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An AI Revolution Isn't Coming - We're Already In It
A small showcase of companies using AI in ways that will change your life
With the recent enormous breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, no one has stopped talking about groundbreaking AI models like ChatGPT, Bard, Claude, and image generation models that can produce a photorealistic representation of a simple sentence. These AI models showcase AI’s immense capabilities and gather most of the attention of news sources.
Headlines focus on what these models mean for our future—but what about the present? It’s an injustice to consumers to state an AI revolution is on the horizon when it’s already begun. AI is currently being used to disrupt many industries in ways consumers aren’t even aware will drastically improve their lives. Below are a few companies and their products that have the potential to fundamentally change your life.
AlphaFold by Google DeepMind - Medicine
AlphaFold can accurately predict 3D models of protein structures and is accelerating research in nearly every field of biology.
Over 200 million proteins in the human body give us the ability to live. Knowing the structure of these proteins is fundamental to understanding how our bodies work to keep us healthy. This knowledge is critical for the development of life-saving medical advancements, but understanding the exact structure of proteins is a resource-intense and time-consuming task.
AlphaFold is an AI system trained to predict a protein’s structure based on its string of amino acids. It’s trained on a dataset of one hundred thousand proteins curated from scientists around the world. AlphaFold turns the painstakingly slow task of protein exploration into a process that takes minutes. Understanding these proteins even has possible applications outside of medicine such as using enzymes to break down plastic in the ocean or collecting carbon from the atmosphere.
Riiid - Education
We show every learner new possibilities to reach their goals through data-driven, scientific approach.
Standardized tests are the same experience for virtually everyone: take too many practice tests, take one, long miserable test that determines your future, stress about the results, and likely retake it because your preparation wasn’t adequate. These tests are a big issue: they’re designed to be the same for everyone, but everyone learns and thinks differently. It’s a perfect example of the adage: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.
Riiid released a research-backed standardized test preparation solution called R.test that uses AI to curate test preparation to an individual. While we can’t personalize standardized tests to each individual (yet), we can improve the preparation process. R.test helps you get your currently projected test score four times faster with insights into your results such as your strengths, weaknesses, and even college acceptance predictions. I’m a firm believer that improved education should be a top priority for improving society so it’s amazing to see AI being applied to the field.
NoTraffic - Transportation
NoTraffic digitizes road infrastructure management, allowing cities to manage their entire grid at the push of a button.
I hate traffic. Sitting in it is infuriating and a waste of time. What makes it even more frustrating is it should be a solvable issue because it’s just a logistics problem; yet, it’s one of the toughest issues civil engineers face. Traffic is caused by drivers’ decisions and drivers are unpredictable. What if we could make up for this with technology?
NoTraffic uses cameras and sensors at intersections to analyze behaviors and digitize road management. This creates insights into how traffic grids can be improved. I was hoping self-driving cars would solve the traffic issue (and they still will if done correctly), but this may be a better near-term solution.
Trax - Retail
Trax has developed a suite of image-capture solutions for
capturing every product in every store.
When most people think of AI transforming the retail space they think of Amazon’s cashierless Go stores. Instead of waiting to pay for the items you’re purchasing, Go uses cameras and sensors to track what you’re purchasing as you walk through the store and charge your Amazon account on the way out. This is an enormous change to the usual retail experience, but it’s only changing a fraction of the retail workflow.
Trax applies similar technology to gather a complete picture of shelf health for stores. Cameras are used to recognize SKUs on shelves and gather metrics such as stock level, placement of items, SKU and staff performance, and much more. This data is analyzed and used to accomplish store objectives such as increasing sales or optimizing the customer experience.
DoNotPay - Legal
DoNotPay uses artificial intelligence to help you fight big corporations, protect your privacy, find hidden money, and beat bureaucracy.
The law is so complex that lawyers go to school for at least seven years and train as an associate at a firm just to make sure they know what they’re doing. And their training is generally done in only one area of the law. This complexity has lead to an industry worth $372 billion dollars and has caused consumers to be completely unaware of the inner workings of the law that governs their life.
DoNotPay uses AI and automation to make legal processes available to consumers. They help with things from parking tickets and getting refunds to helping consumers fight back against corporations with teams of lawyers dedicated to ripping them off. Think of DoNotPay as an AI lawyer. Their vision is to level the legal playing field and make the law accessible to everyone by giving people access to their basic rights.
If any of these companies are particularly of interest to you let me know and I can dig further into the technologies they use and services they provide.
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