The term artificial intelligence typically evokes thoughts of science fiction movies and the far-off future, and it's true that we haven't yet created self-aware AI in its purest sense. There's no murderous HAL 9000 or army of Terminators trying to wipe us out — this dystopian side of AI remains in the fictional realm, and hopefully always will. However, a smaller degree of artificial intelligence exists today, and it's developing quickly to influence our daily lives.
There's a technological arms race raging between industry giants like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, and the goal is to develop software that learns, adapts, predicts, and does so autonomously. This cutting-edge tech is being incorporated into our smartphones, vehicles, city infrastructure, and even our homes.
The following infographic from Interquest Group shows how AI has been used in the past, is currently applied in the present, and will likely be implemented in the near future. Click here for a full-size version of this infographic.
While these advancements clearly have the potential to make our lives easier and more productive, it's also wise to be aware of the potential downsides. As we've said in the past, it's reasonable to embrace beneficial technology, but we must always be prepared to live without it. If you someday become over-reliant on your intelligent GPS, self-driving car, or AI personal assistant, you'll be in trouble if all that technology suddenly grinds to a halt.