Is AI a tool, a gimmick, or the death of us all? Part 3

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5 months ago

You may have noticed in the past couple of posts in this series an image of the Terminator typing on a laptop. Using Bing I was able to create this image by entering “Terminator typing on a laptop”. This is pretty cool and shows how AI is advancing.

But AI is useful in so many more advanced ways and one of the coolest ways it’s used could be in your hand right now.

Do you remember the noise generated when Apple released the iPhone 5s? The CEO of Qualcomm said there was no reason to have a 64bit processor in a phone. He was wrong on so many levels and the iPhone 5s proved that. Remember that the iPhone 5s was the first to introduce photo stitching to create a great photo. It did this by taking 100 photos, scan them, taking the best bits, then stitching those best bits into one photo. It did this all in the time it took for the camera sound to go “click”. Doing that with a 32bit processor would see the time being close to half a minute, if not longer.

Now the iPhone uses AI to create amazing night photos. Something Samsung is only recently caught up with. Apple also uses AI to scan a photo and allows you to capture any text. This allows you to copy and paste that text into whatever.

One of the coolest uses of AI is translating to other languages. Apple is using this in a cool way. It does it using photos as above or by speaking, or typing. I’ve used the photo method to translate the dash on Mrs Wookie’s import van to great effect.

And this is where my series takes a different look at AI. I’ve already explored where AI goes wrong. But in this post I’ll describe what AI does right.

AI has already fixed issues that have existed for decades. It’s allowed the average person to take great photos. These have the potential to rival top photographers if they train themselves.

It has even solved the issues of dictation and OCR that have plagued the tech industry.

OCR always produced characters that resembled “Wingdings” more than the original text. Once again, AI has resolved this issue. Go ahead, if you’ve got an iPhone take a photo of text and select it. Now paste it into Notes or Pages. AI is being used to identify text, faces, landmarks, etc. This makes finding things so much easier. It also makes things more human.

AI also fixed another old technology - dictation. Like OCR, dictation was a technology that had potential that got limited by the existing tech. I well remember reports of people getting throat cancer as a result of speaking in a monotone. Dictation software like “Dragon Naturally Speaking” couldn’t handle natural speech. AI has for the most part solved this. It did so by using data collection. While many feel this is a bad thing, it's hard to deny the benefit it has had. Dictation has allowed better accessibility for disabled people. It's allowed us to interact with our computers in a more human way. It's allowed us to do common tasks without getting locked to a desk. It works so well that it powers our homes with HomePod, Alexa, Google Assistant, et al. While some see this as a gimmick, there are real benefits to being able to speak in a natural way with our computers.

AI is bringing us self-drive cars along with better search engines. It's able to make planes and helicopters safer. Its uses have changed traffic, shopping, and information sharing. Yes, some of this can be bad, but it can also save lives. Its uses are far reaching and ranging. The things that AI has solved are only the start of what AI can do for us. It's this that leads me to the final article in this series. In part 4 I will look at the future of AI and why it's dumb to fear it.

Disclaimer: Please note, that this is part of a wider social profile and has been published elsewhere on the Net. I - Loweded Wookie - own all rights to this material or have credited, as much as I am able, any material not created by myself.

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