AI Revolution: The Past, Present, and Future of Artificial Intelligence in Utah

AI Revolution: The Past, Present, and Future of Artificial Intelligence in Utah

Estimated reading time: 5-6 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY Two simple letters: AI.

When you plug them into any search engine, information is everywhere, with articles, blog posts, podcasts, and social media posts touting cutting-edge advances in AI alongside dire warnings about misuse.

While it’s nearly impossible to ignore the confusion surrounding AI, there are still many questions: What is it? What does it do? How will it affect my life?

While it’s a bit tricky to simplify, one thing is for sure: it will and probably already has had an impact on your life.

“It affects every industry, every job,” said Jepson Taylor, Park City-based AI strategist for Data IQ.

Taylor has worked in the AI ​​industry for the past two decades and recognizes the importance of human expertise and experience, clarifying that AI does not operate independently but learns from the collective experience of human input.

“(AI) didn’t do it on its own,” Taylor explained. “He did it by consuming all our experience. In the end, you’re the composer. You’re the expert. The AI ​​is just the enabler. It’s a catalyst. It’s an accelerator to move faster.”

How are you already using artificial intelligence

Speaking of speed, there are several ways AI already impacts everyday life.

Analyze traffic patterns to estimate how long it will take to navigate from point A to point B? You are using artificial intelligence.

Autocomplete for text messages and emails – that’s AI too.

Unlock a phone with your face.

Pop-up ads targeted to your favorite brands.

Autopilot in car.

Vocal recognition.

Fraud detection on your credit card.

You got it all can be attributed to artificial intelligence.

It is transforming industries, improving productivity and driving innovation, such as the medical field.

Doctors like Dr. Jonathan Tward, an oncologist at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, are excited about what AI can do in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Dr. Jonathan Tward, radiation oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute, talks to Mike Headrick.  Doctors like Dr. Tward are excited about what AI can do in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Dr. Jonathan Tward, radiation oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute, talks to Mike Headrick. Doctors like Dr. Tward are excited about what AI can do in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. (Photo: Aubrey Shafer, KSL-TV)

“Now there’s an AI test that can not only, with pinpoint accuracy, give me a great idea of ​​whether cancer is likely to spread after treatment, it literally lets me know if a drug that’s normally used in many people does will it just work or not,” Tward said. “What we’re talking about is personalized medicine.”

Personalized medicine, by analyzing vast amounts of medical data and delivering results and treatments almost instantly, will free up medical professionals for other tasks.

AI is a game changer that is also used in games.

Four days a week, the Salt Lake Bees Minor League baseball team officially uses AI to call balls and hits.

“The pitchers like it, the hitters like it,” enthused Bees president and general manager Marc Amicone.

Mike Headrick talks to AI strategist Jepson Taylor.  Taylor says it's clear that AI doesn't operate independently, but learns from the collective experience of human input.
Mike Headrick talks to AI strategist Jepson Taylor. Taylor says it’s clear that AI doesn’t operate independently, but learns from the collective experience of human input. (Photo: Aubrey Shafer, KSL-TV)

Above the field sit more than a dozen cameras, trained on home plate, with the sole purpose of finding that sometimes questionable strike zone.

“We have people who monitor every pitch, so they know immediately before the umpire knows,” Amicone said. “He gets up and shows a ball or a strike.”

A small black box on the referee’s belt, connected to an earphone, communicates the call immediately.

The technology test here in Salt Lake City will have greater ramifications for Major League Baseball, with the league telling KSL, “There are many important questions about how best to implement this powerful technology that remain unanswered at this point. We hope to use this season’s test at Triple-A to make progress on these questions in a highly competitive environment.”

Locally, it means fewer discussions with officials.

“If we have the ability to do it right, we should try to do it right,” Amicone said.

The unwritten future of AI

But whenever something is created for the good, it can also create a lot of wrong.

Artificial intelligence has already been used for more nefarious purposes, said Darin Gates, an adjunct professor of philosophy at BYU.

“Concerns focus on things like deception, fabrication, plagiarism, as well as things that go into the deep hoaxes and more criminal aspects,” Gates said.

Biased algorithms leading to workplace discrimination in hiring practices, data privacy violations, and cybersecurity are just a few ways AI is viewed in a darker sense.

It is also used to create video and audio recordings intended to imitate real people.

“I think this fake deep audio technology is especially concerning because they can take a sample of your voice, right? And they can generate, you know, what sounds just like you,” Gates said.

While the future of AI has yet to be written, a concern about jobs being replaced by robots may be more myth than reality.

Linda Klug-Airin is the founder and CEO of an AI company based in Park City. She understands how AI can replace the hard jobs in writing, research, finance, and graphic design.

While some jobs may disappear, he said it’s more about how AI can free workers from menial tasks to delve into more interesting ones.

“You may hear of AI mimicking a human brain,” Klug-Airin said, “it’s actually just mimicking how we put models together.”

It’s the role modeling part that said it can improve employee skills.

In one case, he saw a customer service agent with a learning disability use AI to do a more complicated and higher-paying job.

“They decided to try using our technology with him, and within two days he was able to do the job,” she said. “He made Him happy, made the employer happy.”

The reality is that this technology will continue to transform the world as we know it.

Also transform journalism. Coupled with the hours of interviews and research KSL put into this story, parts of it were made in seconds thanks to AI, including transcripting the interviews and even using ChatGPT to assist in writing the script.

Have you experienced something that you think isn’t right? KSL investigators want to help. Send your suggestion to inquisis@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can start working for you.

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