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5 AI innovations that will change our lives in 2021

Machines capable of interpreting human feelings, self-driving cars, and the future of education. How will AI influence our lives in 2021?

The challenges imposed by 2020 and the global pandemic seem to have boosted the advances of artificial intelligence. We tell you how they influence different industries and what impact they will have on our daily lives.

Robots that can interpret your emotions

Imagine a machine that can understand your emotions to help you perform a task. Sounds like a science fiction movie? One of the most impressive advances in AI is the ability to understand human language. This technology, known as “natural language processing” (or NLP), enables machines to make decisions based on the interpretation of how we speak, our feelings, and our intentions.

NLP reached a high point in 2020. For example, AI chatbots are learning to recognize a frustrated shopper. The benefits? Much brighter virtual assistants, more understanding chatbots on online shopping sites, and greater accuracy in tools like Google translator. From digital, incalculable value can be brought to different processes in a company.

A powerful tool against Covid-19

A vaccine usually takes years to develop. In contrast, vaccines against COVID-19 were already being tested in humans in March 2020. This record breakthrough is essentially thanks to AI used to analyze large amounts of data on the disease. These may revolutionize the way vaccines will be created in the future.

However, that’s not all: the increase in medical and scientific literature has been enormous in recent times. Therefore, a search engine powered by NLP algorithms has been implemented to investigate this data.

The role of AI in technological advances is likely a key reason why the COVID-19 pandemic has not claimed even more victims globally.

The next generation of computers

Quantum computing is a technology that outperforms the classical binary computing model because it can generate novel algorithms. For example, it makes it possible to run a machine learning model through a more extensive data set, and therefore more accurate and helpful in real-world environments.

Combined with machine learning, quantum computing could lead to breakthroughs in data science and NLP, help machines diagnose diseases, and create algorithms that can quickly direct resources such as ambulances, to name a few examples. This could be a game-changer for AI, and it’s already in the works!

 Driverless cabs

Autonomous driving technology matured during 2020, and leading companies in the automotive industry are testing driverless cars. In addition, limited robotaxi services (albeit always with a human safety driver) were already opened to the public in some cities in Asia and specific areas of the United States, such as Pittsburgh.

Fully automated driving that allows rides without a human driver on board continues to advance. Last December, Zoox, an Amazon-owned company dedicated to building these vehicles, finally unveiled its robotaxi after six years of prototypes and secrecy.

In this context, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is betting big: he had promised on Twitter a fleet of one million robotaxis by the end of 2020. Musk intended to compete with services like Uber and Lyft. However, although they seem to be ready, they face some regulatory hurdles, among other obstacles, to hit the streets. Will 2021 be the final year?

The future of education

Making education increasingly effective and equitable for the most significant number of children in the world is possible. How? Thanks to AI advances in adaptive learning, which generates a more innovative, personalized experience for learners using algorithms that address specific needs.

“It would have taken at least five more years to arrive, but now that it has happened, we don’t expect education to go back to the way it was before,” says Tomás Criado, CEO of Epical.

Although AI and its applications may still seem abstract to most people, many experts agree that this technology will finally demonstrate its full potential in 2021.

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