Many small and medium-sized enterprise tasks, such as customer support and processing claims, can already be automated by using AI.

Experts estimate there’ll be a staggering annual growth rate in such technology of 37% over the next seven years.

Such growth suggests a huge number of us are keen to ask our devices for a weather forecast, read our unopened emails, reply to a text message, play songs or even perform a rap for us.

And, thanks to Terminator, if artificial intelligence does start a war in an attempt to take over the world, at least we know how to deal with it. Simply toss it into a pit of molten metal.

Hasta la vista, baby!

Chris Petty
Cornerstone Business Solutions


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