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Artificial intelligence: building a smarter future?

AI has already changed our reality and, it will undoubtedly continue to do so in the coming future. Will this be a positive change? Will it harm more than it will help? To find out and help prevent any possible negative effects it might have, accompany us in our analysis of AI’s potential and our role in shaping the future.

Image by © Yiran Ding via Unsplash

 min read
Artificial intelligence: building a smarter future?

AI has proven to be the most important breakthrough in the last hundred years. It was first mentioned in the mid-50s and has evolved at a rapid pace ever since. We are experiencing the implementation era of AI, in which it is offering real uses to every industry and profession. In other words, AI is reshaping our world as individuals and as workers but, where is it going towards?

We have discovered a tool that succeeded at turning computers into “intelligent” machines, but it is only through computer-based training and advanced algorithms…designed by humans. To go deeper into the question of if we are going towards a smarter future, we will need to have a closer look.

Current state of AI

When we talk about AI, we refer to it in general terms, but it dives into four categories depending on the extent of its functions. Narrow AI can accomplish specific tasks intelligently but still with restrictions. General AI comprises machines that can mimic human intelligence. Generative AI creates new content based on the content it has been trained with. The last one is super AI, which we are still working on, as it will have cognitive capacities superior to those of humans. Generative AI is the type that has spearheaded AI’s revolution but all of them have helped in the change of paradigm.

In recent years, AI has improved in many areas, like understanding context and natural language, as well as in image recognition. Decision-making has also been improved, with increased room to nuance scenarios to help make a choice. Another big appeal of AI in which it has advanced is personalisation, which is the direction many industries are leaning towards to differentiate their products and services. Its advances are numerous and relevant to several sectors that are suffering a renaissance period.


The boost of artificial intelligence

We do not need to wait until the future to see AI's positive impact on businesses; we can only expect it to go further in these fields and probably many others.

It is no surprise to find automated industries but, in the near future, this automation will go even further, with carefully developed chatbots, digital assistants and sensors that will monitor operations. This automation provides AI with a high volume of data to analyse and from which to extract potentially valuable information that can aid in accelerating the decision-making process.

Manufacturing is and will continue to be revolutionised by the introduction of robots, automated assembly lines and sensors in factories. AI takes care of tedious tasks, leaving humans free to carry out creative jobs or ones in which their skills are put to better use.

Healthcare will widen the implementation of big data analysis to detect diseases and manage all the related paperwork. Through virtual assistants, AI will help provide everyone with a service that is currently limited to the number of available doctors. The area of prevention will receive much more attention than before due to the extraordinary means that AI will grant.

Education will also benefit from AI thanks to the advances of NPL and personalisation. Lessons will be tailored to students' needs, helping individuals reach their maximum potential, learn at their own pace and according to their particular needs. It will also be a great tool for researchers, to collect information and avoid plagiarism.

Finance, based on numbers and patterns as it is, will accelerate its progress thanks to AI by studying the conduct, detecting fraud signs, gauging the risk of operations or loans… The possibilities are endless, and that only strengthens the belief that traditional trading and investing practices will be irreversibly disrupted.

Customer service and advertisement will also see a change in the rules of the game, with access to historical data and, most importantly, smart sentiment analysis, which will help them understand the consumer better. The more they know and the more personalised the experience is, the more compelled the client will be to answer to the campaign.

These are just some of the major areas in which we are already witnessing changes, however, many others will also impact our lives, like transportation, the media, the military, or cybersecurity.


The B-side

No matter how many advantages or how bright the future might look thanks to artificial intelligence, we cannot lose sight of the associated consequences and risks in order to be prepared and adapt.

The rise of AI has come with the rise of concern towards job losses. It is impossible to deny that the market will drastically change, however, that does not mean that the job market will reduce its size. Not all sectors will suffer the same consequences, but we can predict that manual jobs will be mostly automated while tech profiles will experience an increase in demand.

Throughout history there have been several waves of creative destruction of employment, meaning that some jobs have disappeared leading to the creation of new ones. It seems that we are at a turning point in which AI will replace jobs, but it will also demand the creation of new ones.

One of the main concerns with AI is data privacy. These great advances should not blind us to the large amount of sensitive and non-sensitive data that AI uses and how that can influence us. Data breaches or even the mere processing of some data can expose the consumers' information almost irrevocably so we should make sensible decisions concerning data persistence, repurposing, and breaches.

As we mentioned before, AI is trained and programmed by humans, a condition that links it to human biases. Machines are not prepared to have prejudice or establish their criteria, but the way humans influence their design, and the tailoring of those criteria leads to situations like favouring light skin in facial recognition technologies.

The wide range of possibilities that AI offers is not always ethical. Machines do not act following any moral code, so we can find ourselves with a problem of misinformation, with a blur between beneficial or damaging uses. It can also be intentionally applied with malicious intentions, for example in the case of deepfake. Due to these risks, regulations around AI are increasing to ensure users' safety with laws and regulations that establish an ethical user-safe framework for it to be implemented.

Ai is promoted as environmentally friendly given that its efficient data analysis grants the best combination of resources and the most efficient processes. Even if this is true, it consumes plenty of resources, especially energy, when doing calculations. The environmental cost happens before (building and training the models) and during its use, which means that the positive impact is not as big as it is initially promised.

As we see, several relevant considerations regarding AI tarnish its brightness.


So, will our future be smarter?

To answer that question, it is necessary to find out the approach to AI that society and businesses will choose. This will determine what our future will look like. Technology impacts our world and our reality, but it depends on us to lead the change in the direction we want.

Productivity and efficiency will increase all over thanks to data analysis and automation, something that will allow humans to focus on more creative tasks, research, and development, which will accelerate our society’s development. Life will speed up and making decisions will be easier and faster.

For a safe, smart future, we will need to enforce laws that protect our privacy and that ensure the ethical use of AI. It is also important to enhance security around the used data and limit its use in a detailed way. It is equally critical to regulate the sources that AI can feed and learn from for its use so as not to be detrimental to human workers as it could be the case with image generation AIs that copy art styles from humans.

As long as we remember that our relationship with AI is a collaborative one, and we behave accordingly, our progress should be heading in a good direction. Technology is a tool without a will, even though we call it “intelligent” it is still programmed by humans, and its focus should be human well-being. The aim is to use AI as a tool to perfectly marry technology with social responsibility. Our society will transform around it, as it demands an adaptable workforce that evolves with it, but that is undoubtedly still part of the process.

We mentioned that anticipation is key, and knowing the changes to come will help us adapt even before they happen. For example, regarding employment, it is time to train the workforce and create learning and development departments that take care of the lifelong training that will surely be needed after AI integration. Policymakers and organisations can pave the way for a dynamic creation and rotation of the job market towards future needs.

We have enough means to implement change in a fair and egalitarian way, which means that the AI revolution towards a smarter future should not leave anyone behind. Public investment and engagement will be crucial for a smarter future for all, in which AI helps us without threatening our autonomy nor making us dependent on it.


After evaluating the current landscape and the possible changes to come, we are probably headed towards a smarter future, as long as we keep our goal in mind. The use and implementation of AI should be aligned with human values and goals and should be for everyone, without leaving anyone behind.

No one knows for sure what the future brings, but thanks to AI and previous experience, we can prepare for whatever it has in store for us. If you want to be part of the change, do not hesitate to visit our jobs page, and find a fitting job that helps be a part of this promised smarter future.