Common, Real Uses for AI - dummies

By John Paul Mueller, Luca Massaron

Part of AI For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Two types of confusion arise regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in an actual product. The first type relates to the smart device, which merely provides connectivity to a backend application and appears to use an AI. For example, a smart thermometer might provide connectivity to your smartphone, but it doesn’t rely on an AI to do anything. However, a thermometer that self-programs itself based on how you set the house temperatures does rely on an AI to provide the additional functionality.

The second type of confusion relates to the device that does use an AI, but not in a way that’s likely to work. For example, a smart assistant that supposedly helps you make good decisions is doomed to failure because decision-making is outside the purview of an AI’s capabilities. On the other hand, a smart assistant that helps you locate a restaurant, manages your lighting, and keeps a list of your appointments (ensuring that you don’t have a conflict) will likely work as long as the application has no bugs and you provide appropriate input.

The following table focuses on products that are currently available, are relatively autonomous, are inexpensive enough for many people to own, and do actually work. They all rely on AI to help you in some way.

Product URL Description
Arterys Performs a cardiac scan in 6 to 10 minutes, rather than the usual hour. Patients don’t have to spend time holding their breath, either. Amazingly, this system obtains several dimensions of data—D heart anatomy, blood-flow rate, and blood-flow direction—in this short time.
Clocky Acts as an alarm clock for those who have a hard time getting up in the morning. The device gives you one chance to snooze, and then it moves in a random direction—forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off.
Enlitic Analyzes radiological scans in milliseconds—up to 10,000 times faster than a radiologist. In addition, the system is 50 percent better at classifying tumors and has a lower false negative rate (0 percent versus 7 percent) than humans.
Hom-Bot Vacuums your carpets and floors. This robot has a superior AI, along with a number of intelligent sensors, so it actually avoids bumping into things most of the time. You can also program it to use various cleaning strategies (to ensure that it doesn’t miss anything by cleaning in the same pattern all the time).
K’Watch Provides constant glucose monitoring, along with an app that people can use to obtain helpful information on managing their diabetes.
Moov Monitors both heartrate and 3-D movement. The AI for this device tracks these statistics and provides advice on how to create a better workout. You actually get advice on things like how your feet are hitting the pavement during running and whether you need to lengthen your stride. The point of devices like these is to ensure that you get the sort of workout that will improve health without risking injury.
QardioCore Provides an ECG without the use of wires, and someone with limited medical knowledge can easily use it. As with many devices, this one relies on your smartphone to provide needed analysis and make connections to outside sources as needed.
Robomow Mows your grass.
Roomba Vacuums your carpets and floors. The robot tends to bump into things rather than see and avoid them, so the AI is extremely basic. A counterpart, Braava, mops your floors, while Mirra cleans your pool. If you want your floors vacuumed and mopped at the same time, you can use Scooba instead.
Sentrian Monitors someone’s blood sugar or other chronic disease statistic, enabling people to use the data to predict illness before the event occurs. By making changes in patient medications and behavior before an event occurs, Sentrian reduces the number of unavoidable hospitalizations, thereby making the patient’s life a lot better and reducing medical costs.