Smart system will be in charge of a lot of things in the future. Projects are developed for “smart traffic control”, and with the latest improvement in computing power and self-learning software, the street to the development of the A.I. has been paved. But what could be the first commercial uses for such system? What would be their first fields of operation? Here are some ideas, for RPGs in cyberpunk, near future or sci-fi settings.
01# Air Traffic Control
Organizing air traffic is an important tasks that needs lots of surveillance, data computing, and individual reactions in a short period of time. People that grow tired are a risk. An A.I or Expert System will not tire, can handle a lot of input and organize -lots- of traffic. The latter will be especially important if individual drones and “flying cars” of one kind or another conquer the skies as well. Hopefully, terrorists do not hack such an A.I.
02# Security Cameras
Currently, the United Kingdom is the leading European country in regard to street surveillance by camera (as far as I know). But what is all this information worth if it is not computed, analyzed and responded to in real time? People may do that. Computer systems are assisting them already. Or is it the personnel assisting the computer systems? Well… soon, inner cities might be under automatic surveillance. If you are wanted, you better do not show your face. If that is not an option, somebody deleting your file between two maintenance intervals (which could be hourly), could be very valuable.
03# Emergency Calls
Taking emergency calls is not something that comes to mind when one things about the use of an advanced computer system. But it has its benefits. First and foremost, you do not have to pay human beings. Second, an Expert System may cross-reference calls and thereby identify health problems in a certain area, update crime statistics, will not make judgements about the situation based on who calls (unless trained/told to do so) and may automatically link up with local security cameras and/or the nearest emergency unit or police car (with an active location transponder).
04# City Traffic
A.I. supported city traffic could change speed limits in accordance to rush-hours or traffic jams, re-route traffic with electronic displays, give automatic updates for public transports, etc.
05# Rail Traffic
Same as above
06# Application Management (HR)
Lately, expert systems already start to analyze job candidates: their speech is screened for signs of stress and to generate psychological profiles. When a computer system is able to learn and make decisions, why even leave the Human Resources Department in the hand of humans? Wouldn´t a computer system be a much better judge about who is talent, who deserves which job, who is good and who deserves a promotion? Isn´t it so much easier and more comfortable to leave the decision about who is fired to a machine? “It is nothing personal” then, right? And nobody could say that a decision is influenced by ethnics, sexy looks, nepotism or other such things.
07# Route Planning / Truck Driving
An awful lot of goods are transported on the roads, by trucks (or lorries, as the British call them). With the advent of autonomously driving cars, “truck driver” will not be a common job anymore in the future. The vehicles will drive themselves. And “route planning” is not going to be something done by people either. Machines guiding machines, more efficient than any human could ever guide (or: exploit) another.
08# Delivery Drones
Online shopping created a lot of jobs in the “parcel delivery segment”. Badly paid, exhausting jobs. We want our goods to be delivered quickly and individually. And we do not want to pay extra for it. What may be done with trucks (see above) may be done with drones, too.
09# Object Security (Drones)
Drones again. Currently, we still have people guarding places. And by guarding, I do not meant people walking around with weapons that will try to stop anyone, but just people that are meant to raise an alarm and call the cops if they encounter anything odd. Again, drones controlled by an A.I. may replace humans.
10# Medical Operations
There are plans to have surgery(!) happen via an virtual interface. A human surgeon acting through a mechanical hand. From afar. But aren´t machines already as precise as a human, even better by now? Aren´t there -lots- of simple surgical procedures that are not to different from industrial standards? How many hips are transplanted? How many cardiac pacemakers are transplanted? The diagnosis might be something that a human has to do, especially as humans rather talk to humans. But when a patient is narcotized… why not roll him or her to an Automated Operation Table?
11# Factory Operation
You all know the old saying. About the factory of the future that only has two employees: a human that feeds a dog and a dog that bites the human as soon as he tries to touch anything. Because everything is robotic and automatic. Well… the dog will lose his job, too.
12# Vehicle Fleet Management
Remember what I wrote about autonomous cars? Companies have fleets of company cars. These cars have to be maintained, have to be replaced, have to be insured, etc. All this operations may be done by an A.I. or an Expert System.
No, I am not talking about tax collection. I am talk about tax evasion… erm… tax consultancy. A computerized system can be kept “up-to-date” in regard to the latest laws, changes in the market and international relations… and if it is self-learning, it will identify new ways to… optimize… quicker than an 90s yuppie can do a line. While being much more reliable and much harder to audit, surveil or sue.
14# Warehouse Management
Automation will not stop in the factory. Everything in regard to warehouse management may become a task for an expert system as well. Minimum stock levels, stock taking, optimizing storage area according to shortest-path-selection within the warehouse,… add an automated factory and automated delivery system and things might become eerily smooth…
15# Sewage Systems
You get the picture. Replace workers with drones, automate the rest, take regular probes of -everything-, react accordingly.
16# Fund Management / Stock Investment
I am not even sure that this is not already done by computers in regard to the execution of the investments plans. But an A.I. may be even better in regard to investments than even the most shrewed stockbroker.
17# Property Management
What is true in regard to fleet management is true in regard to property management as well. Of course, humans are harder to manage, but than again… a lot of property is in the hand of managers that do not really care for the people living in their buildings already. So, no real difference.
18# Money Lending / B2C
Do you really need a human being to do the kind of calculation your average bank clerk does when he or she decides if somebody gets a loan or not? If somebody is to be offered this or that investment? To calculate the risks and thereby determine how much interest to demand? IMPORTANT clients will get the “supreme treatment” by another human being. But the rank and file that -have- to get themselves a mortgage on their home…?
19# Tender Management
In regard to big projects, bids are called for. Anybody who knows about tender management knows how many people try to take influence in this or that way to make sure it is not only a calculation. How about making sure that it is -nothing- but a calculation? A calculation done by a smart machine the has only one goal: the best result for the company it is part of. Because it cannot think of it any other way, because it was programmed with that incentive, and with nothing else.
20# The Music Industry
Pop music is an industry. Bands are products of casting, producers have song writers that have specialized in certain parts of the song, without knowing what the total result may be. This approach is not producing any master pieces or anything that will be remembered after 20years… but it generates a turn-over. Have an A.I. learn about trends. Have it learn about the pop music business. Have it hook up with a HR-casting-sub-routine. Just make sure that people do not know about it. Think Boom Funk MCs. Think Icona Pop. The flesh is the facade, the interface. It -sells- the product. Its part of the product. An interchangeable part, just as the veneer on something. Nothing else.
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