From the invention of the wheel to the first car invented by Karl Benz, leaping all the way to the invention of autonomous vehicles in the 21st century... “Who woulda’ thunk it”!?

In recent years, there has been a dramatic insurgence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and if you pay close attention to people’s day-to-day activities, you’ll see it everywhere. For instance, you can walk down a busy street with pedestrian traffic and will oftentimes hear someone yell at their phone: “Hey Siri, call Mom” or “Hey Siri, play Frank Sinatra’s Best Hits”.

Without realizing it, most individuals with smartphones are also carrying virtual assistants in their pockets, and as technology gets smarter by the day, five years from now, it’s possible to have virtual assistants like Iron Man’s Jarvis—which closely resemble humans and have the ability to run a business or even provide security for a home. Although having a virtual assistant built into our phones is useful and entertaining, seeing an individual drive a Tesla on the freeway, without using their hands, truly shows how advanced and prominent AI is becoming.

Driverless vehicles are relatively new and are still being improved, but it is vital that we become aware of the tremendous benefits of incorporating AI into vehicles; the most notable, saving lives. Statistics have shown that most car accidents are caused by human error, whether that is driving under the influence, texting and driving, slow reactions, or something as simple as yawning. While current autonomous vehicles are able to detect dangerously close objects that a driver might not be able to see and navigate without human conduction, we are not far from AI technology that can detect distracted drivers and take over driving in order to avoid a catastrophe. Five years from now, AI may even prevent accidents to happen in the first place by detecting an intoxicated individual and not allowing that person to operate the vehicle.

Considering that humanity has become incredibly advanced, and continues to do so by the day, it comes to no surprise that we have embraced our inevitable imperfection. In fact, Artificial Intelligence is being created to close that “imperfect gap” and reduce anything from human casualties to system malfunctions. Unfortunately, however, just like the invention of gun powder and its uses in warfare, AI has the potential to be a weapon that will prove chaotic if placed in the wrong hands.

Regardless of how amazing AI is and all the benefits it may bring, nobody wants to see highly intelligent killer robots walking down our neighborhoods, which considering the fast-paced technological advancement, is not unrealistic. Decades ago, driverless cars and virtual assistants may have seemed to be almost complete fiction, yet here we are, experiencing an explosion in Artificial Intelligence technology.

For millions of individuals, user interface technologies are EVERYWHERE and range from asking Siri about the weather, navigating social media, GPS and to having AI Technologies analyze user statistics to customize the ads they see on personal devices. Half a decade from today, we could be looking at having hyper-realistic virtual personal assistants, the technology that will prevent millions of human-error-related mortalities, and even deadly weapons.

If Artificial Intelligence is proactively regulated, we are talking about one of the best man-made creations that will forever revolutionize life on earth... or other planets.

Author's Bio: 

I am a computer science professor. Being a tech enthusiast I keep close tabs on trends and will be glad to share and discuss the latest wrapups in the field with the community.