At this point in time, we’re in a defining moment for artificial intelligence (AI). It can either help us to solve global problems or it can stay as a business tool. More and more people are embracing the advances in artificial intelligence to address issues such as autism in the healthcare industry, and financial advisory services in the financial industry to mention but a few.

However, we are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential of artificial intelligence, as it needs to be used to its full potential in order to truly benefit all people. Below are just some of the ways AI can be used to its full potential, and why it should continue to be developed.

How can AI be used to its full potential?

It can be used to amplify rather than replace

Robots are already performing jobs such as driving trucks and making fast-food, while some are even beating world chess champions. As automation and other advances in artificial intelligence become more powerful, some jobs may even become obsolete, but the greatest impact of AI will be seen when it is paired with human capabilities, rather than replacing them.

This is because human intelligence and artificial intelligence work better together, rather than in competition. While AI can perform some tasks better than humans, it lacks the common sense and intuition of a human mind. The ability of AI to input, associate, and recall information exceeds that of humans, but a person’s ability to use this information to reason, evaluate and strategize surpasses that of many advances in artificial intelligence, showing that human intuition is still what is lacking in machine automation. These two powers need to be combined to make for a potent force, rather than being pitted against each other.

Related: 3 Unexpected ways AI can benefit us

It can be used as an assistant

AI can be used as more than just a way to gather consumer data for marketers, it can be used as a virtual assistant in many industries, most importantly in the medical and research fields, but also in fields such as digital marketing and graphic design.

If you use the capability of artificial intelligence to read and retain data, you could use it to read through hundreds or even thousands of research papers automatically and then organize the knowledge. AI can be used in a highly intelligent assistive role in the research field when human intuition is combined with machine learning. It can also be used for daily life and difficult decisions. For example, if you want to send your children to the best school in your area, you can ask for help from various AI programs such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. AI does not have to remain a business tool, it can be used to help humans in a diverse range of ways, from helping doctors make more accurate diagnoses to helping us make big life decisions.

Make AI accessible and explainable

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence is transforming life at record speeds. People are starting to embrace this phenomenon daily, but in order for AI to be used to its full potential and become beneficial to everyone, it needs to be accessible and explainable to the layperson.

This is a major challenge in the field. With new and complex ‘deep learning’ advances in artificial intelligence (which simulate the neural networks of the human brain), even the designers are battling to explain how they arrived at their decisions. It can become a difficult situation when AI is being used to make life-changing decisions, such as criminal sentencing, creditworthiness, hiring and firing, and autonomous transport. In order for AI to continue to be developed and trusted by everyone, designers will need to explain it to the general public, which can also help consumers to use it themselves in everyday life.

Use AI to solve humanity’s problems

As a business model, AI is highly successful, but this is a restrictive and limiting use of the powerful technology. In order to benefit everyone, and to use it to its fullest potential, AI should be used to solve humanity’s problems rather than simply being used as a marketing and business tool.

AI’s most impressive feature is the ability to process variables that are too numerous for the human brain to fathom, and using these to identify patterns in the data. This skill can be used to solve critical world issues, such as predicting disease outbreaks before they happen, modeling and preventing world conflict, and using natural language processing (NLP) to combat depression and anxiety. If we focus on using artificial intelligence for more than just business tools, we might just get one step closer to solving important world issues.

Why should artificial intelligence continue to be developed?

It can create new jobs

Although AI will eliminate some jobs, for the most part, it will create new jobs. These jobs will include researchers who sift through data to collect the necessary information for projects and information security professionals whose role it is to ensure that data is collected safely and kept securely.

While the jobs in industries such as agriculture will remain the same, jobs in industries such as information technology, the financial industry and even in marketing will change to suit this trend. In the IT sector alone, there are jobs that didn't exist 20 years ago, which shows that when AI is used to its fullest ability it can even affect the economy. Developing artificial intelligence brings with it new opportunities for employment and unique roles in a variety of industries.

New capabilities for real-world problems

AI can be used to solve real-world problems and not only as a business tool. The potential to combine human-like qualities with the power of computers is the most exciting aspect of AI. It can be used for bettering the future of research and discovery.

This means that scientists can become familiar with a disease in a matter of minutes, and researchers can reach conclusions in a matter of hours rather than days. This speed allows research to continue without interruptions, creating solutions for real-world problems, where previously they might have been tied down with lengthy data capturing processes.

It can eliminate human error

In industries that deal with consumer data, there’s massive room for human error, such as recording the incorrect banking details, and while many of us prefer the personal touch when it comes to financial or retail institutions, the truth is that the human brain can easily make errors with information, and with terrible consequences.

In the fintech industry, human error can have massive implications, which is why using AI in this and similar industries is so important. Eliminating human error transfers to other industries too, such as healthcare and insurance companies. This is especially useful for the very real issue of identity theft and misuse of information. Being able to record data and information correctly can help to improve many industries, such as healthcare, which means that the lives of consumers will also become easier and more efficient.

How do we respond?

Artificial intelligence is no longer a far-off idea from an old science-fiction novel, it’s a fact of life in today’s modern world. It needs to be used to its full potential in order to benefit all people, and we can do this by using it to amplify positions rather than replace people, using it as an effective assistant and making it accessible and explainable to the layperson.

Transforming artificial intelligence into more than a simple business tool is one of the major advances of that we can expect to see in the future. If you want to find out more about the future of artificial intelligence, analytics and data mining, we have some unique insights into the matter.

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