If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
The Pentagon is making a massive push to accelerate the application of artificial intelligence to ships, tanks, aircraft, drones, weapons and large networks as part of a sweeping strategy to more quickly harness and integrate the latest innovations. Many forms of AI are already well-underway with U.S. military combat systems, yet new technologies and applications are emerging so quickly that Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has directed the immediate creation of a new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. "The Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the DoD Chief Information Officer to standup the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center in order to enable teams across DoD to swiftly deliver new AI-enabled capabilities and effectively experiment with new operating concepts in support of DoD's military missions and business functions." DoD spokeswoman Heather Babb told Warrior Maven. Pentagon officials intend for the new effort to connect otherwise disparate AI developments across the services.
One kind of robot has endured for the last half-century: the hulking one-armed Goliaths that dominate industrial assembly lines. These industrial robots have been task-specific -- built to spot weld, say, or add threads to the end of a pipe. They aren't sexy, but in the latter half of the 20th century they transformed industrial manufacturing and, with it, the low- and medium-skilled labor landscape in much of the U.S., Asia, and Europe. You've probably been hearing a lot more about robots and robotics over the last couple years. That's because for the first time since the 1961 debut of GM's Unimate, regarded as the first industrial robot, the field is once again transforming world economies. Only this time the impact is going to be broader.
Australian startup Baraja is giving car manufacturers an alternative to the 13kg drum Uber is using for driverless vehicle mapping, launching its Light Detection and Ranging-based solution to help progress driverless vehicles. The product, Spectrum-Scan, uses shifting wavelengths of light to create "eyes" for autonomous vehicles. CEO and co-founder Federico Collarte told ZDNet the lidar solution solves the scalability, reliability, and performance issues that have "challenged automakers, rideshares, and the tech behemoths as they race toward a fully-autonomous future". At this point, it doesn't matter what type of vehicle the sensors are mounted to, as Collarte said "today you don't buy self-driving cars, you buy cars and you give them self-driving capabilities". Up to four sensor heads are connected via fibre optic cable to a central processor.
Mercedes Benz owner Daimler is teaming up with Bosch to launch a fleet of driverless taxis in California's Silicon Valley next year. It is part of a program to test vehicles designed for city driving in an attempt to keep up with the likes of Waymo and Uber. The world's largest maker of premium cars and biggest automotive supplier gave few details about their robo-taxi program, described as a passenger shuttle service, and did not reveal which city would host it. Mercedes boss Daimler is teaming up with Bosch to launch a fleet of driverless taxis in California's Silicon Valley next year. Negotiations with the municipality within the sprawling technology hub of Silicon Valley were still underway, spokespersons for the companies said on a conference call with journalists.
The fourth industrial revolution and oncoming of the second machine -- as it is being often hailed -- has led to new disruptive technologies emerging, even as many bit the dust in the last few years. So how do CEOs and their top teams even begin to make sense of the swirl of technological breakthroughs affecting business today? How do they gauge the impact of artificial intelligence on their companies' future compared with, say, the Internet of Things or virtual reality? A PwC study some time back identified top eight disruptive technologies that matter now, and will have far-reaching impact in the days to come. The team tracked more than 150 discrete technologies and analyzed for technologies with the most cross-industry and global impact over the coming years.
Like in a Tough Mudder, you've got a few strategies when it comes to the race to launch a taxi-like service with autonomous vehicles. You can start early and keep a slow but steady pace. You can show up a bit late, then try to sprint through it. Or you can hold back, see what trips up other contenders, and then slowly work your way through the obstacles. The big automakers tend to fall into the third category.
Autonomous vehicles will open up a wide range of benefits by removing the human from the driver's seat. They free up valuable time, enabling us to be more productive during trips or they can complete deliveries and other services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While a range of different sensors and high performance AI supercomputers running redundant and diverse algorithms will safely pilot the vehicle, some tricky obstacles may pop up during neighborhood or delivery driving. A new construction site may not appear on a robotaxi's map, and a detour may not be readily apparent. A moving truck may block an autonomous delivery vehicle's path, and it can't see a way around.
We have long anticipated the introduction of robotics into the supply chain. We have predicted the potential of such technology to help businesses keep pace with distribution challenges and consumer demand for convenience and variety. However, while robotics technology has now arrived in many sectors of life, it is yet to truly revolutionise the logistics environment. There have been a number of technological barriers which have resulted in the slow uptake of automation in the supply chain. Until recently, robots had been stationary, blind, and relatively unintelligent, lacking the complexity and agility that the logistics industry requires.
Humans aren't going away anytime soon, of course, so neither are traffic lights. But researchers are taking steps toward a future where smart traffic lights and internet-connected cars can make getting around town smoother for both drivers and pedestrians--as well as provide other benefits, such as giving priority to public transit or emergency vehicles and reducing auto emissions. For AI to do its potential magic, the first thing that's needed is data. So several startups are connecting hundreds of sensors at traffic lights to understand why congestion is happening and learn how to manage it in real time. For instance, Rapid Flow Technologies, which began as a Carnegie Mellon University research project, is testing its Surtrac traffic-management system in the East Liberty neighborhood in Pittsburgh.
The debate over privacy can leave consumers feeling torn between two bad options: disengage with the virtual world and maintain our anonymity or engage with the Internet and put our identity, finances, safety and perhaps even our democracy at risk. John Ellis, an auto futurist and formerly global technologist for Ford Motor Co., thinks we may have overlooked a third option. In his book, "The Zero Dollar Car," he argues that consumers should start thinking about their privacy as a product. Instead of concealing our private data, he argues, we should be able to sell it to companies, using the profits to lower the price of goods and services that feed off the information we produce. Ellis thinks the best way to start is with the modern car, a machine that has been transformed from a means of transportation into a sophisticated computer on wheels that offers even more access to our personal habits and behaviors than smartphones do.