Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly transformed from a futuristic concept to a ubiquitous technology that is deeply integrated into our daily lives.

From Siri and Alexa assisting us with tasks and answering questions to advanced AI systems improving healthcare and transportation, the impact of AI is far-reaching and constantly evolving. This article will explore how AI is changing how we live, work, and interact with the world around us and what the future of AI might hold.

The non-artificial introduction

It may come as a surprise, but ChatGPT generated the previous introduction. Though currently one of the most debated topics, AI is no recent phenomenon and has been part of our lives for quite some time. From image recognition to self-driving cars and, most recently, language recognition with tools like ChatGPT and Bard, AI is undeniably engrained in the framework of our contemporary existence.

What is AI?

A.I. is an abbreviation for artificial intelligence, the most common definition of which refers to the ability of a machine to mimic tasks that, traditionally, only humans could do as they relied on intelligence to complete. A cornucopia of things falls into this criterion, including robots that move in a human-like manner, computers that can maintain a conversation, and surveillance cameras able to detect people.

Why is AI finally gaining momentum?

The recent surge in the potency and popularity of AI can be attributed to several facets. First, advances in hardware, including developing specialised hardware such as graphics processing units (GPUs), have significantly increased the speed and efficiency of AI algorithms.

Additionally, the internet and other digital technologies have made it possible to collect and store vast amounts of data, providing a rich source of information for training AI systems. Researchers have also developed new techniques and algorithms, such as deep learning and neural networks, that have greatly improved the accuracy and performance of AI systems. Cloud computing services now allow individuals and organisations to access powerful computing resources and AI tools without investing in expensive hardware.

Finally, there is currently a greater awareness and understanding of the potential of AI, which has led to increased investment in research and development by governments, academic institutions, and the private sector. There is no longer the trepidation of society being overthrown by robots or a necessity to follow Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics”.

Together, these factors have created a favourable environment for the development and adoption of AI, allowing it to gain strength and become increasingly integrated into a wide range of applications and industries.

Artificial Intelligence: the impact on our lives

AI is already having a significant impact on our lives, though some ways in which AI influences our lives are more evident than others.

Natural language processing: AI-powered language processing is being used to improve language translation, speech recognition, and chatbot interactions, enabling more efficient and realistic communication. ChatGPT and Bard are two prominent examples of this. Smaller applications, like chatbots in eCommerce websites, also rely on the evolution of this field.

Recommendations: AI-powered recommendation systems are being deployed to provide custom suggestions for products, services, and content based on our interests and past interactions.

Medical diagnosis: AI is being applied to analyse medical imagery and data to assist with diagnosing diseases and developing personalised treatment plans.

Autonomous vehicles: self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles, which have the potential to reduce traffic accidents and significantly improve transportation efficiency, are currently in development.

These are only a few examples from a comprehensive list of the manner in which AI is gaining greater relevance in our daily lives. However, due to the recent buzz surrounding ChatGPT, a pivotal discussion concerning technology's potential impact on our careers is beginning to transpire.

Artificial Intelligence: the impact on our work

The substantial influence of AI on the job market is already evident and will likely continue into the future, potentially replacing various tasks or positions completely with automatised machines or tools, whilst others will be augmented to become faster or more efficient:

Automation of repetitive tasks: this is a primary area where job displacement will conceivably occur as AI is already being implemented to automate repetitive tasks in a variety of industries, from car manufacturing to logistics, leading to increased efficiency and cost savings.

AI as an auxiliary tool: AI is also used to augment tasks in various industries, such as healthcare and finance. It can be used, for example, to assist doctors with medical diagnosis and treatment planning.

Creation of new jobs: while AI-based systems may fully replace some positions due to automating specific tasks, new jobs will also appear in various fields, from the development of AI itself to the maintenance and surveillance of new tools and mechanisms.

Changes in job requirements: as AI integration becomes more prolific throughout industries, job requirements will feasibly change. Workers may require new skills like data analysis or programming to remain competitive in the job market.

Overall, the influence of AI on jobs is complex and multifaceted. Whilst it has the potential to improve efficiency and create new jobs, it can also lead to job displacement and changes in job requirements. As such, it is vital for individuals and organisations to understand the probable consequences of AI on their jobs and to prepare for changes ahead.

How to bring value to clients with AI

There are several ways in which companies can apply AI to increase the value brought to clients. One critical area is data analysis and insights. By examining more significant quantities of data, AI can help identify trends and provide better results to adjust to strategy and decision-making. This can be applied in detailed analyses of operations, customer behaviour, and industry trends. Similarly, employees can expend more time and focus on strategic activities by automating repetitive or time-consuming tasks.

AI-powered personalisation tools can also provide clients with a more tailored experience, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. A profusion of applications has already been allocated to assist in this area, from custom brand content creation to SEO optimisation.

It is possible to bring significant value to clients by leveraging AI to improve data analysis and insights, automate processes, personalise customer experiences, manage risks, and drive innovation and product development. Only by keeping up with the latest AI technologies and best practices is it achievable to help clients attain their goals and stay competitive in an increasingly digital world.

Creativity and responsibility in the near future

Artificial intelligence’s transformative ability has been present in our lives for some time now, proliferating at the beginning of the 21st century with the rise of the internet, increased availability of more powerful personal computers, and the abundant amount of data available.

Learning-based mechanisms have evolved tremendously, and AI has become embedded in how we work, learn and interact with one another and the world around us. Its impact has acquired notoriety in some fields, resulting in outstanding achievements of AI systems outperforming humans in some domains, including reading comprehension, image recognition, and language understanding.

Many doubts still circulate about the capabilities of AI in the creative field, though examples of its use are becoming more common, as seen in the movie trailer created by IBM Watson's cognitive platform. However, even in this instance, it played more of an assistive and time-saving role than actually leading the creative process.

As AI enters the next chapter of its evolution, the world must address many challenges arising from its ubiquitous deployment, ensuring it is developed and used responsibly and ethically, with a focus on increasing humanity's well-being.

About the authors behind the article

Ricardo Teixeira is a Director in Porto. Carlos Sousa, based in Porto, is a Solution Architect.