Far from fantasy: the AI technologies which really affect us

It is often hard to figure out what is hiding behind the term artificial intelligence. And yet, many AI applications do affect us directly as citizens.


“Artificial Intelligence”. It’s hard to define a technology which encompasses such a large variety of tools and techniques (centralized or decentralized approaches, supervised or unsupervised learning, ontologies, etc.), with ramifications in each of these categories, ranging from neural networks to autonomous agents. The scope of AI is both broad and rich. It would therefore be a shame to allow powerful economic players to sum it up as a simple household gadget that may well be artificial, but is of questionable intelligence.

To delve into the complexity of AI is to understand the mechanisms that underlie certain products and services that we use. It also endows us with the intellectual weapons to confront the alarmist visions of a future of humanity against machines, and to remain prudent in the face of over-enthusiastic technological solutionism.

It is with this in mind that we’re publishing this dossier to go with the IMT Scientific Symposium on artificial intelligence, held on April 4. It does not seek to draw an exhaustive portrait of AI, which is still impossible. Its aim is rather to make the reader aware of the applications of AI, and the ways in which it affects us directly, as citizens and consumers.

It therefore presents four examples of research work into smart homes, the customer journey in supermarkets, flood predictions, and synchronization with machines. These concrete insights show what artificial intelligence, with all its opportunities and limits, really represents.

To go further on the theme of artificial intelligence and its impact on the citizen-consumer, I’MTech offers a selection of our archives on the subject:


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