Artificial Intelligence

Why Everyone Should Get Excited About AI

I’ve never been one for anything Sci-Fi.

Star Trek reruns on TV? I’ll change the channel. Fantasy novel set a few hundred years in the future? Meh. Tinkering with home-built robots? No thanks. 

But there is one thing Sci-Fi that gets me really, really excited – Artificial Intelligence. 

And here’s why it should excite you too:

#1 – AI isn’t Science Fiction anymore – it’s real.

Netflix recommends action-packed TV series’ to chase away my treadmill boredom. Our Nest thermostat auto adjusts my house’s temperature while we are away at an all-day soccer tournament. My sons order Alexa to play that stupid Baby Shark song incessantly.

All enabled, for better or worse, by Artificial Intelligence. And we are just getting started with AI’s potential.

As a mother of two tweens, I am particularly watching the rise of self-driving cars.

But there are many other interesting AI applications on the near horizon too – including diagnosing medical conditions, predictive maintenance in manufacturing, and marketing automation.  

#2 – Because we’re just getting started with AI, that means demand for AI skills will continue to grow.

Last year, Glassdoor named Data Scientist as the best job in America given its high average pay and plethora of job openings. 

Other AI related careers are also in high demand such as Machine Learning Engineers, Cloud Architects, and Robotics Specialists. 

But the opportunities are not limited to those with technology skills. As AI integrates into our daily lives, the demand for AI specialists in peripheral careers will also grow. 

This includes Ethicists, Attorneys, and Behavioral Scientists.

#3 – With AI growth, comes business opportunity.

There was exactly one tech IPO in 2017, and it was by an AI-powered company. And, by the way, it’s founder and CEO is female

Stitchfix is a perfect example of a new business opportunity created by applying AI to an old-school way of business.

Buying clothes? People have been going to stores and doing that for hundreds of years. But having a trained machine learning model predict the customer’s preferences and then direct ship clothes to their home? Now, that is really, really exciting. 

AI brings new opportunities for all. And because it’s a whole new way of doing things, women and other underrepresented groups in business have the rare opportunity to create and innovate without the baggage of “how it’s always been done.” 

#4 – But, at the end of the day, AI will only be successful if everyone contributes.

We have already seen some major AI misfires where design was done without diversity.

Two glaring examples include facial recognition failing to correctly identify darker faces and biased algorithms to predict recidivism rates

Keeping bias out of our AI algorithms and applications needs to be a top priority now, before AI’s soon-to-be ubiquity makes it impossible to correct. 

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