Fighting Spam and Helping in the Home: 4 Ways AI Can Win Public Support in 2024

KEY TAKEAWAYS

AI may be revolutionary, but that doesn’t mean it overcomes the basic laws of economics: if it does not provide benefit, people will not buy it. We look at four positive trends for 2024.

Despite the best efforts of the tech industry’s powerful marketing machine, the public perception of artificial intelligence (AI) is trending downward as more people question its impact on jobs, data security, and public safety in general.

According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, more than half of Americans are more concerned than excited over the increased use of AI, while only 10% feel the opposite.

And it turns out that the more people hear about AI, the more concerned they get. Over the past year, negative views of AI have jumped 16% among those who have heard much about the technology and 19% among those who have heard relatively little.

Fear of the unknown is common in technology circles, of course, and until the public actually starts to engage with AI in meaningful ways, there is no telling what its ultimate impact will be. But since 2024 is shaping up to be the year that AI finally makes its debut to the public at large, the stakes are high for it to make a good impression at the outset.

Here, then, are four ways AI can make friends with humans by actually providing useful service:

AI Can Tackle Spam

It’s been widely reported that AI can make spam more effective by tailoring email come-ons to individual users and even creating lifelike audio and video messages. But it can also identify these cons to the point where they can be blocked before reaching their targets.

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Doctored images and sounds leave behind telltale patterns in their data streams that are imperceptible to the human eye but can be easily spotted by AI. Text is a bit trickier, but the many ways that modern spam outwits current filters, such as misspellings or added punctuation, will not work with an intelligent program. AI can also spot legitimate marketing pitches that users have expressed interest in – and if it’s ever unsure about passing on a certain message, it can just ask.

AI and Real-Time Navigation

Most nav applications do a fairly good job of getting people where they want to go. Still, AI can kick this to another level with things like real-time updates on traffic patterns, road conditions, and nearby amenities – all without having to tap through multiple menus.

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Providers like Google are also using AI to augment their immersive 3D maps to replace graphical representations with actual views of what the next intersection or building looks like.

Drivers will also appreciate more accurate and earlier warnings about lane changes and exit information so as to avoid those last-second surprises. Owners of electric vehicles will also know exactly when they need to head for a charger and where the closest ones are.

Help at Home

New generations of AI-empowered robots are also helping the aged and infirm with basic tasks, as well as educating and entertaining children, assisting in household chores and taking on a host of other burdens. And with voice recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and visual perception, these bots can simply be told what to do and even comprehend hand gestures — no programming skills required.

Perhaps most importantly, though, these bots are being outfitted with numerous emotive algorithms that enable them to laugh, cry, express excitement, and otherwise behave in a human-like manner. This should overcome any hesitancy, especially among children, over a new mechanical member of the family.

Gaming

If anyone is likely to warm up to an AI invasion, it’s gamers. In an industry where cutting-edge is already old news, by the time the game comes out, AI stands to foster a virtual revolution in the way games are designed and played.

Non-player characters (NPCs), for one, stand to inherit dramatic new conversational capabilities compared to today’s menu-driven models. In fact, many will seem like they are controlled by another player, providing guidance and participation in missions and other content. And for those who prefer older games but with an updated look, AI can do wonders for image enhancement and overall upscaling.

The Bottom Line

AI may be a revolutionary technology, but that doesn’t mean it overcomes the basic laws of economics: if it does not provide some meaningful benefit, people will not buy it.

So far, AI has worked quietly behind the scenes. If it is to have any chance of remaking the world for the better, it must step to the forefront in ways that make it indispensable.

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Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole is a freelance technology journalist who has been covering IT and enterprise developments for more than 20 years. He contributes to a wide variety of leading technology web sites, including IT Business Edge, Enterprise Networking Planet, Point B and Beyond and multiple vendor services.