So, what is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence is the overarching name for a branch of computer science that deals with smart machines or robots that can think and perform tasks like a human. In artificial intelligence you can teach a computer to learn and make its own decisions. AI is the broad concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider'smart', and we encounter these technologies on a daily basis: from voice assistants in our home, to Netflix recommendations or autonomous cars. AI relies on data and on training algorithms.
Delta Air Lines, in partnership with TSA PreCheck, today announced an expansion of how it uses biometrics to let passengers drop their bags, go through security and board their plane by simply showing their face. For now, the newest part of this, the PreCheck bag-drop experience, is a pilot that's only available in Atlanta and for Delta's SkyMiles frequent flier program members who are also registered for TSA pre-check. The project builds and expands upon the work the airline has done at its Detroit hub and for its international flights out of Atlanta. But now it includes a facial recognition-powered bag-drop experience, too. In Atlanta, where Delta and the TSA are running this pilot, members of Delta's SkyMiles frequent flier program who are also TSA pre-check members now get their own self-service PreCheck bag-drop area.
Algorithms now determine how much things cost. It's called dynamic pricing and it adjusts according to current market conditions in order to increase profits. The rise of e-commerce has propelled pricing algorithms into an everyday occurrence--whether you're shopping on Amazon, booking a flight, hotel or ordering an Uber. In this continuation of our series on automation and your wallet, we explore what happens when a machine determines the price you pay. This episode was reported by Anthony Green and produced by Jennifer Strong and Emma Cillekens. We're edited by Mat Honan and our mix engineer is Garret Lang, with sound design and music by Jacob Gorski. Jennifer: Alright so I'm in an airport just outside New York City and just looking at the departures board here seeing all these flights going different places… It makes me think about how we decide how much something should cost… like a ticket for one of these flights. Because where the plane is going is just part of the puzzle. The price of airfare is highly personalized.
By implementing artificial intelligence techniques similar to those used in autonomous cars, a team from the UNIGE and the UniBE, in partnership with the company Disaitek, has discovered a new method for detecting exoplanets. The majority of exoplanets discovered to date have been discovered using the transit method. This technique is based on a mini eclipse caused when a planet passes in front of its star. The decrease in luminosity observed makes it possible to deduce the existence of a planet and to estimate its diameter, after the observations have been periodically confirmed. However, theory predicts that in many planetary systems, interactions between planets alter this periodicity and make their detection impossible.
An autonomous boat taxi, years in the making, has now made it to the waterways of Amsterdam. The self-driving boat, dubbed Roboat III, is the creation of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Senseable City Laboratory, and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions. First developed and tested in pool environments back in 2015, Roboat has undergone extensive redesigns to become a full-scale, autonomous'taxi' service for city residents. Last year's version, Roboat II, was a blocky, eyesore-yellow model, two meters in length, that was able to carry two passengers. Despite its appearance, the technology behind the boat -- including sensors and mapping technologies -- meant that the boat was safely able to navigate itself for three hours with an error margin of 0.17m.
MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is ready to deploy the autonomous passenger boat it's been developing over the past six years. The vehicle, called the Roboat, has been through multiple iterations -- just last year, the lab tested a version that can carry two passengers. This year, Roboat's creators are launching its full-scale version, which can carry up to five passengers, collect waste and deliver goods, in Amsterdam. The current Roboat has futuristic looks with its black and grey design and two seats facing each other. It's fully electric with 10 hours of battery life on a single charge and has wireless charging capabilities. MIT CSAIL Director Daniela Rus says it's more precise and has more robust perception, navigation and control systems that its predecessors.
In the coming years, mobility solutions--or how we get from point A to point B--will bridge the gap between ground and air transportation--yes, that means flying cars. Technological advancements are transforming mobility for people and, leading to unprecedented change. Nand Kochhar, vice president of automotive and transportation for Siemens Software says this transformation extends beyond transportation to society in general. "The future of mobility is going to be multimodal to meet consumer demands, to offer a holistic experience in a frictionless way, which offers comfort, convenience, and safety to the end consumer." Thinking about transportation differently is part of a bigger trend, Kochhar notes: "Look at few other trends like sustainability and emissions, which are not just a challenge for the automotive industry but to society as a whole." The advances in technology will have benefits beyond shipping and commute improvements--these technological advancements, Kochhar argues, are poised to drive an infrastructure paradigm shift that will bring newfound autonomy to those who, today, aren't able to get around by themselves. Kochhar explains, "Just imagine people in our own families who are in that stage where they're not able to drive today. Now, you're able to provide them freedom." Laurel Ruma: From Technology Review, I'm Laurel Ruma, and this is Business Lab, the show that helps business leaders make sense of new technologies coming out of the lab and into the marketplace. Our topic today is the future of mobility. In 2011, Marc Andreessen famously said, "Software is eating the world."
Are we ready to take to the skies without a human pilot? With advances in AI and data science, it is now conceivable to travel in self-driving automobiles. It is still too early to say "yes" to flying without a human pilot, but it may be achievable in the future. Before air travel becomes completely pilotless, years of certification and testing will be required. The good news is that airlines do use data science and machine learning to automate or speed up operations.
The field of transportation and logistics has witnessed fundamental transformations in the last decade, due to the convergence of seemingly unrelated technologies. The fast pace of innovations has been particularly striking for an industry that had been relatively stagnant for a long time. Taxi services were born in England where a public coach service for hire was first documented in 1605. The Hackney Carriage Act, which legalized horse-drawn carriages for hire, was passed in Parliament in 1635, and a similar service was started in Paris in 1637. Public transit was invented by Blaise Pascal in 1662 through a service known as the "carriage," which was quite popular and operated for 15 years.
Waymo is now operating a robotaxi pilot in non-downtown San Francisco using Jaguar electric ... [ ] vehicles. This is territory where a real robotaxi make sense. Most of the biggest names in self-driving cars are aiming to make money selling Robotaxi service -- most quickly described as a self-driving Uber UBER -style service where you can summon a car with an app on your phone and ride elsewhere for a reasonable fee, possibly combined with "sharing" in some form, such as the style of UberPool or forms of on-demand transit. This is the plan of Waymo, Cruise, Amazon AMZN /Zoox, Argo AI and many others. It was obviously the plan of Uber ATG before it sold to Aurora, and Lyft LYFT L5 before it sold to Toyota.