Written by Fred Bailey and Rob Yen

Lili Cheng is a VP at Microsoft AI & Research.  She recently contributed a thought-provoking article to TIME Magazine called Beauty in the Machine.

She tells us that Artificial Intelligence is one of the least understood breakouts in modern times.  “The magic of A.I. is that it’s not something you can see or touch.  You may not even realize you are using it.”  It’s a “new way of interacting with computers that won’t seem like computing at all.”

Lili Cheng, VP of Microsoft AI & Research

Artificial Intelligence is creating a technology that adapts to us, instead of the other way around.

A.I. research has been going on for as much as 50 years.  But now computers have the ability to recognize language and its complexity, mingling rational imperatives with “the unpredictability of human passion.”

The recent CES convention in Las Vegas heavily spotlighted smart-home devices, vocally-activated computer-operated systems that have been embedded in all kinds of everyday appliances and devices, including items where you wouldn’t even think it was necessary, such as toothbrushes, bathtubs and toilets.

Baidu, one of the largest internet companies in the world and a leader in A.I. research, says its core mission is to put intelligence into everything, and with manufacturers like Toyota, Samsung, and Amazon introducing new A.I.-enabled products at the convention, it gives a diverse scope of where the technology is heading.

And because of the unimaginably enormous volume of statistics, facts and figures being generated every minute of every day, only AI’s seemingly bottomless computing power can make sense of it all.

As Cheng concludes, “AI’s time is now.”