It is too early in AI’s evolution to understand its true potential or how quickly it will have a fundamental impact on our lives, but there is doubt that over the next few years, business, home and schooling will be completely different with AI on the scene.
At its core, AI is a type software or hardware that learns – and it could become programmed to learn mostly about us, its users. The technology is being applied to learn our habits, our likes and our relationship patterns. Just as Netflix uses an algorithm to suggest films you might watch, a similar “Lifestyle AI” could help choose your wardrobe, your next meal, your job, and romantic partner.
So, how might AI change our day-to-day existence?
Here are nine ways our lives could be different in future as a result of AI:
- Managing our Mental Health.
From workplace stress to full breakdowns and a range of other conditions – people are struggling to cope with the pressures of modern life.
To help address this, AI tools on our phones and computers could monitor everything from our speech patterns and keyboard strokes to an array of medical indicators captured through body worn devices and implanted sensors.
From early detection of possible issues to providing background guidance during stressful calls and conversations – AI could help manage our mental health.
More advanced systems might go so far as to shut down all functionality of our phone and not re-activate it until we have done some meditation or taken a walk.
- Anticipating your ‘Party Sick’ Fridays.
AI could monitor employees’ social media activities to determine if they may be partying a little too hard tonight and thus likely to call in “sick” tomorrow. Knowing in advance would allow for cover to be arranged. Indeed, employers might even offer staff “party days” – where they can accrue extra hours which can then be used to sleep it off the morning after a big night without it affecting their pay or employment records.
- Making Good Decisions.
Our AI could become a sort of conscience, reminding us of right and wrong at every turn. This could work on both the individual level (“should I lie on this job application?”), and at an organizational scale (“should we rip off this customer?”). Not only might AI be deployed as a form of monitoring or ‘truth detecting’ technology that sets off alarms at the source of any mistruth, but data could also become so ubiquitous and verifiable that it won’t pay to lie.
- Wardrobe Management.
Knowing your wardrobe, usage patterns, accessorising approach, job dress code, and changing fashion interests, your AI could call ahead to the store to have a range of suitable items waiting for you with a human or robotic personal shopper to assist you.
- Mandatory Personal Growth.
The ability of AI to help us understand ourselves and learn could lead to lives filled with learning. The “unexamined life” could become obsolete—it may one day be legally impossible to avoid the constant “big brother” data gathering and feedback about one’s daily progress against officially defined or personally set physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development goals. The absence of such goals or tracking information might indicate antisocial tendencies.
- Legal Dispute Resolution.
Many current cases could be directed away from the courts to be resolved by AI judges. For example, in divorce cases, employment tribunals, industrial injury and many customer-supplier disputes, judges today are largely applying standard formulae to determine settlements.
With AI, a much larger volume of precedents could be considered in a fraction of a second to find the cases that best resemble the current one. Hence greater consistency could be achieved across the country in the resolution of similar disputes.
- The “More Time” Illusion.
With all the assistance that AI could provide at work and home, humans might suddenly find themselves with an abundance of leisure time. However, it seems more likely that new expectations could become set and that new activities would emerge.
There may need to be a trade-off: mobile phones made us all available on the go so we could be more productive and ‘always on’, but it also invaded our private and recreational time. Hopefully, the new possible activities would be driven by passion, curiosity and inspiration rather than productivity.
- Community Building.
Communities may be better organised since AI could monitor and analyse the ‘health’ of the community – covering everything from environmental indicators through to levels of crime, engagement in public spaces and discussions on web boards and social media.
For example, AI mapping might help planners identify and predict faster that an area with a rapidly growing population will soon lack sufficient access to schools, health facilities, libraries, and even a fresh food markets.
Community managers might send mobile classrooms, GPs, libraries, and fresh food trucks to those areas, or help reorganise the community to self-provision some of the missing essentials.
- Education Revolution.
Artificial intelligence could replace the technical information delivery role currently undertaken by teachers. Each student could be specifically monitored by AI on a range of subjects designed to prepare the student for the future world of work.
No longer will all students work to the same or similar curriculum through all 11 years of primary and secondary education. Instead they would have a carefully planned and constantly monitored, evolving and personalised programme. This would be designed to stretch and develop each student with the skills he/she needs for the expected types of jobs or further education landscape they might encounter at 16 years of age. Students will still need someone in the classroom, but maybe the human “teacher” is responsible for helping advise on research strategies and problem-solving approaches, encouraging group working and collaboration, nurturing individuals, providing emotional support, and helping the students develop the social skills required to enable each to play a full role in the emerging world – served by the machines – thus ensuring every individual a very human future.
Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, keynote speaker, author, and CEO of Fast Future where he helps clients develop and deliver transformative visions of the future. He is the editor and contributing author for The Future of Business, editor of Technology vs. Humanity, and co-editor of a forthcoming book on Unleashing Human Potential–The Future of AI in Business.