4 ways Artificial Intelligence could help us in the future

  1. Keeping older people company
    1. Living longer is all well and good, but an ageing population needs care. Artificial General Intelligence (AI that’s closer to resembling the human brain) is still a way off, but plans are afoot to programme robots to offer help and companionship to elderly people in their homes. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology have developed the ‘Sil-bot’, a robot that’s capable of simple conversation and can play games, as well as remind their owner to take medication. Robots would also help with physical tasks like cleaning and gardening. This could help older people feel less dependent on their families for practical help, so that time spent together is all about enjoying each other’s company.
  2. Taming the weather
    1. Accurately predicting the weather won’t just help you figure out if you need to wear shorts or a huge duffel coat tomorrow. Better weather forecasting can help with things like crop development and forestry, or help pilots better guide aircraft around potential storms and dangerous weather spots keeping us safer in the skies. Of course, meteorologists have been using data to understand weather patterns for awhile now, but using AI will definitely step things up a notch.
  3. Helping children learn
    1. A trial in South Korea used robotic teachers to take classes in maths, English, science and even art - and it went really well! The machines were viewed very positively and were actually credited with inspiring new levels of creativity from their students. And even if we didn’t rely on robots to take a whole lesson, using them to work with kids in the class with learning difficulties or special physical needs could be ideal - for a start, perhaps the kids wouldn’t feel so self-conscious or shy in asking for help, and they certainly wouldn’t have to worry about frustrating their teacher. Plus it would definitely help prepare the kids for when they join a workforce that, by the time they’ve grown up, might be half made up of robots.
  4. Giving people with disabilities more independence
    1. Obviously, some cars use very basic AI already, with things like self-parking, but the holy grail is a car that won’t need a person at the wheel at all. It’s still a way off, but it’s definitely on the horizon and could be a game-changer for people with disabilities, sight problems or mobility issues, giving them a whole new level of independence. There’d be no need to rely on lifts from friends or relatives, be at the mercy of public transport, or pay extortionate taxi fares - they could rely on their self-driving car to take them to the shops, hospital appointments, or to see friends.