What AI Evolution Looks Like… It’s Google Maps

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Like overnight success, AI’s impact on us will come after many years of incremental improvements that will sum to be very helpful to us (or at least change our habits).

I know how to get to work from home and back again without issue. However, everyday, I make a habit of putting in my work or home addresses in Google Maps on Android and checking for accidents, delays, or other unexpected items. Over the past few weeks, something has changed…

When I open that app in the car before heading home, the app immediately suggests a route to navigate home. This saves around 3 taps (including text input) and makes using it that much more convenient.

I can imagine there is a mountain of data that the Google Maps team might be sifting through to come up with this functionality, whether it’s my behavior in the app, my driving times, or some sensor data fusion. I might not even be comfortable understanding how the hamburger is made. That said, the usefulness is definitely there.

We’ll likely see this play out in other areas — incremental improvements in AI that eventually become game changers. These can include little by little improvements in speech recognition, synthesis, processing times, bandwidth, or power consumption.

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