AI takes the guesswork out of being human

February 01, 2019 //By Rudy Lauwereins
AI takes the guesswork out of being human
In 2035, artificial intelligence will be everywhere, but it will be invisible. Behind the scenes, it will help steer the choices we make, offering us the best options to lead a good, healthy life. It will help customize the services and products we buy to best match our preferences.

All this by its lightning-fast ability to process huge swaths of data and extract knowledge. And we might hope: also adding some creativity and wisdom.      


Using the world as knowledge base

Imagine, one day in 2035, you are taken down to the hospital. Some rare, complex condition, it seems. Immediately, the doctors run your personal history and medical parameters through their AI system, searching for identical patterns in a worldwide database of anonymized patient data. They find a dozen matches and see potential treatments and their effects. So there is less guessing, relying solely on human experience, and luck to be in the right hospital: wherever you live, and whomever you are, you’ll get the best available diagnosis.  But wait … chances are that you’re not going to get to the hospital. Because with your physical parameters constantly monitored, you’ll be offered intelligent choices at every step in your life. Whether it’s about the food you eat, the workout you do, your career choices... And all this will keep you healthy much longer.  

NASA used artificial intelligence to discover planets outside
our solar system, such as a recently discovered eight planet
circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light-years from Earth
(courtesy NASA).

One of the most successful branches of AI is machine learning. Machine learning algorithms allow computers to learn and detect patterns in huge amounts of data, establishes the relation between inputs and outputs, between huge swaths of data and meaningful conclusions. They can e.g. learn to identify individuals in camera footage, steer cars away from moving objects, detect planets around distant stars, or recognize clusters of health parameters that predict a disease. And once they have learned their trick, they can apply it at lightning speed, without pause or getting tired.

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