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) …
Ibrahim al-Asiri is seen in these images supplied to Yemeni police as part of a terror suspect handbook. A top Al Qaeda bomb maker who masterminded a plot to bring down an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last year, a senior U.S. official told Fox News Monday. The Associated Press previously reported that Ibrahim al-Asiri was dead, citing a tribal leader and an Al Qaeda-linked source who said that he was killed in the governate of Marib in eastern Yemen. The tribal leader said that al-Asiri was struck by the drone, along with two or four of his associates, as he stood beside his car. Al Qaeda itself has remained silent about its top bomb maker.
BOGOTÁ, Colombia--With drug crops booming, Colombia's police are busily testing whether drones carrying defoliants can efficiently kill the leaf used to make cocaine and win the support of Trump administration officials concerned about this country's growing capacity to supply drugs to American consumers. Antidrug officials here say that in recent weeks they have deployed 10 drones, each weighing 50 pounds when loaded with herbicide, in southwest Nariño province. The small, remotely guided aircraft destroyed hundreds of acres of coca in a first round of tests, said police and the company contracted by the government to supply the drones. Colombia's new president, Iván Duque, said that he wants some kind of aerial fumigation of coca fields, which expanded 160% to 516,000 acres from 2012 to 2017, the White House reported in June. But he prefers drones over planes to drop the herbicide, which would mitigate damage to legal crops growing adjacent to coca fields.
Drones aren't just cracking down on land-based poaching in Africa -- ATLAN Space is launching a pilot that will use autonomous drones to report illegal fishing in the Seychelles islands. The fliers will use computer vision to identify both the nature of boats in protected waters as well as their authorization. If they detect illegal fishing boats, the drones will note vessel locations, numbering and visible crews, passing the information along to officials. The pilot starts in October. The technology won't be limited to any specific drone system, ATLAN Space added, and that's important for the fishing industry.
Yuneec has announced a new addition to its lineup of consumer drones called the Mantis Q. It has a bunch of features for a $500 drone: 4K video, voice controls, and face detection, plus a top flying speed of 44 mph and 33 minutes of flight time. The Mantis Q weighs 1 pound and can be folded to fit into a backpack, making it ideal for families and casual photographers. The drone has three automatic flight modes: "journey mode," which flies on a straight, designated path; "point of interest," which circles an assigned object; and "return to home," which automatically returns the drone near its takeoff area. The Mantis Q is supposed to be able to recognize faces from up to 13 feet away and can take photos either through gesture control mode if the user waves their hand, or through a voice command like, "Take a selfie."
As government regulation for commercial drone usage seems to be trending in a very positive direction for the companies involved, there is an ever-growing opportunity for drone startups to utilize artificial intelligence to deliver insights without requiring much human effort. Sterblue, a French drone software startup that is launching out of Y Combinator's latest class of companies, is aiming to get off-the-shelf drones inspecting large outdoor structures up close with automated insights that identify anomalies that need a second look.
As government regulation for commercial drone usage seems to be trending in a very positive direction for the companies involved, there is an ever-growing opportunity for drone startups to utilize artificial intelligence to deliver insights without requiring much human effort. Sterblue, a French drone software startup that is launching out of Y Combinator's latest class of companies, is aiming to get off-the-shelf drones inspecting large outdoor structures up close with automated insights that identify anomalies that need a second look. The startup's software is specifically focused on enabling drones to easily inspect large power lines or wind turbines with simple automated trajectories that can get a job done much quicker and with less room for human error. The software also allows the drones to get much closer to the large structures they are scanning so the scanned images are as high-quality as possible. Compared to navigating a tight urban environment, Sterblue has the benefit of there being very few airborne anomalies around these structures, so autonomously flying along certain flight paths is as easy as having a CAD structure available and enough wiggle room to correct for things like wind condition.
U.S. officials sent out a warning after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was attacked with explosive drones in a failed assassination attempt. The Aug. 4 attack targeted Maduro while he was giving a speech in Caracas. He was unharmed but seven soldiers were hurt. It raised concerns worldwide that commercial drones could be used to harm people. ABC News obtained a bulletin from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and National Counterterrorism Center officials detailing that concern.
Google has pledged not to use its powerful artificial intelligence (AI) to create weapons of war, illegal surveillance or to cause "overall harm". However, new guidelines on the use of AI don't rule out working with the military. On Thursday, Sundar Pichai, CEO for Alphabet Inc.'s Google, set out a series of principles about AI at the company. The announcement follows more than 4,500 Google employees having written a letter in April, calling on the company to get out of the "business of war" and cancel Pentagon work. Pichai said in Thursday's post that Google recognizes that its powerful technology "raises equally powerful questions about its use".
Insurers show interest in a diverse range of so-called "emerging" technologies, but certain innovations are farther along the deployment curve than others. That's according to insurance tech analysis firm Novarica, which surveyed 116 members of its CIO Research Council for the report "New Research: Emerging Tech in Insurance - AI, Big Data, Chatbots, Drones, IoT, RPA and More." "The most pilot activity is in digital and analytics areas like artificial intelligence, big data, sensors, drones, RPA, and chatbots," writes report author and Novarica president and CEO Matt Josefowicz. "Insurers are looking to these technologies to improve risk selection, claims, service, and operating efficiency." P&C insurers, which comprised 82 of the respondents, are looking to emerging AI technologies like machine learning and unstructured data recognition mostly within underwriting and claims departments. On the life side, AI is mostly a customer service play.
Canadian hip hop artist Drake is sharing the stage with some unusual backup dancers on his current North American tour. As he performs Elevate, a song from his new album, a passel of small drones zip overhead in an elaborate aerial choreography. The company behind the #DrakeDrones (heard that here first) is Verity Studios, which is fresh off an $18 million Series A for its indoor drone show technology. The funding round highlights the big bucks in live entertainment and the arms race currently underway to make live spectacles bigger, brighter, and more technologically thrilling. Drake is a big get for Verity.