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 autonomous vehicle division of Google's parent company will start hauling cargo using self-driving trucks, capping a busy week for next-generation shipping technology. Waymo, the driverless vehicle unit of Alphabet, announced a pilot programme that will have self-driving big rigs transport cargo to the company's data centres in Georgia. Several companies are vying to dominate the nascent self-driving vehicle industry, believing the technology will reshape how humans and goods travel. Waymo has already extensively tested autonomous cars intended to ferry people around. "Now we're turning our attention to things as well", the company said in a blog post, noting that driverless trucks pose unique tech challenges.
Google said on Friday that it plans to use Waymo's self-driving trucks to deliver cargo to Google's data centers. The transport tests will take place in Atlanta, where Google-owned Waymo recently expanded its test program of self-driving minivans. Google's logistics team will work closely with Waymo's team to give Waymo's self-driving trucks a chance to operate in a real-world business scenario. Waymo announced its push into autonomous trucking a year ago and has since been testing its fleet in California and Arizona. The trucking endeavor taps into much of the same technology used in Waymo's cars and minivans, but tuned to the complexities of operating a big rig on a roadway.
On Tuesday, ride-hailing giant Uber announced it was doing a very cool, techno-futuristic thing: starting a commercial delivery service that included letting a truck drive itself 344 miles across Arizona. Of course, a trained safety operator sat behind the wheel the whole time, ready to take over if anything went awry. Pshaw, says a small startup called Starsky Robotics. In true Florida Man fashion, founder and CEO Stefan Seltz-Axmacher decided to do something much bolder and a bit scarier: In mid-February, in the Sunshine State (where regulations are as lax as those in Arizona), he sent his truck down the road for a 7-mile journey--with nobody inside. Now Starsky expects to start making completely driverless deliveries in Florida by the end of 2018, with at least one truck.
Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. A number of lawmakers in our nation's capital have been wary of self-driving cars on our roadways, a sentiment echoed by many citizens dubious of the burgeoning technology. But while national-level regulation has been slow to come, autonomous car development is already quite advanced in states like Arizona, where self-driving vehicles may even be further along than previously thought. Thanks to a lax 2015 edict by Arizona's governor, the state has become a hotbed for Silicon Valley's self-driving car testing. Waymo, one of the leaders in the autonomous car space, recently put in the paperwork to launch a self-driving ride-hailing business in the state.
The rapid growth of e-commerce is driving deep changes in logistics, from tightening up trucking capacity to elevating the importance of final-mile delivery processes. To respond, logistics managers now need to think in terms of systems that they can leverage today to make processes more efficient, while also keeping an eye on longer-term developments that will reshape tomorrow's possibilities. Several of thee include solutions currently in use, such as predictive analytics, supply chain control towers, and the continued digitization of freight forwarding; however, many, including blockchain-based traceability, driverless trucks, and even the advent of hyperloops, are all working through development, but promise to present bright new options in the future. The new take, says Joe Vernon, senior manager of North America supply chain analytics for consulting firm Capgemini, is predictive analytics that make use of machine learning and other related technology, including artificial intelligence (AI). "The goal is take all this data and be instructive with it, which is where machine learning comes in.
Uber's autonomous trucks are finally hitting the road. The ride-hailing startup said on Tuesday that its self-driving big rigs have been ferrying cargo on highways in Arizona over the past few months. For each trip, human drivers work in tandem with the autonomous trucks. Humans pick up cargo from Uber Freight customers and drive it in trailers to transfer hubs. For each trip, human drivers work in tandem with the autonomous trucks.
The most impressive thing about the Uber trip from the Midwest to Southern California wasn't that the truck drove itself the 344 miles across Arizona. It was what happened when two men named Larry and Mark met at the western edge of the Copper State. Larry, the trained safety driver, had spent the autonomous voyage watching over his robot. Mark was freshly arrived from Los Angeles in a conventional truck. Mark drove his new pile of cargo to its final destination.