Given all the press surrounding it, it’s easy to be confused. After all, if you believe everything you read, you’d think we’re practically in an artificial intelligence (AI)-controlled world already, and it’s only a matter of time before the machines take over.
Except, well, a quick reality check will easily show that that perspective is far from the truth. To be sure, AI has had a profound impact on many different aspects of our lives—from smart personal assistants to semi-autonomous cars to chatbot-based customer service agents and much more—but the overall real-world influence of AI is still very modest.
Part of the confusion stems from a misunderstanding of AI. Thanks to a number of popular, influential science fiction movies, many people associate AI with a smart, broad-based intelligence that can enable something like the nasty, people-hating world of Skynet from Terminator movies.