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AI today – Between realities and myths (?)



Oh good Lord (?!), the Super-AI is knocking at my door...


Almighty God, what a dreadful noise!


I would rather avoid adding noise, to the noise, that is rapidly spreading across the internet... about Artificial Intelligence.


But I can't quite resign myself to it, as I'm personally and professionally very curious about some of its features and promises.


I was also fortunate to be able to attend, just a few weeks ago, a high-profile online conference on the impact of AI on the translation industry (Al inTranslation Summit). Again, a massive THANK YOU (!) to Josh and Nora for this fantastic event, and for the extremely valuable and varied content provided, as well as to the speakers who shared their respective visions of the subject from different angles, and suggested numerous ways of working & tips and tricks - to make AI our best ally.


Yes, indeed, we can. We "just" have to spend the necessary time on it. And not just reject it all, en masse. 😉


For some, it's fantastic news, a quantum leap, a wide-open door to wonderful, bright new horizons. For others, however, it represents a dark shadow over their professional future, a definite threat to their business, or an additional constraint that needs to be integrated if they do not want to lose ground in a hyper-digital and 'intelligent' world.



Can the machine really become human? Humans, machines?


Everyone has their own expertise, their own recommendations and predictions.


I do not pretend here to give an exhaustive view of what may be involved in the huge, highly evolving, controversial, delicate and potentially (very) impactful for mankind... world of AI.


I have neither the resources nor the capacity to do so, as the subject is so vast.


However, in the field of languages, as an English to French translator myself, and as I work on a large number of transcreation, copywriting, SEO and cultural consultancy projects, the impact of an even more enhanced AI will inevitably bring major changes in the way I work today, if I want to keep providing (or even justifying?) beautiful, heartfelt and truly human added value to my clients.


In fact, I use a number of AI tools and solutions on a daily basis, and while they haven't really revolutionised the way I do things, I have to admit that they help me in many different ways, and also bring me interesting ideas and/or food for thought when I feel I need a little nudge.


Without replacing my core business, AI enriches and broadens it, as it allows me to spend more time on the most critical, sensitive and complex issues, subjects and elements of translation or creation. And it means I can work in new linguistic directions as well - and learn more about them.


Okay, just 28 words to give you a sufficiently vague and broad definition of artificial intelligence, which deserves the credit for being there and for attempting to circumscribe such a deep and broad concept. For the European Parliament, artificial intelligence refers to any tool used by a machine to "reproduce behaviours associated with humans, such as reasoning, planning and creating".



Chess game – Man_machine


So let's take a look at the ways in which AI is already part of our everyday lives. And not just for the geeks_nerds_virtuosos, the city dwellers, the savvy, the insiders, the avid followers of the latest technologies. It is already in our pockets, in our cars, at home, at work, in our administrations, in our hospitals, in space... In other words, in many of our everyday actions and habits... 📱 #AIInOurLives


Below are just a few examples of the areas where AI is one of the two driving forces (along with the unique power of humans, obviously), in making our everyday lives easier, better and safer.

This list is by no means exhaustive, as things are changing fast and the concept of AI is constantly evolving, sometimes with quite blurred boundaries.

 

Search engines and predictive search 🔍 #AISearch

Traditional search engines use a variety of ever-improving algorithms to provide us, throughout the day, with the most relevant answers to our queries from the billions of web pages available.

 

Virtual assistants 🤖 #AIAssistantExamples

Virtual assistants use AI to help us manage our daily tasks. They can help us schedule appointments, make shopping lists easier and faster, learn to play or even compose music, listen to our favourite songs, remotely control our smart devices, etc.

Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant: are you with us?

Often in our pocket, in our living room, in our car...

For example, Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, can help us to:

  • Schedule a doctor's appointment

  • Make a shopping list

  • Play music

  • Turn on the lights or close the blinds

 

Personalised recommendations 🎬 #AIRecommendations

Personalised recommendation platforms use AI to suggest products, services or content, based on our interests and consumption habits.

For example, Netflix can recommend movies or TV series based on what we've already watched and liked. Amazon can recommend products based on those we have already bought or viewed. Spotify recommends songs based on what we've listened to and liked.

 

Facial recognition 📸 #AIRecognition

Whether it's for security, identification or emotion recognition, facial recognition uses AI to identify people based on their facial features and expressions.

In fact, facial recognition can be used to:

  • Authenticate users of an app or employees of a high-security company

  • Identify and locate criminals

  • Identify missing persons

 

Fraud detection, cybersecurity and fake news 🔒 #AIFraudDetection

Fraud detection systems in banking, finance and insurance use AI to identify suspicious transactions.

Fraud detection systems can be used to:

  • Detect stolen credit cards

  • Detect fraudulent online transactions

  • Detect fraudulent in-store transactions

  • AI-enabled systems can also help detect and counter cyber-attacks and other threats, using the continuous stream of data to identify patterns and trace the source of attacks.

AI can also detect false information and instances of disinformation by scanning the content of social networks for alarmist or even conspiratorial keywords or terms, hijacked information, and identifying sources that can be considered reliable versus specific sites that have been proven to spread disinformation.

 

Natural Language Processing 🌐 #AINLP

Machine translation, transcription, automated summarisation, etc., natural language processing uses AI to understand and process human language.

It can be used to:

  • Translate languages

  • Transcribe conversations

  • Summarise articles

  • Answer a stream of questions

 

Autonomous vehicles 🚦 #AIAutonomousVehicles

Autonomous vehicles use AI to drive vehicles without human intervention. Tesla Autopilot, Waymo etc.

This allows them to:

  • Detect obstacles

  • Maintain trajectory

  • Adjust speed

  • And that sounds like a pretty good human-machine interaction... Doesn't it?



Autonomous vehicles - The pleasure of not having to drive anymore (?)


Robotics 🤖 #AIRobotics

Robotics uses AI to control robots, that can then perform tasks autonomously and in an optimised way.

These intelligent robots will therefore be able to:

  • Perform dangerous or repetitive tasks

  • Assist the elderly or disabled

  • Perform surgical tasks

  • Automatically adjust production operations in real time.

 

Medicine 💉 #AIMedicalApplications

AI is being used to diagnose disease, develop new treatments and personalise care.

It can be used to:

  • Analyse medical images

  • Identify abnormalities

  • Develop new drugs

  • Personalise treatments

 

Education 📚 #AIInEducation

AI is used to personalise learning paths and provide feedback to students.

Against all odds (?), AI can be found at various levels to improve, personalise and make more successful the learning path of students, complementing the admirable work of teachers, of course:

  • AI makes it possible to adapt online and even face-to-face teaching content to the needs of each student

  • It makes it possible to provide personalised feedback on a more regular basis

  • And to monitor students' progress in a very detailed, even proactive way

 

AI has been used for many years to improve the efficiency of supply chains, for decision-making in very broad and technical areas, and in marketing.

This is nothing new in the following areas:

  • Supply chain optimisation

  • Market trend prediction

  • Marketing message personalisation

 

Environment 🌍 #AISustainability

Finally, AI is proving useful in monitoring pollution levels, predicting climate change and developing sustainable solutions.

A range of tools are available to:

  • Monitor and analyse the quality of air, water and food products, and provide automatic and autonomous alerts

  • Predict floods using models that are improved with each new event

  • Help develop renewable energy & models

 

You've made it this far, so to thank you - and to encourage you to come back 😊 - I'd like to offer you a little treat, not from me, but from a conversation I had with one of the AIs on the marketplace.

Yes, it's always interesting to have a little chat with these mainstream AIs. It should be enjoyed sparingly though, as you can quickly reach a point where the conversation goes round in circles...

To the question: "Imagine what the world would be like today if the existing artificial intelligence were to disappear".

I was kindly and candidly answered:

"The disappearance of AI would be a major shock for our society. But it could also be an opportunity to create a world that is slower, messier, more human, more open and greener. Of course, the disappearance of AI would also have some funny consequences. People would be forced to do their own work, which could lead to mistakes and hilarious situations. Conversations would be longer and more tedious because people would have to take the time to think about what they are saying. And human relationships would become more important, because people could no longer be able to rely on technology to replace them."

Quirky and cheeky, isn't it? Clumsy? Probably... AI should definitely spend a little more time thinking before it says its first word... Spin its CPU several times before answering.

Intelligence, certainly, but common sense, discernment and humanity, not so much. We're still a long way from achieving that, and that's all the better.

Right, I'm going to cook a chicken basquaise with my kitchen bot, send a few messages to my social networks, listen to the music that best "suits me", before curling up on the sofa to watch a new series suggested by my favourite channel. Alexa, close the blinds please! 🤖🔍🌐





AI as a way to make our everyday lives a little sweeter, sometimes even more magical?

 

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