From smartphones to chatbots, artificial intelligence is already ubiquitous in our digital lives. USC researchers weigh in on what AI’s future holds in store.
Move over, Netflix. In the future, you could sit on the couch and order up a custom movie featuring virtual actors of your choice. Meanwhile, film studios may have a future without flops: Sophisticated predictive programs will analyze a film script’s storyline and forecast its box office potential.
Why have medicine that’s good for the average person, when it could be tailored to your exact genome? AI algorithms will enable doctors and hospitals to better analyze data and customize their health care to the genes, environment and lifestyle of each patient. From diagnosing brain tumors to deciding which cancer treatment will work best for an individual, AI will drive the personalized medicine revolution.
There were about 707 million cybersecurity breaches in 2015, and 554 million in the first half of 2016 alone. Companies are struggling to stay one step ahead of hackers. USC experts say the self-learning and automation capabilities enabled by AI can protect data more systematically and affordably, keeping people safer from terrorism or even smaller-scale identity theft. AI-based tools look for patterns associated with malicious computer viruses and programs before they can steal massive amounts of information or cause havoc.
AI assistants will help older people stay independent and live in their own homes longer. AI tools will keep nutritious food available, safely reach objects on high shelves, and monitor movement in a senior’s home. The tools could mow lawns, keep windows washed and even help with bathing and hygiene. Many other jobs that are repetitive and physical are perfect for AI-based tools. But the AI-assisted work may be even more critical in dangerous fields like mining, firefighting, clearing mines and handling radioactive materials.
The place where AI may have the biggest impact in the near future is self-driving cars. Unlike humans, AI drivers never look down at the radio, put on mascara or argue with their kids in the backseat. Thanks to Google, autonomous cars are already here, but watch for them to be ubiquitous by 2030. Driverless trains already rule the rails in European cities, and Boeing is building an autonomous jetliner (pilots are still required to put info into the system).