Artificial Intelligence: an increasingly empathic technology

Just a few months ago Gartner, IT research and advisory firm, positioned Machine Learning at the top of its famous Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report which provides a set of must-know emerging technologies and trends.

Which picture would Rembrandt paint if he returned to life these days? Which song would The Beatles compose if all members of the band were alive? Which book would Hemingway write? This questions, which were impossible to answer some time ago, are being answered (at least tentatively) by one of the most exponential and promising technologies of our time: artificial intelligence.

JWT Amsterdam’s “The next Rembrandt”, one of the most awarded at Cannes this year, resorted to artificial intelligence to analyze the work of the greatest artist of the 17th century and create his next painting using 3D printing technology.

On another field, Watson (IBM’s artificial intelligence system) was recently used to edit the trailer of “Morgan” movie and to compose the song “Not Easy” in collaboration with Alex Da Kid who has produced hits for many artists such as Dr. Dre and Eminem.

The fashion field has been also taken over by AI this year: IBM and Marchesa partnered to create a dress embedded with LED lights that changed colors in real-time as the public conversations around the Met Gala unfold on Twitter.

These are just a few examples. The rapid pace of technological advancement poses new challenges. We are living a time of great upheaval and expectation that involves topics such as deep learning, neuronal networks and genetic algorithms.

Beyond the most flamboyant works one of the most significant events this year was the victory of AlphaGo (a computer program developed by Google DeepMind) over the South Korean Lee Sedol, Go world champion. Go is an ancient Chinese game, due to its complexity the victory of the machine over human was predicted to be achieved by year 2020, although it came ahead of time. The perfect reflection of reality.

It is also important to note that current algorithms cannot detect whether a data stream is true or false, ethical or unethical. The base for its operation is always provided by humans. The first fatal accident in a self-driving vehicle, the racial bias of an AI program that acted as jury in a beauty contest, the chatbot that Microsoft had to shut down in less than 24 hours, are some examples of the issues that AI is still dealing with. However, it cannot be denied that artificial intelligence is no longer a future promise or an unachievable technology.

It is no wonder that most tech giants are trying to lead the way on this new path. More than 30.000 chatbots have been opened on Facebook alone in the last six months, Google recently introduced a set of devices based on Google Assistant and Apple, who already had its own assistant Siri, recently acquired Emotient, a startup that uses artificial intelligence technology to read people’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions.

Other giants also joined the race, Amazon with its assistant Alexa, IBM developed its cognitive system Watson, Samsung recently acquired Viv Labs and Microsoft, not only has its virtual assistant Cortana but also announced that they have created an artificial intelligence department dedicated to explore its potential and continue developing intelligent applications such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Artificial Intelligence technology is still going through its Stone Age and the possibilities are endless, it is clear that AI is moving from platforms that know a bit of everything and much about nothing to much more specialized and empathetic algorithms.

Carlos Alvarez

About Carlos Alvarez

Carlos is a Software Engineer with more than 8 years of experience developing Web and Mobile applications for some of the most important Fortune 500 companies

Nowadays Carlos works at the Engineering department of TISA, looking for implementing the latest technologies and frameworks to be used in future projects.

Beyond his technical knowledge and passion for the technology Carlos enjoys motorbikes and mixed martial arts.

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