Rise of the machines: What can AI do

The use of artificial intelligence is on the rise around the world and the technology is set to become a core part of the future economy

It is used every day in people's lives, from when they type e-mail messages to when they enjoy music and movies.

Artificial intelligence (AI) - which refers to systems that are able to learn from their environments autonomously - is now deeply involved in people's lives and is set to become a core part of the future economy.

A report released last year by research firm Accenture said that with the successful adoption of AI, Singapore could double the size of its economy while also boosting productivity by 41 per cent by 2035.

But what exactly is AI capable of?

In Singapore, companies say they are using AI for everything from understanding their customers to improving security.

Grab's data science (AI) lead Jagannadan Varadarajan said that it uses AI to interpret the data it obtains from its users to find ways to improve its services.

For its food-delivery operations, the company uses AI to understand users' preferences and recommend restaurants that are best suited for them.

Vi Dimensions, a start-up that uses AI to monitor surveillance cameras, has developed what it calls the Abnormality Recognition Video Analytic System - which looks out for abnormal activity on security camera footage and alerts operators should irregularities be detected.

Mr Raymond Looi, co-founder and chief executive of Vi Dimensions, said: "The decision to do this is driven by the fact that such tasks are better done by a machine than a human. There is no way to monitor these cameras in real time and sometimes missing a security event could lead to drastic consequences."

Elsewhere, AI has been applied to everything from making art to cooking to even analysing medical scans.

The Straits Times looks at some of the cutting-edge applications of AI already in the works.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2018, with the headline 'Rise of the machines'. Print Edition | Subscribe