Artificial Intelligence 2022: myths and realities

Carlos Martínez Miguel    11 January, 2022

We are only in the early stages of AI development, but its impact is already huge

When making predictions in the technological field, it is always advisable to start by clarifying some basic concepts. Doing so prevents misinterpretation from leading to exorbitant expectations that will undoubtedly be followed by profound disappointment.

In the case of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is key to distinguish between its three fundamental types according to their capability:

  • Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI or Applied AI): this focuses on solving specific problems.  For example, predicting when a machine is going to stop working in order to anticipate its failure and avoid it.

  • Artificial General Intelligence (AGI): this is the one that is comparable to human intelligence in all aspects.  It would be an artificial intelligence that would have the same capabilities as a human being.

  • Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI): an artificial intelligence that is superior to human intelligence in all aspects.

Today we are in the era of Applied AI, which has made great progress in recent years thanks especially to deep learning. However, AGI is still at an early stage of development and expert predictions suggest that it will not become a reality until at least 2040 or even decades later, the biggest obstacle to its development being the lack of knowledge we still have about the human brain. Finally, ASI can still be considered “science fiction”. Therefore, to the disappointment of dystopia-loving readers, the possible arrival of super-intelligent robots with the ability to control and subjugate the human race is still a long way off.

AI will play a major role in the transformation of all economic sectors by 2022

Fortunately, the age of Applied AI has many more benefits than drawbacks and is enabling a very positive transformation of activity in major economic sectors.

  • For example, the tourism sector, perhaps the sector most affected by the pandemic, is taking advantage of AI to reinvent itself. This reinvention is based on a deeper understanding of the needs and interests of visitors, thus being able to personalise the services on offer in order to attract them and build loyalty. The use of multiple data sources (mobility, card payments, navigation, etc.) allows for the development of advanced analytical models that can predict demand and adapt service capacity dynamically and efficiently.
  • In the mobility sector, by 2022, we will see a consolidation of the use of AI models, powered by data from connected vehicles and other sources, to optimise routes, maximise road safety and minimise environmental impact. Smart logistics will continue to accelerate, spurred by the unstoppable growth of e-commerce, including trials of autonomous delivery vehicles and the consolidation of end-to-end asset traceability, thanks to IoT technologies.
  • In retail, the need to develop a customer experience that seamlessly connects the physical and online worlds will continue to drive the adoption of AI. Models will be developed to maximise the conversion of customer interactions into sales, combining multiple data sources from both worlds.
  • Finally, the industrial sector will undoubtedly be one of the most advanced in its transformation. The massive sensorisation of factories and their connection in minimum latency environments thanks to 5G private networks will be key in the deployment of AI use cases. Predictive maintenance, quality optimisation, minimisation of waste and residues, movement of materials with automated guided vehicles (AGVs), etc. are just a few examples. 

In Europe, and in Spain in particular, recovery funds will accelerate mass adoption of AI

In Europe, and especially in Spain, this transformation will be accelerated with the arrival of funds from the “Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan” approved by the EU. A significant part of these funds is aimed precisely at boosting the adoption of AI in all areas of economic activity.

These funds will contribute to the financing of projects for the adoption of Big Data and AI infrastructures, the development of use cases, the implementation of data governance models, training and capacity building in this field, etc.

In addition, these funds will enable SMEs to start using these technologies, thanks to the Digital Kit programme, which includes modules oriented towards intelligence and analytics.

2022 will undoubtedly be an exciting year in which we will continue to build realities and debunk myths around AI.

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