Much has been made of the oncoming “AI revolution”, which promises to transform broad swathes of society and automate all of us out of jobs. What many pundits fail to pay attention to is the fact that artificial intelligence has already changed our daily lives in ways that most people don’t even realise.
Nowhere is this process more pronounced than in the home, where AI and machine learning technology has made its way into routines, careers, and recreational activities. In a country like Ireland, which is one of the most tech-ready in the world, this process is magnified.
Here are five ways that AI is transforming households in Ireland.
One of the most obvious ways that AI is transforming households is via robot assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s HomePod. The popularity of such devices in Ireland is already well-documented, and it’s hardly surprising why. The devices connect to the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ to integrate all your household technology, from your music player to your thermostat. All you have to do is call its name and give your command. They also make use of AI processes to better understand a household’s needs, which is why Alexa will bug you with reminders for any errands you might have forgotten about or suggest a recipe that you might like.
Whilst the role of artificial intelligence on household energy usage is still in its early stages, its prominence is growing rapidly. Services like Sense and Google’s parent company Alphabet’s Nest device use AI to adjust household energy usage to the needs of the inhabitants to save resources and money. The latter service has recently partnered up with the UK National Grid to roll out a nationwide energy efficiency scheme in the UK, meaning a similar initiative might make its way to Ireland soon.
Considering Ireland’s spiralling living costs, AI is now being presented as a solution to improve money management and stretch incomes further. Services like Olivia AI track your financial activity and compile bespoke reports informing households how they can make their money work better for them. Even popular work-from-home side hustles are being transformed by artificial intelligence. Thousands of people in Ireland engage in various forms of day trading and Forex trading with an increasing number of training courses being run to get people on board, but this activity is also now close to being fully automated by robots that can monitor markets and execute trades on behalf of traders. Some consider that a cheat, but the time it saves (against the hours a human would have to devote to keeping an eye on the markets) is indisputable.
AI has had a very visible impact on how we entertain ourselves. Streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix are hugely popular in Ireland, with the latter having more than 250,000 direct users here, to reach a total number of viewers of over 500,000. These services depend heavily on algorithms to compile suggestions on what kind of music and films you might enjoy and to curate their platforms to suit the tastes and needs of individual households. The burden of choice is now being outsourced to technology.
If you’re a busy working parent, chances are that AI plays some sort of role in how you manage your household. There are countless apps and platforms which aim to fine-tune your family. These include family scheduling apps like Cozi, grocery shopping apps like Flipp and child entertainment apps like Playground Buddy. Even if you just use a basic service like Google Calendar to keep track of your play dates and hair appointments, then you’re getting a helping hand from AI technology.
These examples show that the encroachment of AI is something to be celebrated rather than feared. If algorithms can keep us productive, entertained and organized, what’s not to like?