Artificial intelligence has made huge strides over the years, and is present in many forms in a huge range of common devices. However, corresponding advances in all related technologies, from cell phones to voice-activated light switches, have lessened the impact of new AI algorithms. “Technology creep” is all around us, as the devices we use in day-to-day-life advance just a little bit at a time, so it can be difficult to see exactly how much ground technology has gained. This relative invisibility of artificial intelligence in today’s society, due to technology creep, is known as the AI Effect.
How Does Technology Creep Work?
From cellphones to laptops and programming, advances in technology have been occurring at a steady rate for years. Technology generally improves steadily over a period of time, without huge leaps that get widespread attention. We get used to the increasingly efficient devices, and expect more improvements as a matter of course.
When you’re used to the available cell phone models getting better every year, you’re not amazed when a new cell phone comes out that is slightly better than the available models.
This sense of “Oh well, it’s just the new iPhone,” comes from technology creep.
What is the AI Effect?
The AI Effect is the result of technology creep in artificial intelligence. Current AI algorithms have advanced to a shocking degree, when compared to the abilities of the programs just a few years ago. Artificial intelligence chatbots can hold a reasonably coherent conversation, AI medical devices can detect anomalies as well as an experienced doctor and smart home devices can even help you keep your home secure.
AI is in everything from your TiVo to your refrigerator, but we’ve become so used to the amazing abilities of the devices around us that it’s not astounding any more. This sense of complacency leads to the belief that AI advances really aren’t anything special. This is the essence of the AI Effect.
Complacency and Technology
Computer programs help us in a variety of ways by improving speed, efficiency and accuracy, and they’re getting better at it all the time. As much as we love the technology that makes our world run so smoothly, we are often so accustomed to it that we don’t appreciate the enormity of the achievements that have taken place in recent years.
Take a step back, and compare today’s technology to the abilities of technology even ten years ago, and you’ll avoid the technology creep that leads to the AI Effect.