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) …
Never thought that artificial intelligence (AI) can save our planet? Disaster response, smart farming, and pollution control are only a few ways environmental scientists are saving the earth with AI. When we think of the innovative technology AI, the first and the foremost thing that pops up in our mind might be robots. Though robots are one of the applications of AI, there are many other applications that increasingly have the potential to help humankind. One such AI application area where the technology shines through is in the field of environmental services.
Agriculture is undergoing a renaissance. IoT and artificial intelligence are enabling farmers to manage crops and livestock more reliably and efficiently. Autonomous farming equipment, livestock monitoring systems, and precision farming solutions are empowering farmers to feed our increasingly hungry and environmentally unstable world. As we begin 2019, it's exciting to reflect on all the Internet of Things--IoT--industry changes that occurred in 2018 and the trends that lay ahead in 2019. Many industries have been and will continue to be affected by the growth and maturation of IoT--school campuses will be safer, cars will be smarter, and homes will be sleeker and more intuitive, and businesses will deliver more value more efficiently.
Revolutionary new virtual reality technology could let anyone ride along with you as a virtual passenger. Called Voyage XR, it's expected to have a range of applications, from training truck drivers to letting parents keep an eye on teen drivers while they're on the road. And it could even enable far-flung, elderly relatives to ride along with family members from any corner of the globe. Valeo debuted Voyage XR at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, which it claims'brings teleportation to life.' The Paris-based automotive supplier set up shop at CES with demos of Voyage XR, along with an eye-catching self-driving car test track across from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Of all the luxury car brands, Audi has been the most aggressive in terms of putting semi-autonomous technology into its production cars. Now the German automaker is offering a sneak peek of its effort to build fully driverless cars, as well as one of the partners it says will be instrumental in putting self-driving cars on the road by 2021. Audi, which is owned by the Volkswagen Group, recently pledged to spend almost $16 billion (14 billion euros) on electric mobility and self-driving technology through 2023. Much of that work will take place at Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID), a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi. The group was founded a year-and-a-half ago, and today around 150 employees.
In case you missed the memo: CES is officially a car show. Automakers have been using the expo to showcase their latest technology for years, but at CES 2019, they've flooded the floor in outlandish concept cars that challenge traditional definitions of what a car even is. This year is all about living rooms on wheels. While there are still wild concepts with larger-than-life wheels, swooping profiles and glittering lights, the real highlight at CES is on the inside. As self-driving technology has matured, designers have begun to envision what cars can look like without steering wheels, and a lot of the results share a common theme.
For the first issue of the PCMag Digital Edition in 2019, we're fast-forwarding to envision what technology--and our tech-driven society--will look like in 2039. We wanted to explore the myriad ways in which tech will be more intertwined with our lives and will have changed our culture. To do so, we interviewed a select group of futurists, execs, academics, researchers, and a speculative fiction writer, who gave us some thoughtful predictions. Each of our interviewees has a unique perspective on the most important factors that will influence our tech-driven future, including artificial intelligence, automation, biotechnology, nanotechnology, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things devices, smart cities, and much more. They also speculate how broader issues such as climate change and online privacy and security will affect us and the technology with which we'll be living. It's our best educated guess at predicting what our world and technology's role in it will look like--whether our lives will be dystopian, utopian, or somewhere in that vast gray area in the middle. Jason Silva is host of the Emmy-nominated series Brain Games on National Geographic. He also created and hosts the YouTube series "Shots of Awe." The ebullient Venezuelan-born documentary filmmaker, speaker, and TV personality--who was once described by The Atlantic as "a Timothy Leary of the viral video age"--is a techno-optimist whose ideas are influenced by (among others) fellow futurist Ray Kurzweil, Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly and his concept of the Technium. In the next 20 years, we're going to see exponential progress in some of these nascent technologies, like virtual reality and augmented reality. I think the next thing to dematerialize is the smartphone itself. What that looks like, who knows? Maybe it's a pair of eyeglasses we put on that are connected to some kind of computational device, and it will beam an augmented reality interface that fully overlays, that is contextually aware, and enhances the way we interface with the world--so that essentially, each one of us has that kind of personalized experience of reality.
Lidar startup Baraja has raised $32 million in a series A round of funding led by Sequoia China and Main Sequence Ventures' CSIRO Innovation Fund, with participation from Blackbird Ventures. Founded out of Sydney, Australia, in 2015, Baraja is one of a number of lidar startups targeting the burgeoning driverless car industry with the necessary smarts to safely navigate busy thoroughfares without human intervention. Lidar technology essentially surveys the environment by beaming out laser-powered light to measure distances. Anyone who has observed the big players in the autonomous vehicle realm, such as Alphabet's Waymo, will have noticed the giant spinning lasers mounted atop the vehicle's roof that rotate to garner a comprehensive view of the environment. These are not only bulky, but expensive -- perhaps prohibitively expensive if self-driving cars are ever to hit mass production.
The computer managing its technology has not only become more powerful than ever before, but it's also smaller so it tucks directly against the rear seat, and it only requires power from the hybrid battery, using a 12v battery of its own just as an emergency backup. The low-profile sensor array that debuted in the car's third generation is staying mostly the same, but there are two new cameras on the sides and two imaging sensors that it said have been developed specifically for autonomous vehicles. We'll meet the new car at Toyota's press conference on Monday when CEO Dr. Gill Pratt explains the company's advances in autonomous driving. Follow all the latest news from CES 2019 here! Richard's been tech-obsessed since first laying hands on an Atari joystick.
We're not quite done dusting off the glitter from our New Year's Day celebrations, but it's time to turn our attention once again to that other big event in January: the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Yes, the annual flurry of tech and gadgets returns to Las Vegas next week, and we'll be right there in the middle of it all to check out what's new. From smart homes to the biggest of big-screen TVs, here's a brief sneak peek at what we expect from this year's show. Maybe more than anything else, CES is a wonderland for people who obsess over screens. From big to small, we're going to get a sense of what the displays of the future will look like.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been the most discussed amongst other emerging technologies of 2018, adding the extra zing to the coffee breaks of technocrats. With global leaders like Amazon, Google and Microsoft ramping up resources for research in these fields, the trend is definitely not going to dip down anytime soon. In fact, Google is offering free online training to enhance knowledge and build capabilities. Analysts believe, 2019 is going to be the year for business enterprises who have been waiting to finally get on board to witness a plethora of advancements for their industry. What are the technology disruptions we expect next year?