AI products you (probably) already use
Element AI Element AI
August 29 5 min

AI products you (probably) already use

Regular readers of technology news and blogs will hardly be strangers to content about artificial intelligence (AI). But despite the wide coverage, the often-discussed topic remains little-understood. How often have we all read commentaries that paint effective AI products as an abstract, far-away phenomenon — always coming but never quite here?

Those who find themselves waiting for the coming AI revolution might be surprised to find that, in many ways, it’s already here. In fact, there’s a good chance that tools you use in everyday life are powered by AI. In this article, we decided to look through some of these common AI products.

Gmail email filters

    Whether you’re an AI expert or a complete novice, there is a good chance you’re familiar with the inside of a Gmail inbox. In fact, Gmail has used AI in a variety of different ways for some time now. The most notable of these is in automatically detecting and filing emails based on their content.

    The most well-known of these categories is in spam and phishing detection, with recent reports suggesting that 99.9% of such messages are now blocked by the automatic detectors. As well as this however, AI algorithms also help Gmail detect promotions, updates, and social media notifications, before filing them in independent folders to help keep the main inbox clean and organized — thus improving the overall user experience.

    LinkedIn job suggestions

      If you’re a regular LinkedIn user, there’s a good chance you’ve come into contact with an AI algorithm or two without even knowing it. With the platform being owned by Microsoft, you can expect it to be at the forefront of innovation in emerging technology. AI algorithms are used all over the platform — the most common of which is in automatic job recommendations. They’re also in play when the platform recommends potential connections for people to make. It may surprise some people to learn that these relatively common functions within the social network are actually powered by AI.

      As well as this, AI is also in play in less obvious ways, improving the user experience from the background, working to:

      • Detect harmful or inappropriate content across the platform
      • Ensure a responsive site speed experience
      • Improve the quality of notifications sent

      LinkedIn goes to show that AI isn’t always about flashy headlines or large-scale industry changes. In fact, there are plenty of small but meaningful ways it’s already changing our everyday lives.

      Facebook content detectors

        Earlier this year, Facebook reported that 96.8% of all prohibited content on the platform was now flagged up by AI algorithms.

        In recent years, Facebook has come under increasing pressure to tighten up its regulations. But, with over 2 billion active worldwide profiles, it’s impossible for a human workforce to manually monitor this. For this reason, Facebook has been using AI, specifically machine learning algorithms, to automatically detect this for a number of years.

        A team of workers at Facebook were dispatched to assess whether a large number of posts breached the platform’s guidelines. This information was then fed into the machine learning algorithm, which automatically created rules and guidelines based on patterns it derived from the results. The result today is that the vast majority of posts can be automatically flagged based on the parameters that machine learning algorithms have helped create.

        Fraud prevention in finance

          In recent years, financial institutions have started using AI to help save themselves and their customers money in automatic fraud detection. If you’ve ever made an unusual purchase, and then received a text message from your bank asking you to confirm it was you, this is a perfect example of this technology being used in practice. Using AI algorithms, banks can automatically monitor their customers’ daily spending habits — identifying when any “out of the ordinary” spending habits occurs.

          Consider, for example, what happens if your bank card gets stolen. In theory, the thief has access to a limitless amount of your funds, simply by going from shop to shop and spending up to the contactless limit in each one. Without the AI algorithms, the only thing that would be able to stop this is you noticing your card is missing and blocking all purchases. Then, all you would have is your word to convince the bank these purchases weren’t yours.

          Today, however, AI algorithms are used to flag when your bank card or details have been stolen — often before you even know about it. When such “suspicious purchases” are made, the bank can get in touch with the relevant card holder to confirm whether or not it was them, potentially blocking the card until that confirmation is received, in order to prevent any further damage.

          AI products in everyday use

          The much-discussed robot revolution might not have quite begun yet — but AI features in our daily lives in all sorts of different ways. From email to social media, and much more, it’s becoming more ubiquitous with each passing day.

          Discussions about AI often take place in the future tense. We hear a lot about what AI “will do” — but not nearly enough about what it’s already doing today.