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Powered by AI

The term artificial intelligence may conjure up images of robots whizzing around in the future. But the truth is, AI has already arrived and is impacting our everyday lives by performing tasks normally handled by humans.

Chances are you’ve already done something today that was powered by AI, and you didn’t even realize it. And what’s even more surprising, many AI algorithms can actually learn and become even more proficient at the tasks they are designed to perform.

1. Identifies Flight Risk

A judge typically determines whether a criminal defendant should await trial in jail or at home. But using data from hundreds of thousands of New York City cases, a group of economists and computer scientists trained an algorithm to predict whether defendants were a flight risk—and the algorithm dramatically outperformed rulings of experienced judges.

2. Filters Email

Once upon a time, junk email wasn’t filtered. The tedious task of identifying spam was left to us—and it took up precious time. Today basic artificial intelligence filters emails before we even see them, sending unwanted messages into a junk folder. AI even learns from our personal preferences and adjusts its rules based on our individual behavior.

3. Offers Online Support

When shopping online, have you been invited to chat with a customer service rep? Turns out that rep on the other end may not be human. In many cases, you’re talking to an AI chat-support bot. While many bots are programmed for simple automated responses, some can actually share info from a website.

4. Predicts Earthquakes

Each year, hundreds of people die in earthquakes, so predicting the strength and location of earthquakes could potentially save lives. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory created a simulation to train an AI algorithm that listens for tremors and earthquakes. The model performed with astonishing accuracy.

5. Detects Fraud

Most of us have received a text or email asking if we’ve made a particular purchase on a credit or debit card. To detect possibly fraudulent purchases, many financial institutions use an AI system, which learns to identify signs that a transaction may be fraudulent based on a large sample of both legitimate and fraudulent purchases.

6. Promotes Mental Health

Facebook previously maintained a suicide-prevention tool that relied on users to report concerns about a friend’s risk of suicide. Now the social media network has an AI algorithm that automatically detects suicidal tendencies and then notifies a human team who reviews the case and reaches out.

7. Generates News

The AI software Wordsmith is actually generating financial summaries and sports reports distributed by Yahoo, Fox, and AP. While these AI-written stories still need to be set up by an actual person, simple articles such as those written for data-driven industries that don’t require a lot of synthesis can be quickly and easily generated.

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