We all know that in the very near future, artificial intelligence (AI) will change the face of nearly every industry. Already, it is a part of our everyday lives we often take for granted or even ignore. With new and faster computer chips all the time, like the new A11 Bionic chip in the newest iPhones, AI will soon be unavoidable.
How will it change the internet? There are several key ways it is already impacting how we do things online, and those will soon expand to a multitude of applications.
Big Data and Big Business
You may think that your Google Home or Alexa device is amazing, and looked at entirely on its own, it is. However, the technology is paltry when compared to what is going on inside a Google data center or Amazon Web Services.
The reason is simply that Big Data, all that information you share through your phone apps and all of the other data businesses gather about customers and marketing trends is worth quite literally billions of dollars.
As the internet gets smarter, you get better search results when you type anything into a search bar, but the company who provides that service gets a great deal of information about you in return.
While privacy is a concern, as long as this data is anonymized (a requirement in many cases) it is a good thing for consumers in the long run. The internet is made into a better place. At the same time Google and other search engines are looking at the content businesses are creating, and only serving up high quality, expert material.
As machine learning advances, this will only get better. After all, Google not only wants to sell ads, but the company wants to give you the best experience possible on the web.
As mentioned above, as the internet gets smarter, your data will become more familiar to it. The more data a website has about you, the better purchase recommendations they can make. For instance, if the shopping website knows the things you have pinned on Pinterest, the color scheme of your living room, and even more, it can recommend to you the best curtains or artwork.
We don’t want to imagine that all of this data could be available in one place, but the truth is, it is already happening on a limited extent and will increase in both popularity and acceptance as time goes along.
What does this mean in relation to your online shopping? Your mother-in-law might lie to you and tell you that rug looks great, but artificial intelligence takes the subjective, emotional element out of any decision, and offers you honest advice based on factual information. This means the smarter the domain, the more likely you are to continue shopping there.
So, if you have “shown” the shopping website the colors of your living room and what furniture you have now, not a far-fetched concept at all, It can tell you the size and color of rug that would do best, and match the rest of your theme.
Diet and Exercise
Want to lose some unsightly pounds, or just be all around more athletic and feel better? Well, AI is here to help.
Think of the Apple Watch or a Fitbit. Each is not only gathering data about you, but will rearrange your goals based on what you actually do, and offer you encouragement to do better.
The thing is, they do this consistently and without emotion. If you miss your goals 5 days in a row, your friend may get discouraged and be tired of calling you to keep you accountable. Your fitness apps have no such emotional compulsions. They’ll keep reminding you day after day until you tell them to stop.
The same is true with diet. The app you choose will never offer you an excuse for the cookies or ice cream you had in a moment of weakness. They simply tally up the calories and let you know you messed up.
Humans are fallible, and it is helpful to have a friend who does sympathize, but many trainers will tell you not to listen to them. Empathy is good, but since 80% of weight loss is in what you eat, not what you do, not excusing yourself is important.
The beauty of AI is how it removes the emotion from the equation, and simply tells you that you must do what you said you would to accomplish your goals.
What if your environment was constantly optimized for you to be the most productive you could be? With AI, that day is not far off. Once it understands the structure of your average day, and when you have peaks and valleys of productivity, your environment will work with you to make you more efficient.
What if, at a certain time of day, you transferred to a different type of task automatically? What if the lighting in your office changed to match your mood, or if the shades adjusted for you throughout the day?
All of these things are both possible and probable. Environmental controls are becoming more common, as are digital personal assistants far beyond the capability of Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. Soon your home and office will be as connected to you as you allow them to be, and wearables are the long-term answer to these things.
Imagine your digital personal assistant recommending a power nap or that it was time to go to bed at night so that you get enough sleep. This is already happening, and will get more prevalent and relevant all the time.
We have already seen the effect that online dating has on the world, but as AI steps in to take a bigger role, once again it presents objective, non-emotive advice about who is compatible and who is not.
This is based on more science and tests than zodiac sign and a chemistry profile. The greater the intelligence and the more data it has, the more accurate its matches will be.
This may seem harsh, as we don’t want to leave romance in the hands of a computer, but on the other hand, objective and unbiased information is difficult to come by. Friends, family, and relatives all have a different viewpoint, and can’t strictly be relied upon.
Artificial intelligence will, good, bad, and ugly, change the internet forever. It is simply a matter of if we are aware of it and willing to make it work.