Artificial Intelligence is Reshaping Life On Earth: 101 Examples

I recently read this article on and thought it would be great to share the list.

This month I’ve been tracking news headlines to get a sense for how widespread AI applications have become. With a couple news alerts and searches I spotted 101 current applications–no SciFi here, these are tools people are using today. And these aren’t just clever algorithms–they are getting better and smarter the more data they interact with.

Life & Media

  1. Mapping apps and satellite view (Google Earth)
  2. Speech recognition (TechCrunch)
  3. Dating apps (Vancouver Sun)
  4. Language translation (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
  5. Image recognition (Fei-Fei Li on TED)
  6. AI composition and music recommendations (Newsweek)
  7. Make reservations at a restaurant. (Techcrunch)
  8. Filters content and make recommendations (Hubspot podcast)
  9. Write articles (Recode)
  10. Optimize website-building (TechCrunch)
  11. Manages prayer requests (Deseret News)
  12. Track and store the movements of automobiles, trains, planes and mobile phones (IBM)
  13. Track real-time sentiments of billions of people through social media (IBM)
  14. Beat the best humans in chess and Go (CCTV)
  15. Coaching social emotional relationships (Phys)

Safety & security

  1. Security-driven AI systems can easily detect and identify bad behaviors from good behaviors. (Economic Times)
  2. Quickly find security vulnerabilities (Defense One)
  3. Criminal justice system is increasingly using algorithms to predict a defendant’s future criminality (Propublica)
  4. Anomaly detection using machine vision (IBM)
  5. Predictive models for crime (IBM)
  6. Autonomous aerial and undersea warfighting (Nextgov)
  7. Guide cruise missiles (Express)

Industry & Agriculture

  1. Optimize crop yield (Amr Awadallah in Forbes)
  2. LettuceBot reduces chemical use by 90% (Wired)
  3. Driverless tractors (Business Wire)
  4. Manufacturers predict which machines will breakdown (Amr Awadallah in Forbes)
  5. Smart robots for repetitive jobs from apple picking and  sneaker maker, (Techcrunch)
  6. Robots develop and share new skills (MIT)


  1. Driverless cars (Nature) coming to Pittsburgh this fall (Wired)
  2. Driverless trucks (TechCrunch)
  3. Managing drone traffic (Yahoo)
  4. Making bus routes smarter (Shanghai Daily)
  5. Improve the efficiency of public transportation systems (IBM)
  6. Oil exploration efficiency (Oil Price)


  1. Prediction and management of pollutants and carbon footprints. (IBM)
  2. Make data centers, power plants, and energy grids more efficient (Money)

Medicine & Health

  1. Digitized health records and all medical knowledge to improve diagnosis (IBM)
  2. Performing cohort analysis, identifying micro-segments of similar patients, evaluating standard-of-care practices and available treatment options, ranking by relevance, risk and preference, and ultimately recommending the most effective treatments for their patients (IBM)
  3. Power precision medicine (NIH)
  4. Reduction of medical errors (H&HN)
  5. Study the genetics of Autism (SAC)
  6. Analyze genomic sequences to develop therapies (Amr Awadallah in Forbes)
  7. Read x-rays better than a radiologist (nanalyze)
  8. Genomic editing–which may be the most important (and scariest) item on the list (Time)
  9. Use social media to diagnosis depression and mental illness (Tech Times)

Organizational Management

  1. Speeding and improving Identity verification and background checking (PE Hub)
  2. Monitor employee satisfaction and predict staff turnover (HuffPost)
  3. Sorting through stacks of résumés from job seekers. (Propublica)
  4. Replace handcrafted rule-based systems (TechRepublic)
  5. Smart virtual assistants (Slate)
  6. Enterprise tech companies provide deep learning as a service–AI on demand (TweakTown)
  7. Humans and robots will increasingly collaborate on problem solving (Quartz)
  8. Automated floor cleaning (Slate)

Art & Architecture

54. Organic algorithms in architecture (Greg Lynn on TED)

  1. Virtual reality art (Wired)
  2. Synthesized music (Newsweek)

Social services & Infrastructure

  1. Timely and relevant answers to citizens (IBM)
  2. Predict the needs of individuals and population groups, and develop plans for efficient deployment of resources. (IBM)
  3. Prediction of demand, supply, and use of infrastructure (IBM)
  4. Mobile phone network services (RCRwireless)
  5. Analysis of lead contamination in Flint water (Talking Machines)
  6. improve building and city design (Property Report)
  7. Poverty map of Africa to improve services delivery (Yahoo)

Finance and Banking

  1. Fraud detection (Business Insider)
  2. Scan news, spot trends and adjust portfolios (Hubspot podcast)
  3. Determine credit scores and qualify applicants (Propublica)
  4. Find the best insurance coverage at the right cost (IBM)
  5. Deliver personalized service with reduce error rates (Finextra)
  6. Handle 30k banking customer services transaction/month (American Banker)
  7. Answer 100M financial questions involving complex data (Fast Company)
  8. Auto-adjudication of insurance claims (Fast Company)
  9. Tax preparation (CFO)

Marketing & Customer Service

  1. Power chatbot customer service (CB Insights)
  2. Product recommendations (Digital Marketing Blog)
  3. Manage White House comments (Techcrunch)
  4. Chatbot lawyer contests parking tickets (Guardian)
  5. Robot inventory checker (NY Times)
  6. Recognise customer behavior and provide predictive customer service (Brand Equity)
  7. Predict eBay sales (HeatST)
  8. Improve sales funnel conversion (Digital Marketing Blog)


  1. Fantasy football picks (Fake Teams)
  2. Writing screenplays (Entertainment)


  1. Recommend next best learning experience (Forbes)
  2. Personalized learning programs (IBM)
  3. Intelligent tutoring (Forbes)
  4. Provides six trait writing feedback (Hubspot podcast)
  5. Digitized the world’s literature enabling search/analysis (IBM)
  6. Embedded adaptive assessments promotes competency-based learning (Google’s Jonathan Rochelle in Business Insider)
  7. Improve career education (Google’s Jonathan Rochelle in Business Insider)
  8. AI is boosting HigherEd persistence with text nudges (Rose Luckin in Times HigherEd)
  9. Process intelligence tools identify and visualize opportunities (MIT)
  10. Matching teachers and schools (Getting Smart)
  11. Bus scheduling (Getting Smart)

Smart Home

  1. Smart home control systems (Fortune)

Check out these smart home startups. A lot of these use AI behind the scene to get smarter over time.

The Changing Employment Landscape

This has been a weird recovery–sluggish and slow to produce jobs and higher wages. In addition to a bunch of unusual international circumstances, the global economy has been incorporating exponential technology, particularly all the artificial intelligence applications above. While the bots are eating away at some predictable job categories, all this technology has yielded frustratingly slow productivity growth.

The economy remains a head scratcher, but web research yields pretty consistent advice for young people and job seekers in this new age of automation:

  1. Do what AI doesn’t do well: give a hug, solve a mystery, tell a story. (NPR)
  2. Analytical and interpersonal skills will likely become more important. (Brookings)
  3. Focus on adding value in novel situations. (Anthony Goldbloom on TED)
  4. Focus on computational thinking not just coding. (Edsurge)

99. Critical thinking, systems analysis, and inductive reasoning are increasingly important in “mixes and depths” that are currently rare. (Quartz)

100. Social interaction and co-working increasingly important (Business Insider)

  1. Equip graduates to work effectively alongside AI (Rose Luckin in Times HigherEd)

What’s the new hot field? When you pull junior aside at the pool party (like The Graduate), instead of “plastics” you should be recommending “machine learning.”

The first half of the information age was programming computers to do what we want. In the second half of the information age computers are programming themselves. Machine learning is the practical subset of artificial intelligence–the new hub of efforts to add intelligence to every facet of life. And it’s hot.

“It’s huge. It’s really one of the biggest shifts that we have seen in the last few decades. And it’s creating demand, off the charts demand, and this is across all industries,” said Amr Awadallah of Cloudera.

Amr added, “The future need for people with high technical skills when it comes to data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning is going to be off the charts.”

More broadly Google’s Jonathan Rochelle knows it takes a smart application of cutting-edge products to help kids learn. He encourages teachers to help kids use the latest products effectively. Those are the skills that will give them the greatest leg up as citizens, Rochelle says. “Imagine if we could teach kids all the tools that are at their disposal,” he says, “and let them take the next step to stand on the shoulders of giants.”