First, how well do you know about AI and the examples of AI in our daily life?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of computer-controlled machines to simulate human intelligence by thinking and acting like humans. It is impacting the future of virtually every industry and every human being.

It can be pretty hard to see how it is currently transforming our world. Due to the rapid advancement, you may perceive AI as something futuristic. The truth is many of the things that you are already using involve AI in motion without you realising it. If you look hard enough, you can see AI is all around us.

In this blog post, we are going to show you some of the common examples of AI in our daily life. Read on to understand how it works!

AI in Email

An email is undeniably a widely-used communication tool. Have you ever noticed that your Google mailbox automatically labels your emails as “important” or “spam” and categorises them into different groups – primary, social, promotion and update inboxes? These features are what we called smart email classification and spam filters which involve AI operating behind the scenes. 

So, how do they work? By integrating machine learning algorithms, Gmail continuously learns from a variety of clues (e.g., message sources and the keywords in the message) to identify whether an email is a spam. When you mark some messages as “important”, AI learns from your preferences. Hence, it provides personalisation by allowing Gmail to label future mails that are possibly important to you.

These examples indicate that both spam filters and smart email classification are working based on your definition of the messages. To be clear, what you considered important might be filtered as spam in the inboxes of others and vice versa.

AI in Smartphone

Today, it is so common to see everyone with a smartphone in their hands. I guess most of you are probably using a smartphone while reading this article. Anyway, many of the features in smartphones actually involve the working of AI systems. The most common one would be the built-in virtual personal assistants on your phone.

I think most of you are more or less aware that you are interacting with an AI while using Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa or Cortana. The machine-learning-based systems act based on experience by receiving inputs, processing the inputs and forming the output messages. Many of the smartphone manufacturers are now focusing on delivering personalised experiences to the users by building AI capabilities into smartphone features, which include face recognition system (Face ID), voice-to-text, scene detection, and more. 

Do you know that AI helps you in taking studio-like portraits on your camera? AI-based algorithms identify the subject you wish to capture, segment people from the foreground and the background, and blur the rest of the image. An AI-powered camera simulates this ‘bokeh’ effect and allows you to take aesthetically pleasing portraits without the use of a multi-lenses camera. Astounding, don’t you think?

AI in Navigation and Travel

“I usually use Waze to drive from Penang to KL, am I using AI?”. Yes, some form of AI systems is working behind many of the applications you use to navigate or travel. Other than navigating using Waze, you are also using AI when you use other GPS-powered navigation systems such as Google or Apple Maps, Uber or Grab for an e-hailing ride, or when booking a flight ticket or accommodation. 

So, how does AI work behind these apps? By automatically learning from the data extracted from the environment (e.g., your usual driving pattern), AI and machine learning have greatly improved the accuracy of traditional GPS by providing you with real-time traffic data and ensuring optimal route selection in the future. 

When you are calling Uber or Grab, AI also plays crucial roles in analysing your feedback to discover your desired service, determining how much you have to pay and finding you the best match based on your ride request. 

When you are planning to travel, AI recommends you with the best options for your trip, helps you to predict hotel availability and the cheapest flight prices. There are plenty more examples of AI in our daily life, all of them are working based on your past behaviour. 

AI in Music and Media

Have you noticed that your favourite type of music or the songs from your favourite artists always appear in your music streaming app? Or when you’re on YouTube, the “Up Next” feature always recommends clips that attract you? That is AI in motion. Spotify, Apple Music, Joox, YouTube, Netflix and many other applications also consist of some form of AI working behind them. 

Let’s take a look at Spotify. It has become the largest on-demand music streaming application today due to its ability to leverage AI and machine learning for more personalised user experience. One of the most significant AI-based features of Spotify is its music search engines that are based on deep learning and machine listening algorithms that help you discover music you like more easily. By accumulating both customer data (e.g., keyword preference and geographic location) and external data (e.g., online conversations about artists and music), the trained algorithms analyse the data collected to recommend you with your desired playlists in real-time. 

The use of AI and machine learning algorithms to enhance user experience has become core to most of the applications in digital music and media industries. Read on to check out more examples of AI in our daily life!

AI in Chatbot

The “stranger” who replied to your inquiries, could you tell whether it was a robot or a person?

A chatterbot or chatbot is also one of the examples of AI in our daily life. It is a communication interface that mimics human languages through text chats or voice commands or both. It works based on Natural Language Processing (NLP), an area of computer science and AI that focuses on how computers can meaningfully interpret and respond to human (natural) languages. 

A chatbot initially infers the meaning of your sentences and what you want. Then, it acts based on a mountain of data and algorithms that interpret the information fed to it. With NLP, a chatbot can understand your messages meaningfully and respond appropriately. For example, when you send a message with “Thank you”, NLP lets the chatbot know that you’ve sent a means of expressing thanks, which in turn allows the chatbot to respond to a message with “Welcome” and closes the case. 

Most of the businesses today have capitalised this AI technology by deploying numerous chatbots in customer support functions, internal processes as well as training to upscale their services and customer experience. The machine learning algorithms have made business workflows faster and more efficient. At the largest Chinese online shopping website “Taobao”, you might have interacted with the AI chatbot when you made requests or enquiries through their customer service platform.

AI in Video Game

In the past, AI used in video games followed a simple “if this” and “then that” set of rules. AI was mostly used to design the behaviour of non-human opponents, giving players the feeling as if they were playing against real people instead of an algorithm. Nowadays, AI in video games is not only designed as your opponents but your teammates as well. It has become smarter and acts more like humans. 

If you are a game enthusiast, you might have noticed an AI-controlled character sometimes playing with little tricks that are unpredictable to outperform the players. It is because the learning abilities of AI allow it to analyse the skills demonstrated by the player versus their options in the battle and adapt to their tactics accordingly. Hence, the character can find and exploit the new bugs and glitches to win against the other player. 

For example, your other fighter teammates played remotely by AI in the story mode of Call of Duty analyse their environment and come out with their strategies in helping you fight. Another great example that showed machine learning algorithms beat a team of pros is the AI system devised by Tencent’s “Wang Zhe Rong Yao” (Honor of King) beat a group of professional players in a match. Other popular video games that make use of AI are PUBG, The Sims, Left 4 Dead, Dota 2, and many others. 

Image credit: Tencent

Those are only some of the common examples of AI in our daily life. AI is slowly making its way into a variety of industry sectors and impacting many aspects of our daily life, from homeplace to the workplace. To keep up with the evolving AI technology, we have to immerse ourselves in AI and consistently seek to reach its full potential!