If you haven’t caught up on season one of HBO’s Westworld, it’s time to hunker down with a bowl of popcorn big enough for your binge-watching session and prepare yourself for a mental rollercoaster ride. Season two of this sci-fi/western thriller all about artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics airs this Sunday (April 22nd) – and as the true tech nerds we are, we couldn’t be more thrilled…or terrified.
As a tech junky and PR pro, there couldn’t be a better time to keep up with the hype around AI in the media – which makes Westworld all the more exciting to watch, as it pushes the limits on where this technology could be headed years down the road. Without giving away any spoilers, the season one finale felt akin to an episode of Black Mirror (another techie favorite) with robotics and AI technology gone wrong.
But despite pop-culture’s scarier, thrilling vision of AI, what’s important to remember is that this technology holds so much promise for applications across all industries. We’ve seen the retail and industrial sectors master AI and machine learning by leveraging these technologies to automate their processes in order to improve overall efficiency, reducing unplanned downtime in the industrial sector and improving customer experiences within retail. We’ve even seen the healthcare industry – which has been notoriously slow to adapt to new technology – explore AI to deliver better, more personalized care, particularly as the U.S market transitions to a value-based model.
Tech giants in particular know that AI is the future, which is probably why Google is offering a free online crash course in machine learning, citing that they “believe that the potential of machine learning is so vast that every technical person should learn machine learning fundamentals.” Interested in learning more about AI? Here is a list of free online courses being offered this year, ranging from basics around the principles of AI to advanced technical details around its implementation.
Now that you’re hyped about AI – its progress across industries today as well as its the unlocked potential in the future – it’s time to buckle up for the inevitable drama of Westworld’s widely anticipated second season. While wildly dramatized, it makes you wonder whether AI and robotics could one day lead to a future as depicted in Westworld.
Where do you see these technologies in five, 10 and 20 years – and better yet, how can we prepare for that future?
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Author: Angelica Bishop