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Artificial Intelligence is Seeping into Our Lives

Once the stuff of science fiction,
artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming part of our everyday. New uses
for this futuristic technology are launched each week, often so subtle that you
will only find them if you seek them out. These practical and specialised AI
applications are helping brands personalise their offering, improve efficiency
and simplify consumers' lives.  
The master of the algorithm, Tinder's latest
update
makes it even more likely you'll meet your match. Its Smart Photos
feature will swap your profile picture depending on the preferences of who is
looking at it. For example, it will change if your potential partner prefers
seeing full-length photos, or ones with your pet. The feature is said to
improve over time, but it has already led to a 12% increase in matches.
Ebay also hopes to find you the perfect
match ' but with more of a focus on your home than your love life. Its new Ebay
Collective site
, dedicated to art and design, features image recognition
technology that lets shoppers select an image of a room to find matching
products. Using this tool, the auction site aims for a level of curation that
is ordinarily only found in physical homeware stores. 
Despite its benefits, many consumers are
understandably cautious of this rapidly advancing technology. The Hiro Baby app, which offers
on-demand advice and support in response to parental queries, retains a
human-assisted element to reassure apprehensive consumers. Users receive
personalised feedback and product recommendations that are derived through
artificial intelligence, yet approved by a real person before being sent.
Similarly, Baidu's
medical chatbot
is not designed to replace doctors, but simply to speed up
the diagnosis process. Patients answer a series of questions, which become more
personalised with every response, to create a detailed account of their
symptoms prior to doctor referral. These personal assistants use messaging
services to provide a familiar interface that helps connect with patients individually.
How artificial intelligence will develop in
the future is uncertain. This month President Obama pushed his support for AI,
making it a key focus of his guest edited issue of Wired
magazine
and unveiling a plan for ensuring government regulations develop
in tandem with the technology.
Yet one thing is certain: if artificial
intelligence can deliver the practical benefits it promises, without the
distractions, it will likely be here to stay. As Obama put it, AI 'has been
seeping into our lives in all sorts of ways, and we just don't notice'.   

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