As someone living in the 21st century, you must already be accustomed to the buzzword of our times – Artificial Intelligence or AI. Unless you’re a Martian, of course! Perhaps even they couldn’t escape the rise of machines!

Starting from Google Assistant to ChatGPT, AI is one of the most widely used technologies to improve our standard of living. For instance, you wake up in the morning and ask Siri, your all-in-one digital friend, to turn off your AC. 

At your workplace, you use AI-powered tools to assist you in sorting through data or help you with generating content. Again, back at home, Alexa chooses the best playlists for you to relax.

So, what really is this AI, you ask? Let’s break it down for you with a simple artificial intelligence definition. Artificial Intelligence is the ability of machines to emulate tasks that require human intelligence.

The next question that’s probably nudging your mind is: when did the term artificial intelligence come into being? It was coined back in 1956, when the American computer scientist John McCarthy first used the word at the Dartmouth Conference.

Today, we’re going to share with you the range of impact AI has on the future of our society. We’ll also gather some basic knowledge before we start exploring its impact. So, buckle up!

Exploring the basics: Types of Artificial Intelligence

It’s fascinating how similar artificial intelligence is to our own brains, with various components dedicated to different tasks. You’ve probably heard or used the term machine learning interchangeably with artificial intelligence. 

But news flash! The former is only a subset of AI. AI, as a whole, deals with the creation of intelligent machines that can perform tasks involving decision-making, image and speech recognition, and natural language processing. 

When it comes to AI, there are three main types. Let’s briefly discuss them below!

Rule-based AI – It works by adhering to a set of pre-programmed rules to make decisions.
Machine Learning – This branch of AI develops algorithms to learn from data and improve its accuracy over time. These algorithms are used to identify patterns and make predictions based on data patterns.
Deep learning – It is actually a subset of neural networks that can mimic the computing ability of your brain. It implies the automatic learning of huge amounts of unstructured data such as text, images, and videos. 

Now that you’re well-versed in the concept of AI let’s move on to learn about the impact of AI on the future of work across different sectors.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach to Employment

Due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, artificial intelligence has quickly come to the forefront of our services to minimize infections. AI-powered robots were used in cleaning public places like airports and hotels. They were also deployed to take people’s temperatures.

Public institutions like hospitals and universities started using robots instead of dining-hall employees to serve meals. Sally, the salad-making robot, customized salads and meals to serve students and essential workers during those trying times. The employees just had to choose from a variety of nutritious options, and Sally would prepare them a delicious snack! 

It’s pretty remarkable how businesses have adopted AI to streamline their operations, especially during these trying times. Just think about it – corporations have chosen to cut down on costs by embracing AI-based services.

Take, for example, the production of emergency supplies like hospital beds and cotton swabs was ramped up with the help of industrial robot suppliers like Yaskawa America

The impact of AI was not just limited to the manufacturing sector. Even hotels were using robots to provide room service. What a smart move to minimize contact!

Another example of AI-powered services is the evolution of customer care centers. Conversational AI chatbots like IBM’s Watson Assistant have replaced many customer care employees in businesses. Hence, the contribution of artificial intelligence in a pandemic-torn world is truly undeniable. 

AI as a Threat to Human Effort and Participation

It’s time for the most poignant question of the century! Drum roll, please. “Is AI a threat to human employment and agency?” It’s a valid question. 

We’ve all grown up reading sci-fi comics and watching apocalyptic movies where robots take over the world. But don’t worry; the artificial intelligence future is not so dark yet. AI can’t actually replace human effort. Relieved, aren’t you? 

AI-powered tools can only solve one problem at a time. Moreover, machines are not yet as adaptive as we are. They also need a huge amount of electricity to run, which is a problem in itself. 

They can rarely perform tasks that require skills out of their pre-programmed set. So, yes, human judgment and perception are still out of the reach of AI. 

Therefore, stop engaging with myths and rumors about machines taking over the world. Trust us on this, you’ll sleep better! Instead, let’s focus on how AI impacts the future of different sectors of an economy. 

AI in Healthcare: A Helping Hand to Save Lives

It’s pretty incredible to witness how artificial intelligence is changing the landscape of modern healthcare. Just like you and Siri, even doctors can now have their personal digital assistants! AI tools have the potential to assist in providing cheaper, faster, and more accurate diagnoses and treatments. It can even help us check the spread of cancerous cells! 

You see, by sorting through genetic information, health records, and clinical studies, AI can help us check the spread of viruses and prepare predictive models for diseases and treatments. During the pandemic, AI helped to allocate beds and locate affected communities. It is also being used in the form of virtual nursing assistants to monitor patient care. 

Besides clinical diagnostics and treatment planning, AI can detect and reduce dosage errors and assist in safer surgeries in tiny spaces. You can imagine it as a guardian angel looking out for your well-being! 

Implementing AI can also protect you from fraud insurance claims! Well, the AI-powered healthcare market surely looks promising, as it is reported to be worth $188 billion by 2030.

AI: The Genie to Solve Your Financial Troubles

You know what’s interesting? Nowadays, AI trades more than humans on Wall Street! AI-powered financial applications can sift through your personal financial data and help you make the right monetary choices.

Attention investors! AI-powered apps can help you save time by analyzing historical returns and market trends for you. This way, you can minimize risks and opt for safer investments! 

AI-based UPI payments have been such a game-changer, haven’t they? And now, the government is also developing AI-based fraud detection systems. Thus, AI can help the banking sector by enhancing customer experience and expanding access to banking services in rural areas.

Farmers’ Friends: AI to Boost Agriculture

Every day, satellites give us a huge amount of data regarding farm areas, soil quality, water availability, weather conditions, and climate changes. Artificial intelligence and machine learning models are our farmers’ best friends, helping them maximize their yields and profits. 

AI is like the perfect farming toolkit to achieve smart farming! It can easily predict the best time to sow and harvest and the crop prices. What a stress-busting tool for our hard-working farmers! 

Monitoring soil quality, water availability, and nutritional deficiencies in crops will become easier and more efficient with these tools. Detecting and treating crop diseases and choosing the right inputs by using AI will ultimately lead to higher productivity.

What’s more? These tools can also detect weeds and pests through AI sensors and spray exact amounts of herbicides at the targeted areas. Sounds incredible, right? Well, this process will also reduce herbicide usage. 

All these steps can help to reduce the losses for marginalized farmers and increase their income. Therefore, AI can be chiefly instrumental in achieving food security as well as reducing hunger and poverty. 

Governance and Better Policymaking with AI

Frustrated with tax errors? AI can help your government detect tax anomalies. In return, you can claim more tax benefits and rebates!

We all know court cases can be incredibly time-consuming. AI can help courts sort through data more quickly and efficiently. For example, the Supreme Court of India has started a project where AI will help to transcribe court proceedings live. This will be really helpful to judges, lawyers, and law students. 

Artificial intelligence promises a future when policies are more efficiently and accurately designed and properly implemented. In the case of digital public services, bottlenecks can be detected and avoided.

Resource allocation for minority communities will become easier and more transparent through AI-powered platforms. Isn’t it inspiring to know how AI can help governments serve their citizens better?

Cybersecurity: AI Helps Fight Crime

AI and machine learning algorithms can also play the role of our cyber guardians, protecting our digital identities. They can monitor abnormal data patterns and detect malware and cyber threats. 

Moreover, AI sensors can pick up bad vibes, alert the concerned authorities about potential risks, and lessen the response time. Most importantly, governments and international organizations can benefit from AI tools to protect the sensitive data of citizens and consumers.

And do you know what AI’s biggest flex is? It can easily process a large amount of information and learn from it. This is what will help it beat the malware and hackers in a very short period of time. 

AI as an Ally for a Safe, Sustainable, and Inclusive Future

AI and machine learning-based software, without a doubt, is set to bring in the next Industrial Revolution. Instead of replacing human effort, we will soon see a day when we’ll be the ones assisting and guiding robots. 

Although the nature of human workload will be modified, it’ll still be important. AI-powered automated tools can reduce the burden of repetitive work in our offices. We can also make more informed decisions in both businesses and governance. 

Moreover, it can increase the outreach of recruiters by sifting through resumes and job profiles faster. This will help organizations choose the best candidates for jobs. It can benefit the gig economy by ensuring better matchmaking between employers and employees. As a result, AI can contribute to a more inclusive workforce.

The era of generative AI is going to create a massive rise in productivity and innovation across businesses and organizations. In India, the AI market will grow by 20% in the next four years. 

As AI-based technologies are evolving constantly, they will help the democratization of knowledge and skills for all sections of society. But our world leaders should also put the right ethical regulations in place.