Artificial intelligence – your everyday copilot

Developers have worked on various artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for many years already. However, generative AI, such as ChatGPT, and its potential applications have only recently burst onto the scene, capturing people’s imaginations and stirring societal debate.

AI has become more accessible to everyone, and applications of the new technology have expanded and diversified. This has fuelled many innovations and brought the benefits of AI within reach of a growing number of people.

Previously, AI required expensive resources and in-depth expertise, but today more and more people can use it in their everyday lives. This wave of development has transformed AI from a privilege reserved for large enterprises and research institutions to a tool available to small companies and individuals. This means that AI can be used to develop increasingly complex solutions to help us in our everyday lives and work.

We are all familiar with the feeling of standing in a grocery store, desperately seeking inspiration for the evening meal. This feeling of helplessness will soon be a thing of the past, as anyone can ask AI for help searching for recipes, for example. The shop could provide a generative AI service that suggests recipes based on the user’s wishes and preferences and helps the user to find the ingredients they need in the store.

On holiday, generative AI can act as a personal tour guide. For example, it can recommend tourist attractions, restaurants and accommodations and help find the best routes and transport connections. AI can also help overcome language barriers by offering translations that help travellers better understand the local culture.

In the near future, AI will be able to monitor our emails and calendars if we want. It could help us prioritise emails according to which ones demand the most attention. Of course, AI will be on hand to help draft the reply, perhaps providing a couple of different options to get us started. AI could also write a summary, or minutes, of our meetings. We could ask it to summarise what we agreed upon in our day’s meetings. In terms of functionality to boost our productivity, the sky is the limit!

AI must be developed responsibly

Many organisations already have codes of ethics for using AI, but the outcome will depend on how such codes are implemented. Organisations will need the support of governance, processes and various tools to integrate responsible AI into operational activities from the outset. A human-centric approach will make AI a safe decision support system – a copilot – for employees.

The availability of generative AI has brought many benefits, but it has also stirred debate on the threats of AI. For example, the EU’s artificial intelligence regulation seeks to steer the regulation of AI.

AlliedStartUp recently conducted a study on the potential impact of AI regulation on European entities. One of the key findings was the need for a better understanding of the impacts of regulation, especially if the regulatory base is broad.

Instead of restricting AI technology as a whole, it is important to focus on understanding high-risk applications. This makes it possible to ensure AI is used in a responsible and ethically sustainable way while enjoying all the potential benefits. Instead of restrictions, the focus should be on creating clear guidelines and rules with the target state in mind. For example, privacy protection and information security are key aspects of the use and development of AI. In addition, the issues of non-discrimination and fairness should be considered – AI technology should serve everyone equally.

Generative AI has enormous potential and could lead to substantial improvements on the individual and societal levels. Just imagine a healthcare service where AI helps the doctor focus on patient interaction rather than entering text into a computer. In education, AI could help teachers identify students’ individual needs, making it easier to offer tailored teaching. It could also help teachers to grade students’ exams. If students’ answers are in digital form, generative AI could help check the answers. Overall, the availability of generative AI has presented a wealth of new opportunities that were unimaginable just a few years ago. However, it is essential to remember that an AI copilot is only one of the tools available to us for improving our quality of life and addressing complex problems. The availability and benefits of AI in everyday life have already demonstrated its potential, but we must now ensure that we harness the potential sustainably and responsibly in the future.

Lukas Lundin, Azure Go-to-Market Manager, Data & AI, Microsoft