Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: 2 years on

Two year ago we wrote about the 3 real uses of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, within the two years a lot has changed in the tech world as development continues. As always AI and machine learning is a hot topic, with conversations not just around how it is going to affect our lives, but also the risks it poses to jobs. There is also a hefty debate around the ethics of AI at the moment.

With that being said we want to take a look at how much the industry has really changed in this time, and how our 3 real uses of AI and machine learning have developed.

Voice Recognition

2017: All of our smartphones today have some form of ‘virtual personal assistant’, for example Siri or Google Voice, allowing the user to ask questions to their phone and gain a response. While these apps are using machine learning to be able to answer and aid your question they are also learning about you. Microsoft has said their version, Cortana, is continually learning and will “eventually develop the ability to anticipate the users’ needs.”

2019: The rise of voice recognition technology has been massive in 2018, at the beginning of the year it was predicted that 39 million Americans owned a smart speaker. Now, at the beginning of 2019 it has been predicted that 66.6 million Americans will “be using speech or voice recognition technology”! Here at the KDR office, we have 2 Amazon Alexa speakers, and the majority of our team have their own smart speakers at home.

As more companies are adopting this technology, including Amazon, LG, Sony and more, the technology is going to continue to advance. Not just connecting our homes through the Internet of Things but learning all about us and using the AI within the tools to make the devices more personal to us, anticipating our needs and giving more accurate answers.

Smart Cars

2017: Similar to voice recognition smart cars are using machine learning to understand roads and driving patterns, while full driverless cars are not on the roads yet some manufacturers are already using this technology. Tesla has released their Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot making their cars self-driving. The system uses multiple cameras and sensors around the car allowing it to learn the road, Tesla has said their new update will allow the self-driving car to match speed conditions, change lane without the driver’s assistant and even park your car.

2019: The majority of new cars are smart and have technology built into them. One company, HERE Technologies, specialises in making software for cars, they are partnered with almost every major car manufacturer in the world and have stated that their technology is being used in over 100 million vehicles worldwide! As more cars become connected and ‘smart’ more data is being collected for AI to learn the roads and traffic.

So, fully autonomous driverless cars aren’t here yet and it seems like it might be quite some time before they are – it’s even been reported that Apple cut 200 employees from their self-driving car project, “Project Titan”. However, advances are being made in the space as companies invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Electronics company Bosch is using AI to create automated cars, they even have a ‘school for cars’, making sure “today’s vehicles are real nerds”.


2017: We’ve all got used to companies making product recommendations based on our previous purchases, but Amazon is trying to take it one step further. Their transactional AI is learning and quickly understanding not just what we purchase but when we purchase them, as part of this Amazon is planning to be able to ship these products to us before we even need them.

2019: Our very own Evie recently wrote a blog on shopping predictions and how AI is helping us to not just spend our money, but also waste it. With technology like IBM Watson and DeepMind being used by not just retailers but also streaming services, like Netflix and Spotify, this technology is constantly evolving and developing.

With the majority of online e-commerce sites using AI and machine learning to make predictions about us and suggest recommended products the amount of data being collected is substantial. We truly believe this technology is going to continue to grow and may one day completely drive our shopping habits.

In the two years since we last wrote our blog on artificial intelligence and machine learning a lot has changed. If we thought in 2017 this technology was shaping our lives and driving the decisions we make, it certainly is now! 2019 is set to be another big year for tech, look out for our blog in 2021 to see what changes have been made…

What’s the biggest development you have seen since 2017? What do you think the future holds for artificial intelligence and machine learning?

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best data, technology and analytics jobs. For more AI news and views check out the KDR blog or follow KDR on LinkedIn.

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