What Machine Learning Can Teach Us

Google just announced at their annual I/O developer conference last week their latest highlights, where machine learning will be one of the main fields the upcoming years. Already having implemented a series of ML tools in Android, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that they’re now putting focus on on Google Assistant, the tech giant’s own system powered by machine learning. Still: showing their audience a real conversation of the Assistant flawlessly calling a hair salon to book an appointment, Google is really leaving us speechless this time!

Encouraging us to ”make Google do it”, the Google Assistant envisions a simplified every-day life, optimized by letting technology handle our banalities. The system is programmed to tackle any basic conversation, even when taking slightly unexpected turns. This is just as great news for the lazy foodie as for the ambitious achiever: not only will this spare those 30 seconds wasted on ordering takeout — it will give us twice the time to invest in innovation; teaching us to optimize our precious time so as to do the most of our potentials.

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A startling 45 percent of workdays now being used to answer emails and phone calls, as Swedish DN tells us this week, it’s needless to say that the Assistant could be revolutionary for future innovation; just as for the daily quality of life. Imagine switching your phone onto ”Auto-Reply Mode” enabling you to stay 100% disconnected outside office hours while all your e-mails and calls are nonetheless being taken care of — not only would this do wonders on the common health but also on our personal connections.

So you might be thinking: yeah this sounds great and all, but how can I trust this imaginary individual with all my digital businesses? Well, just a reminder: machine learning is not to be confounded with AI. Sure, they do have points in common, but whereas the idea of AI is a system developing a conscience of its own, machine learning is a lot more limited to the information with which it has been programmed. So don’t worry: the Assistant won’t be able to invent mischievous jokes and order you a Tomahawk haircut behind your back for its own enjoyment — the beauty of machine learning as a tool is that it will go no farther than we allow it to. But the farthest we as innovators can go realizing the potential of using machine learning? Endless, if you’re asking us.