Artificial intelligence, often shortened to “AI”, is arguably one of the most pressing issues in modern society.
Thanks to leaps in technology and computing power, programmers and coders can now create complex applications that can learn, speak, and carry out commands in a way that’s almost indistinguishable from a genuine human being.
A great deal of the focus with AI is on the negatives that come with it. You may well have seen “ChatGPT” in the news, a software capable of answering questions and producing full essays and articles in just a few seconds. In turn, this has led to a furore over students’ use of it for academic writing in schools and universities.
Meanwhile, we’ve also seen AI music – in which machines produce music that’s almost identical to real artists – and so-called “deep fakes”, in which bots are able to accurately emulate the likeness of other people and produce videos of them that were never actually recorded.
That said, despite all the heavily publicised concerns over what AI can do, it’s important to remember that it can be a force for good and offer some significant benefits, too.
Machine-learning applications can think faster and more openly, creating links between concepts that the human brain can’t even see. As a result, these programmes have the capabilities to solve real-world issues.
There are already many examples of machines making a positive difference across the world, both for individuals and businesses. So, here are just 10 practical ways that people are using AI for the power of good right now.
Making a weekly meal plan
While programmes such as ChatGPT can write long-form articles and essays, they can also answer basic questions and solve problems. This has led to many individuals using them to create a weekly meal plan, complete with a shopping list to take to the supermarket.
You can input food preference and dietary requirements, and the AI will be able to factor these into the meals it suggests for you, too.
Planning a workout
Similar to creating a weekly meal plan, AI can also design a workout plan for you. By inputting your workout goals, and preferences such as avoiding muscles where you have a pre-existing injury, the applications can create a personalised gym session.
This could be a helpful feature for beginners making a start, as well as confident gym-goers looking to supercharge their workouts.
Writing computer code
Ironically, having been created by hours of careful coding, AI applications have the ability to write code faster and more fluently than humans can.
• Create apps from scratch, even if you can’t code
• Identify and fix bugs in code you’ve written
• Create games and applications, based on simple prompts.
This is a fun quirk for individuals, and could be transformative for businesses.
Spotting and removing “fake news”
Another somewhat ironic role that AI could play is in identifying and removing “fake news” on the internet.
While AI might be responsible for deep fakes and other false representations, bots may also be able to independently find and remove fake news more efficiently than humans can.
Thanks to its ability to learn from previous data, many people are using AI to improve farming practices.
One remarkable example of AI’s practical use in the real world involved creating an app to identify sick banana crops before they affect the rest of the harvest.
Technology like this could help to shore up food chains and be vital in solving global food security.
Making business decisions
It’s understandably difficult to make big decisions in a business, so many entrepreneurs may start turning to AI to inform their choices.
AI can consider a wider range of variables that could arise from certain results, doesn’t experience decision fatigue, and, unless it’s asked to do so, won’t include emotional factors into its choices.
As a result, many business leaders may turn to AI to help them make decisions in their companies.
Tackling climate change
Widely seen as one of the most significant existential threats facing humanity, it may be unsurprising that some scientists are harnessing the power of certain programmes to help tackle climate change.
AI can help authorities to collect data, and make projections from it. Analysts can also use bots to simulate different outcomes of climate change, such as rising temperatures and changes in sea levels, and then make suggestions as to how to proceed accordingly.
Managing natural disasters
In a similar fashion to tackling climate change, AI can also contribute to managing natural disasters before and after they occur.
The programmes can be used to detect where disasters might take place, giving authorities a chance to prepare for catastrophes.
They can then allocate relief resources more effectively than humans are able to, considering a wider range of factors in the decisions they make.
Automating repetitive tasks
When it comes to saving money for businesses, AI automation may be one of the most powerful tools available.
AI can carry out repetitive tasks faster than humans, more efficiently, and often to a higher standard – all without the need to stop for breaks.
It’s also safer, reducing the risk of human injury in the process.
Creating parts for spaceships
A remarkable recorded use of AI is in designing parts for spacecraft. Rather than an individual sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and creating two or three designs a week, AI can sift through more than 30 designs an hour.
Furthermore, it can conceive of shapes and solutions that humans simply cannot fathom, thanks to machines’ unique ability to solve concepts in innovative ways.