While the robots aren’t yet coming to take our jobs, they are certainly threatening to lend a hand.
Artificial Intelligence startups have raised a combined $27 billion in venture capital funding, and there doesn’t yet seem to be any sign of a slow down. From virtual assistants to speech recognition software to machine learning platforms - the tech world is going gaga over AI enabled tools.
The good news is that this explosion of tools offers great opportunity for developers to play around and experiment. We’re looking for tools that help us with specific tasks, such as scheduling a meeting, detecting server vulnerabilities, or crunching through big data. Here are 10 of our favorite AI powered tools to help developers work smarter.
AI Tools to Make Life Better
X.AI Scheduling Assistant
Hate back and forth emails trying to find a time to meet? Us too. That’s why we were so excited to hear about x.ai - an AI assistant that does all the work of scheduling meetings for you. The CEO developed x.ai after booking 1000 meetings in a year. That’s a lot of scheduling!
Once you’ve installed it, simply cc the AI assistant on an email chain asking it to find a time to meet. It checks your calendar and suggests a few options to the person you want to meet with. When they confirm, the meeting request (with all information needed) is emailed to both of you.
73% of us admit to not reading all the fine print when signing contracts or accepting terms of service. And who can blame us? Contracts are full of legalese, and terms of service look pretty much the same for every website we use.
But it turns out machines are really good at reading legalese (or at least Legal Robot is). Their NLP software crunches through contracts, highlighting potential areas of concern, closing loopholes and providing enforceability scoring. They also work with actual lawyers to clarify grey areas, so you can be sure you’re signing safely.
Check out the suite of Legal Robot AI products on their website.
Bill needs to talk through all the options before making a decision. But Maria is blunt and to the point - take too long in a meeting, and you’ll lose her. How are you supposed to figure this out? Well, there’s now an AI tool that will help you better understand your colleagues.
Crystal examines your contact’s internet footprint to determine their preferred ways to communicate. Integrate Crystal with LinkedIn or an email inbox to get instant insights on your colleagues’ personalities and preferences.
You can see a preview of my personality profile on the right. It’s pretty accurate! Crystal also suggests taking a few quizzes on their site to improve accuracy.
Crystal is free for up to 10 profiles per month, so download the Chrome extension and have a play around!
A to-do list that actually helps you accomplish some of your tasks, Gluru uses NLP to understand your to-do list. It can generate tasks from an email inbox, and “smart” actions from a to-do list.
For example, say someone emailed you to say a contract was ready to be signed and needed to be sent out to a client. Gluru would put that task on your to-do list, then even offer to send the contract itself. It’s kind of like an all-knowing, all-seeing assistant. Pretty cool!
AI Tools for Better Programming
For teams that want the benefit of machine learning but don’t want to spend the time building algorithms from scratch, a tool like H2O can bring a lot of value.
From their website: “H2O is an open source, in-memory, distributed, fast, and scalable machine learning and predictive analytics platform that allows you to build machine learning models on big data and provides easy productionalization of those models in an enterprise environment.”
Their flagship product is incredibly flexible and can be deployed in a variety of environments. H20 has been used for anything from detecting fraudulent payments, or analyze insurance trends. In a world where companies have endless data to sift through, H20 helps data engineers start to make sense of it, with minimal machine learning backgrounds.
Machines are really really good at analyzing tons of real-time data. Certainly much better than humans. Because of this AI is starting to shine in security monitoring software.
Recorded Future is a threat intelligence solution that monitors real-time activity on your platform to identify emerging threats and assess possible risks from vulnerabilities relevant to your network. It essentially plugs right into your existing security software to monitor and analyze billions of data points daily across your infrastructure and the rest of the internet.
Unfortunately, it’s not a cheap solution. It’s expensive because it works. Recorded Future is used by 91% of the Fortune 100 companies for threat identification.
Azure Machine Learning
Microsoft released three new machine learning tools for developers at the end of 2017, all under the Azure name. Their product line is focused on accessibility and keeping humans in the driving seat of AI. Microsoft wants to empower as many people as possible to integrate machine learning into their business.
The Azure Machine Learning platform lets developers get as hands on as they want with container-based AI deployment. Alternatively, they can use the Azure Machine Learning Studio to drag-and-drop datasets into preconfigured machine learning environments and deploy predictive analytics.
They offer a free version designed to provide an in depth introduction, including 10GB of storage and the ability to operationalize models as staging APIs.
The company at Prodo is building machines to write code for humans. But don’t get worried about them stealing developer jobs. Prodo’s mission is to help relieve the human pains of programming by letting machines do what they do best. Their first product is a smart code review assistant.
From the site: “It interacts with human developers directly on their peer-review platform, spotting issues and recommending changes. It works out of the box without any configuration required, learning how to suggest the most impactful changes by taking into account the context and previous interactions with other humans.”
Apply now for early access at prodo.ai.
DiffBlue’s goal is to automate all traditional coding tasks, including “bug fixing, test writing, finding and fixing exploits, refactoring code, translating from one language to another, and creating original code to fit specifications.” Currently they offer three products that automate test writing, refactoring and security monitoring.
Developed at Oxford University, their automatic test generating software will look at your existing code and tests to evaluate coverage, and generate tests to fill in the gaps.
The Future of AI
As more and more startups join the AI fray, expect to see more problems being solved with AI. Even slight inconveniences (like scheduling a meeting) are being put to the AI test. Eventually almost every part of our life could be automated in some regard.
Take, for example, Eter9 - a social network that uses AI to understand the user’s personality so it can continue to interact with other users even when you’re offline or not physically present. Your social media presence could even extend past your lifetime on earth.
As Elon Musk warns, "AI will be the best or worst thing ever for humanity." Will these tools make us better? Or when will they have gone too far?