Artificial Intelligence


Just before you start to complain about the AI craze, read this article. Important advancements are happening. 2017 will the year of AI.

Yiğit Kulabaş, PhD*

If you had a glance at 2017 trends, you sure realized that AI is always on the top of the list. Just before starting to complain about this AI craze, read the important advancements regarding to this topic. 2017 will be the year of AI.

If we ask people we see on the streets about their opinion on AI, they will probably draw you a mechanic, repellent and even horrifying picture. Considering that most of the movies focusing on AI illustrates a dark and dystopic future, people’s opinion on AI shouldn’t be unexpected. Most of the time the cast of these movies are robots. And whatever these robots with high IQ and low EQ levels, they just can’t gain our sympathies. We just can’t consubstantiate ourselves with them.

In reality, AI is not about robots at all. It is all about humans. AI will enrich both our daily and business lives. It will change our habits. On the top of that we won’t even realize the AI influence on our lives. Especially technology giants like IBM, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft have been investing in AI technology for a while now. And now it is time to spark the AI fire!

Let’s have a look at AI revolution in 7 titles.

1) #AI-First: “AI-First” is the new slogan of technology world. Initially it was “digital first” with the Internet, then “mobile first” came into our lives. Smart phones have changed everything and we managed to carry the Internet in our pockets. Solutions and applications have changed. And now it is AI’s turn. The AI-first slogan gives us the message to benefit from the AI technology whatever we do.

2) #NaturalLanguageProcessing: Probably the biggest advancement with AI technology is in natural language processing (NLP) areas. With the help of AI, now technology understands what we say, what we write, even what we feel. This important advancement triggers another transformation that could be a revolution: our relationship with technology will completely change. Forget about all the interfaces we used till today. The new interface will be our native language. All the literate people, everyone that can talk will be able to use technology efficiently.

3) #MachineLearning: When it is a monologue, speech recognition is enough. Yet, when we start to talk about dialogues, machine learning steps in to the stage. Since real-time understanding, interpreting, decision-making, advice-giving and acting is essential in order to have a dialogue, NLP is not enough. Machine Learning systems are able to transform themselves according to different people, get smarter by time and be personalized based on the other side’s characteristics.  

4) #ChatBot: Chatbot gained even more importance after Facebook focused particularly on this topic last year. We can describe Chatbots as AI technology finding a voice. If we want to go deeper and have look at its past, an article by Alan Turing and Turing Test are not possible to miss. What Alan Turing imagined is real now. What was it about? A virtual program supported by computers that is able to communicate exactly like a real person and the person it is talking to won’t be able to understand that it is a machine talking. Today chatbot solutions are widely used in customer relations and information confirmation. Most of the customers don’t even realize that they talking to a chatbot. It is expected that chatbots will soon change the application world.

5) #HomeAssitants: We started to communicate with machines first with navigation systems. Right after that we met voice operated elevators and other smart devices. Yet, it became this popular after Amazon launched Echo. Since Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa running on Echo has so many astonishing abilities, it has become so popular so fast. Today you are able to give commands just by saying “Hi, Alexa” and then talking to it. Google Home shares the same logic with Amazon’s Alexa. Arcelik’s new smart home assistant solution with has astonishing Turkish language abilities.

6) #VisualPerception: Another area that AI influences is visual perception. Until Amazon launched its rekognition service in re:invent event, technology was not able to identify a tree as tree, a flower as  flower or a book as  book. Rekognition is an important step for technology world. I highly recommend you to have a try.

7) #AmazonGo: Another recent announcement by Amazon was about its new kind of store that will open its door in Spring 2017 in Seattle. The company released a ground-breaking video. You scan your smart phone while entering the no check-out required store. Then you pick the items you want and just put it in your bag. Once you are done with your shopping, you leave the store. No queues, no check-outs. And it is all powered by AI.


 *Yiğit Kulabaş is a businessman, academician and author. He is the CEO and founding partner of RE/Design Business. This article of him is translated from Capital. It was published in January 2017.

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