“We are at the beginning of the golden age of AI. Recent advancements have already led to inventions that previously lived in the realm of science fiction—and we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible.”—Jeff Bezos
What is artificial intelligence?
Think of Optimus Prime from the Transformers, Sonny from I, Robot, or The Terminator. They all had one thing in common—the use of artificial intelligence(AI). Human beings are fascinated by thinking of how far machines can take us and can see how AI is changing the world we live in.
Although there is no specific universally accepted definition of AI, we can call it the science of creating machines that can perform tasks that require human intelligence. We use AI in our day—to—day lives and sometimes aren’t even aware of it. For example, searching for queries on Google, chatting with chatbots to avail services, asking Alexa to play our favorite songs and so many more tasks are possible, thanks to AI.
How does artificial intelligence work?
Artificial Intelligence takes the help of machine learning to mimic human intelligence. Machine learning gives systems the human-like capability to think and learn through a heavy load of data. AI systems learn from the patterns, behaviors, and features they analyze in the data.
AI uses algorithms and historical data to create something that can be predicted. Then, AI machines finally excel using tacit knowledge and undergoing multiple trial and error methods. The machine learns through numerous trials and errors and will eventually improve after each technique.
Why should engineers use artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is not the fastest—growing technology for no reason. The technology can get work done at a quicker rate than humans and should be used for tasks that take up a lot of time but require no special skills. As a result, engineers can spare some time for themselves and focus on more specialized areas in the job.
AI boosts the capabilities of engineers by improving tasks such as design with the help of AI. This makes businesses more productive and efficient while operating at a lower cost. The strength of sound AI systems is that they can solve real problems most practically.
Combining engineering with artificial intelligence
Once upon a time, engineering was all about physical models, blueprints, sketches, etc. However, it has become more about computer designs and software used today. As a result, the demand for AI is steadily gaining momentum, eventually transforming intelligent systems to a large extent.
However, it is not just the engineering industry that sees the active role of artificial intelligence. The impact of artificial intelligence can be seen in every sector and on every human being. AI has made the emergence of IoT, robotics, and big data possible. It will continue to act as the technological innovator of many other technologies in the foreseeable future.
AI and its role in shaping the future of engineering
As AI continues to develop, you will see more collaborations between humans and computers. Some of the reasons why AI is the future of engineering are:
- AI will ease the laborious tasks of engineers. The time spent finding data, figuring out errors, and coming up with solutions will significantly reduce as AI systems are superfast.
- AI will help engineers quickly create complex lattice structures with nTopology and other sophisticated designs. Apart from that, AI can incorporate sensor-based design procedures and deliver them to intelligent manufacturing units.
- As AI advances technologically, there will be more job openings, especially for engineers.
- There will be an increased need for engineers who can research, create and test AI systems in the near future.
- Advanced AI will help engineers work efficiently and solve multiple problems within a short period.
- AI technology will create new types of work that will require new kinds of experts.
- As AI advances, engineers will get multiple opportunities to showcase their creativity within the developed AI systems.
The impact of AI in other industries of the economy
Apart from engineering, many other industries can already see AI’s impact. Some are just taking their first steps in AI, while others are veterans already. Either way, all sectors have a long way to go with artificial intelligence. It is entirely impossible to ignore the impact of AI in the present day. Some notable industries that can be evaluated are:
- Healthcare: Diseases can now be accurately diagnosed with the help of AI systems. Furthermore, virtual nursing assistants can streamline drug dosages and analyze patient data regularly. As a result, patients can get themselves treated better and more personalized.
- Education: The onset of Covid brought about a significant change in the teaching habits at schools, colleges, and universities. Classes are taught online with the help of digital textbooks. In addition, human instructors can read students’ facial expressions in their courses using AIs.
- Media: The impact of artificial intelligence is prominent in the media industry. AI can do things like weather forecasts and story production at scale for journalists. In addition, the entertainment sector relies heavily on AI to produce content.
- Manufacturing: It is no surprise to see robots and humans working together. Laborious tasks like assembling and stacking can be done together. An efficient AI system can use predictive analysis sensors to keep equipment running smoothly.
- Customer care: One can already chat with chatbots and get work done. Soon enough, you will be able to make appointments through an AI system that understands your context.
- Space exploration: AI can assist humans as they explore space. Years of collected data can be interpreted within a few hours and can help identify planets, galaxies, and other unknown things in the universe.
- Social media and digital marketing: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat use AI to provide targeted content to their audience. For example, a simple search for an object of interest, say shoes, on these platforms, can result in multiple advertisements on your mobile. This occurs because AI gathers information from the sites you visit the search terms you enter, to provide content that the search engine thinks is relevant to you.
The future of engineering
What impact will AI have on the future of engineering? Without a doubt, AI will create more new jobs that we have never thought of before. No one would have thought that machine learning engineers would be needed a hundred years back, but here we are.
In the engineering industry, the inclusion of artificial intelligence only means that there is a need for a closer and symbiotic relationship between man and the machine. As AI know-how increases, competent engineers will be required more than ever. AI will make engineering tasks easier and take the burden off the backs of engineers engrossed in completing projects.
Artificial intelligence will inevitably bring changes in our lives and to our workforce. Adapting to the change and learning more about these technologies will help us cope with changing times. For example, suppose patients are getting diagnosed and treated earlier, and astronauts are safe in their spacewalks. In that case, we must be grateful for the engineers working hard behind these AI—integrated systems.
By B Naomi Grace