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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Last month, we reported on the silent run-up to the age of artificial intelligence, whose green shoots grow without fanfare only to flower a decade or two in the future.

But, but, but: As we reported yesterday, these quiet, behind-the-scenes developments are transforming modern work now.

"We don’t call them AI because they’re already here," says Berkeley’s Ken Goldberg, a robotics expert who directs the university's People and Robots Initiative.

  • If one dimension of the far-off AI future is autonomous vehicles, we’re living in its first stage, the age of smart cruise control: tools that use basic machine learning to take on just part of a job.
  • This is also the world of smart speakers and navigation apps like Waze that use human input — everyday technologies that ease specific tasks, but can’t really do anything on their own.

In business and consumer tech, this early wave of AI helpers is already ubiquitous.

  • Among the everyday systems driven by AI and human input: spam filtering, machine translation, search, and book and movie recommendations.
  • Salesforce uses machine learning to identify promising leads based on the outcome of previous interactions, a spokesperson says. It can also predict the likelihood of losing a customer based on signals about how they use a company’s services.
  • Sprint uses Adobe’s AI platform to dig through troves of customer data and find potentially receptive groups of people to target with marketing, an Adobe spokesperson tells Axios.
  • Even T.G.I. Friday’s has automated basic tasks ranging from staff scheduling to ingredient ordering and waste management, as we reported last week.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO wants to compete against Apple

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger hasn't given up on the idea of the Mac once again using Intel chips, but he acknowledges it will probably be years before he gets that chance.

  • In the meantime, he is focused on powering Windows machines that give Apple CEO Tim Cook a run for his money.

Why it matters: In getting pushed out of the Mac, Intel not only lost a customer but picked up a new rival.