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October 15, 2019 | By

AI IRL Podcast Episode 38: 3 Ways A.I. Is Making the World More Personal with Neil Sahota


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“There are more important things than money.”

We hear this all the time, and yet it feels as though when it comes to the conversation around A.I. most of it is focused on how it will help the bottom line.

More A.I. means more money!

And I think that’s absolutely true, or else I wouldn’t be spending so much energy to tell business leaders about how A.I. is changing the landscape of how businesses operate.

But, it’s also worth asking if there are other contributions A.I. will make to the world and society, and it’s these questions that have become the life passion of my guest for this episode.

On this week’s episode of AI:IRL, I’m thrilled to have Neil Sahota join me to talk about how A.I. is contributing to society and the common good in profound ways. Neil is an IBM Master inventor, a United Nations A.I. subject matter expert, a professor at UC Irvine, and a globally recognized speaker and author. He most recently authored the book “Own the A.I. Revolution: Unlock Your Artificial Intelligence Strategy to Disrupt Your Competition”.

Neil and I had a fantastic conversation about three ways that A.I. is actually making the world more personal.

1. A.I. Is Becoming Your Best Friend and Personal Shopper

Machine learning will change the game when it comes to how we shop, for instance. Neil talked about how right now the current system doesn’t help you figure out what you need.

If you are, for example, looking to buy a new bicycle. As great as Amazon is, the best it can do right now is just offer a ton of bicycles. It’s up to you to go digging for info on which bike would be best for your needs.

However, in the not-so-distant future, A.I. will allow you to basically have an automated personal shopper at your disposal at all times.

You will say, “I want to buy a bicycle.” And then you’ll actually have a conversation where your new automated best friend will ask you specific questions about how often you expect to ride, how far you need to ride, what kind of look or style would you like, etc.

And then it will give you suggestions based on your answers.

This will completely change how online shopping is done.

“People are realizing that we can make experience a huge differentiator, and that’s triggering a lot of business-process change to really turn some of these businesses or industries as a whole into a true customer-centric focus.”

2. A.I. Is Learning How to Motivate You

Another huge benefit of A.I. is how it creates user-customized experiences. It will tailor its approach to you as an individual, without you having to do anything. This will be huge when it comes to the potential for A.I. to help motivate people to pursue social goods.

For instance, if you wanted to conserve on energy consumption, A.I. will stress certain factors to you in order to motivate you.

So, if you’re motivated by money, it can tell you how much money you’re saving by lowering your energy consumption.

Or, if you’re motivated by creating a positive good in the world, it will let you know what kind of impact you’re having on the environment.

A.I. has the potential to produce individually customized user-experiences at scale.

Imagine what kind of world-change could be possible if automated systems could learn how to motivate every individual towards positive social goods!

3. A.I. Is Freeing You to Spend More Time Investing in Relationships

One of the criticisms you constantly hear about the new innovations in technology is that the more things become automated the less personal interaction we have.

Some have even taken to calling this the “Age of the Machine.”

However, Neil disagrees, he thinks because of the innovations currently going on in A.I. that we could be living in “the century of the human”.

“A lot of people say this is the century of the machine with all these new tools we’re creating, but I honestly believe this could be the century of the human being.”

Why does he think this?

Because A.I. is automating so much that it is freeing our time to engage more with what it means to be a human being. We have more time for relationships, more time for creative hobbies, more time even for riding a bike! All because A.I. is automatically doing the tasks that used to take up so much of our time and energy before.

This discussion with Neil Sahota was taken from our show AI: In Real Life. If you want to hear more AI episodes like this one, check us out on Apple Podcasts here.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can also find every episode here.


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