Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to be a “defining future technology”, but what exactly is AI and how does it already affect our lives?.
the ability of a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning,
learning, planning and creativity.
enables technical systems to perceive their environment, deal with what they
perceive, solve problems and act to achieve a specific goal. The computer
receives data – already prepared or gathered through its own sensors such as a
camera – processes it and responds.
systems are capable of adapting their behavior to a certain degree by analyzing
the effects of previous actions and working autonomously.
technologies have been around for more than 50 years, but advances in computing
power, the availability of enormous quantities of data and new algorithms have
led to major AI breakthroughs in recent years.
intelligence is seen as central to the digital transformation of society and it
has become an EU priority.
applications are expected to bring about enormous changes, but AI is already
present in our everyday lives.
Software: virtual assistants, image
analysis software, search engines, speech and face recognition systems
“Embodied” AI: robots, autonomous cars,
drones, Internet of Things
are some AI applications that you may not realize are AI-powered:
shopping and advertising
intelligence is widely used to provide personalized recommendations to people,
based for example on their previous searches and purchases or other online behavior.
AI is hugely important in commerce: optimizing products, planning inventory,
engines learn from the vast input of data, provided by their users to provide
relevant search results.
use AI to provide services that are as relevant and personalized as possible.
Virtual assistants answering questions, providing recommendations and helping organize
daily routines have become ubiquitous.
translation software, either based on written or spoken text, relies on
artificial intelligence to provide and improve translations. This also applies
to functions such as automated subtitling.
homes, cities and infrastructure
thermostats learn from our behavior to save energy, while developers of smart
cities hope to regulate traffic to improve connectivity and reduce traffic
self-driving vehicles are not yet standard, cars already use AI-powered safety
functions. The EU has for example helped to fund VI-DAS, automated sensors that
detect possible dangerous situations and accidents.
is largely AI-powered.
systems can help recognize and fight cyberattacks and other cyber threats based
on the continuous input of data, recognizing patterns and backtracking the
intelligence against Covid-19
case of Covid-19, AI has been used in thermal imaging in airports and
elsewhere. In medicine it can help recognize infection from computerized
tomography lung scans. It has also been used to provide data to track the
spread of the disease.
AI applications can detect fake news and disinformation by mining social media
information, looking for words that are sensational or alarming and identifying
which online sources are deemed authoritative.
examples of artificial intelligence use
set to transform practically all aspects of life and the economy. Here are just
a few examples:
are studying how to use AI to analyze large quantities of health data and
discover patterns that could lead to new discoveries in medicine and ways to
improve individual diagnostics.
example, researchers developed an AI program for answering emergency calls that
promises to recognize a cardiac arrest during the call faster and more
frequently than medical dispatchers. In another example, EU co-funded KConnect
is developing multi-lingual text and search services that help people find the
most relevant medical information available.
improve the safety, speed and efficiency of rail traffic by minimizing wheel
friction, maximizing speed and enabling autonomous driving.
help European manufacturers become more efficient and bring factories back to
Europe by using robots in manufacturing, optimizing sales paths, or by on-time
predicting of maintenance and breakdowns in smart factories.
an EU co-funded research project, uses collaborative and augmented-reality
systems to increase work satisfaction in smart factories.
be used in creating a sustainable EU
food system: it can ensure healthier food by minimizing the use of fertilizers,
pesticides and irrigation; help productivity and reduce the environmental
impact. Robots could remove weeds, lowering the use of herbicides, for example.
farms across the EU already use AI to monitor the movement, temperature and
feed consumption of their animals.
administration and services
wide range of data and pattern recognition, AI could provide early warnings of
natural disasters and allow for efficient preparation and mitigation of