Just imagine, it is usual Monday morning, and you are late for an office, you are in your car alone heading towards the office, but still, you are having your breakfast, How?
Oh, because the car is self-driving.
Next, now car stops at a next signal, and through the window, you see the robot is cleaning the nearby walls of the building, and on another side of your car, you see the robot is assembling the machine parts in the garage.
Well, this is the future of Artificial Intelligence.
We all know and appreciate the fact that technology has been moving at breakneck speed in the last few decades. Today we have more gadgets in our pockets than what we had in our homes three decades back. In fact, AI has become one of the most important facets of technological advancement in the human race. Many experts believe that those days are not far when we will truly have AI among us and it will become a household commodity. It is evident from the fact that the global AI market which was $1.4 billion in 2016 is expected to reach $60 billion by 2025.
The term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was coined by a computer scientist named John McCarthy in the year 1955. AI refers to the ability of a machine to simulate human cognitive skills required to think, learn and make decisions on a repetitive basis. To put it simply, we can use AI technology to program machines to do whatever humans can do. However, unlike humans, machines do not have any experience to build their cognitive ability and as such, we need to feed massive amounts of data to these machines so that it can analyze and process the data that will enable it to think logically and perform human actions immaculately. Continuing on the same note, let us have a look at some of the real-life application of AI that defines its strong upcoming future.
1. AUTOMATED CARS
You must have come across various news about self-driving cars. Currently, these vehicles require the driver for safety as the technology isn’t perfect yet. However, on the back of ongoing developments, coupled with public acceptance, self-driving cars are expected to break into widespread use very soon.
Due to the anticipated strong future, all the major automotive companies have started their journey towards fully automated vehicles. Google tested the first licensed self-driven car in the US in the year 2012 – classified as the first level down from full automation. Some of the major automotive majors like Honda, GM, Toyota, Renault-Nissan, Tesla, and Hyundai are planning to launch their first version of autonomous cars by 2020, while the others will be releasing their self-driving cars by 2021.
The autonomous cars are classified into five different levels of automation (as shown below) by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
2. CYBORG TECHNOLOGY
The term “Cyborg” may bring back memories of the film by the same name starring Jean-Claude Van Damme released in the year 1989. The movie did capture the essence of a Cyborg but in a very crude way. Nevertheless, we are here to discuss Cyborg technology in the real world.
So, what a Cyborg actually does is that it foregoes the limitations of a human body and brain. A researcher named Shimon Whiteson believes that we are advancing fast on the path to develop perfect cyborgs which will enable us to augment our natural abilities. In fact, many of these cyborgs will act as enhancements for added convenience or serve another practical purpose like prosthetic limbs, bionic leg, etc.
Yoky Matsuoka of Google Nest is a strong believer that AI will be useful for people with amputated limbs. Cyborg technology can be used to build communication between the brain and a robotic limb to give a person better kinaesthetic control. In this way, cyborg technology will significantly diminish the limitations experienced by the amputees on a daily basis.
Some of the major advancement in the field of cyborg technology is demonstrated by the following:
“Johnny Matheny, who lost his arm to cancer in 2005, becomes the first person to live with advanced mind-controlled robotic arm” – Futurism
“Alec Morris wears an advanced prosthetic bionic leg with built-in AI and state-of-the-art engineering” – The University of Utah
3. TAKE OVER HAZARDOUS JOBS
The robot technology is finding a huge application as a replacement for human intervention in places where it involves working in hazardous or risky conditions, such as bomb defusing. However, BBC is of the view that such robots aren’t quite the robots yet and are technically drones that are being used as the physical counterpart, while it still requires human intervention from outside to control them. Whether we call them robots or drones or AIs, the fact remains that by taking over some of the dangerous jobs in the world they have saved thousands of lives.
The robots are also being used to clean up nuclear sites. A robot, named Sunfish, was used to find missing fuel inside a radioactive containment vessel in the nuclear plant at Fukushima (Japan) that got devastated by tsunami and earthquake in the year 2011.
Other jobs for which robot technology is being considered for integration include welding, a job that requires professionals to work in toxic conditions, intense heat, and ear-splitting noise. In fact, robotic welding cells are already in vogue and statistics indicate that currently, robotic welding makes up 29% of the overall welding applications, primarily catering to spot welding while arc welding is catching up.
4. SOLVING CLIMATE CHANGE
It might seem intimidating than what 1% of our brain calculates in a second takes 40 minutes for the world’s fastest computer to compute, it’s like forever (pun intended). After seeing this statistic, solving climate change using AI might seem like an impossible task. But interestingly machines have access to more data vis-à-vis any person on the earth. They can store a mind-boggling number of statistics and combine the capability of big data and AI to solve the problem of climate change. Learning-based AI, which is an advanced version of AI, can diagnose a problem by interacting with the problem and it has the ability to retain its memory.
Deep Thunder, built on IBM’s platform Watson, demonstrates how big data leverages machine learning tools to build a global forecasting model that can accurately predict floods and potential mudslides due to severe storms.
IBM’s Green Horizon Project is another AI application that can build weather and pollution forecasts.
Microsoft’s SilviaTerra is another AI that uses satellite imaging to predict the sizes, species, and health of forest trees with the intent of forest conservation.
Although the exact future of AI can’t be predicted at this stage, it is quite evident that very soon AI will become usual household applications. We will be interacting with them more often than not and the society will evolve with the help of automated vehicles, cyborg technology, handling hazardous jobs and solutions to climate change. So, it is clear that AI technology has the potential to influence our future and if utilized properly it can yield fruitful results.Read more: 6 CRUCIAL WAYS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) IS CHANGING MARKETING – FOR THE BETTER!!