Small Wonder was one of my favorite TV shows growing up. I was probably around 10 years old when I started watching it and to be honest it really got my imagination running wild. This was my first exposure to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, and it was fascinating! The show was about a robot doll named Vici. Vici looked like a 10-year-old girl yet spoke like a robot and learned really fast from her surroundings. She was able to collate information, process it, use it in different contexts, anticipate and even act proactively, (a combo of machine learning, robotics and natural language processing!). Of course, the show is fictitious but the thinking was well ahead of its time!
Having just wrapped up a course from MIT on Artificial Intelligence, we are still far from this being reality but AI is embedded in everyday life, and not only we can but we must take advantage of it!
As a digitally savvy consumer, I heavily rely on technology around me for everyday activities (staying informed and organized, staying connected with my global circle, ordering trivial things like gum or more useful things like dog treats, turning the lights on/off, tracking health, finances, to dos — you name it, we do it digitally if we can!).
Having a background in technology makes me really appreciate the advances in computing over the last decade or so that allows for such powerful data processing to take place in a fraction of seconds. Here are a few things you may not have thought about:
- Do you use recommendations on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon prime, or any video streaming service?
- Do you stream music from Pandora or Spotify or Apple Music, or any music streaming service?
- Do you use Amazon Echo or Google Home to listen to the news, music, weather or setup appointments?
- Do you browse for homes on Zillow or Redfin?
- Do you add new friends on LinkedIn or Facebook based on their recommendations?
Guess what, you’ve been a user of Artificial Intelligence! It’s the backbone for your experience — besides of course the behind the scenes work by thousands of people to make your interaction frictionless.
At the risk of throwing buzzwords, there is crazy processing power, data science, analytics, product management, program management, user research, design thinking, end to end testing and what not…all lending into a great product experience! I cannot express enough how complex the product management process can be… more on it future articles.
My biggest takeaway from the course is that the field is destined to grow by leaps and bounds, and we are the forefront of another revolution. Our generation saw the revolution of the knowledge economy and the rise of the knowledge worker.
Now, the future and the next generation of jobs belong to those who can find ways to creatively automate further and learn to augment their skillset with an acute understanding how to implement AI in their job function to drive up productivity and achieve way more!
Crosspost from my LinkedIn article:
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