Five surprising ways AI could be a part of our lives by 2030

Artificial intelligence (AI) has gradually become an integral part of modern life, from Siri and Spotify’s personalized features on our phones to automatic fraud alerts from our banks whenever a transaction appears suspicious. Defined simply, a computer with AI is able to respond to its environment by learning on its own—without humans providing specific instructions. A new report from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, outlines how AI could become more integrated into people’s lives by 2030, and recommends how best to regulate it and make sure its benefits are shared equally.

Here are five examples—some from this report—of AI technology that could become a part of our lives by 2030.

Smart traffic lights

Many people know the frustration of waiting at red lights while no traffic is moving through the intersection. Modern traffic lights typically run on a fixed schedule, with police officers occasionally intervening during special events and emergencies. So-called smart traffic lights are already able to use cameras and road sensors to adjust their timing minute by minute to handle traffic and pedestrians faster and more safely. By collecting data and making decisions independent of human guidance, such lights harness AI to adapt to the randomness of traffic. Easing traffic congestion in this way would not simply reduce commuting stress, but it would also cut down on air pollution from idling cars. Carnegie Mellon University is already testing smart traffic lights in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which are also being tested in Los Angeles, California, and Bellevue, Washington. By 2030, they will likely be on your corner.

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