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) …
Telco equipment maker Nokia, Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo, and industrial automation company Omron have agreed to conduct 5G trials at their plants and production sites. As part of the trial, the trio will look to couple 5G and artificial intelligence together to create "real-time coaching" for workers. "Machine operators will be monitored using cameras, with an AI-based system providing feedback on their performance based on an analysis of their movements," Nokia said in a statement. "This will help improve the training of technicians by detecting and analysing the differences of motion between more skilled and less skilled personnel." The trial will also test how reliable 5G is when the movement of people and background noise from machinery is involved.
Artificial emotional intelligence, or "emotion AI," is emerging as a key component of the broader AI movement. The general idea is this: It's all very well having machines that can understand and respond to natural-language questions, and even beat humans at games, but until they can decipher non-verbal cues such as vocal intonations, body language, and facial expressions, humans will always have the upper hand in understanding other humans. And it's against that backdrop that countless companies are working toward improving computer vision and voice analysis techniques, to help machines detect the intricate and finely balanced emotions of a flesh-and-bones homo sapiens. One of those companies is Realeyes, a company that helps big brands such as AT&T, Mars, Hershey's, and Coca-Cola gauge human emotions through desktop computers' and mobile devices' cameras. The London-based startup, which was founded in 2007, today announced a fresh $12.4 million round of funding from Draper Esprit, the VC arm of Japanese telecom giant NTT Docomo, Japanese VC fund Global Brain, Karma Ventures, and The Entrepreneurs Fund.
In my last article, I covered how 5G with Cloud technologies will transform computing by shifting the computing power from the device to the Cloud through edge computing, making high-end experiences, such as high-quality wireless VR, accessible to more people at lower cost, without the need for constant upgrades and with a lighter form factor. This transformation is pervasive, as the enhanced mobile broadband represented by 5G enables high bandwidth and low latency across all devices and sensors. The miniaturization of 5G chipsets and their integration in UHD video and depth cameras makes those truly mobile. As 5G networks are rolled out either through Fixed Wireless Access (WTTx) and mobile networks, mobile video capture, broadcasting, and consumption are made possible. WTTx has considerable impact on very high resolution capture thanks to a larger data bandwidth pipe, making not just multicast possible, but 3D capture also a reality.
CHIBA - With the market for business-use unmanned aircraft looking promising in coming years, a large-scale drone expo that kicked off Wednesday showed more companies are eager to get involved with the trend. Companies ranging from the small to the powerful are showing off their business solutions using drones at Japan Drone, an annual exhibition at Makuhari Messe in Chiba that features more than 200 firms and runs until Friday. Telecom giant KDDI Corp. is showcasing its "smart" drone platform connected to KDDI's mobile communication networks across the country, which allows a drone to navigate a wider swath of territory via remote control. "One merit of using our service is that drones can be remote controlled through our communication networks anywhere in Japan, unlike most drones exhibited at this event, which tap Wi-Fi networks with limited coverage," said So Yamazaki, a KDDI official. KDDI will launch the service to corporate customers in June and lists surveillance, inspection, land survey and analysis as the envisioned applications.
Ericsson has announced signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Audi for the use of 5G technologies during automotive production, with the car manufacturer working towards the "smart factory". Ericsson and Audi will use the latter company's production lab in Gaimersheim, Germany, with simulated processes mirroring those used in its headquarters in Ingolstadt to run field trials such as wirelessly connected production robots working on car body construction. The lab will be kitted out with Ericsson's proof-of-concept 5G network, with the companies also looking into the use of such technology across other Audi Group factories. Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden said the companies would be testing "smart wireless manufacturing" as well as connected vehicles. "This technology ... allows for faster data throughput rates and more network capacities, as well as promising highly secure availability.
The trial takes place at a 5G testing site at the Fujitsu Shin-Kawasaki Technology Square, one of Fujitsu's network business locations in Japan. Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories, which have been working on 5G trials with NTT DoCoMo since 2014, have already collaborated with the Japanese carrier on evaluating communications speed for distributed antennas deployed at multiple outdoor locations. "The testing system consists of two mobile stations equipped with displays that can be moved around the interior of Fujitsu Shin-Kawasaki Technology Square, as well as equipment including distributed antennas installed in 16 locations, centralised baseband processing equipment that controls the distributed antennas, and fibre-optic cables connecting the distributed antennas with the centralised baseband processing equipment," Fujitsu explained. Fujitsu's ultra high-density distributed antenna technology "actively controls the shape of cells, which are the range of a signal, in order to improve communication quality for mobile stations through centralised control of base station antennas distributed around a space at high density", it said. Fujitsu said 32 distributed antennas can be controlled by the centralised baseband processing devices, using signal processing equipment that aggregates digital signals transmitted and received by several different distributed antennas while preventing signal interference.
One taxi driver said he had noticed a 20 percent rise in passenger traffic since using the AI prediction system. In downtown Tokyo, just like in most major cities, taxi drivers make an educated guess as to where they might find their next paying passenger. Years of experience have honed their prediction skills to pinpoint customers depending on location, the time of day and weather. But even with this knowledge, tracking down passengers is still a hit and miss science with many drivers saying they can cruise around for up to two hours without finding a fare. Japan's biggest mobile phone operator, NTT Docomo, wants to change all that.
While next-generation 5G cellular will bring faster downloads for consumers, the new networking technology is poised to bring big benefits to business users enabling new uses for cellular networks. At this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Japan's NTT DoCoMo is demonstrating one such use: remote control of robots via a wireless virtual reality system. In one corner of the company's booth was a simulated factory floor with three robots. The area was surrounded by four depth-sensing 3D cameras that together provide enough video for an immersive, all-around virtual reality image. That 3D video, totaling roughly 700Mbps of data, was sent across a 5G radio link to a receiver where it was processed and fed to a VR headset.
On a Friday evening, it's fairly easy to guess the downtown hot spots where taxis likely are needed. But most of the time, cab drivers have little more than intuition to go on to find their next fare. That could change for cab drivers in Japan when NTT Docomo commercializes its artificial intelligence technology, which predicts where ride requests will be. Using ridership data from 4,425 cabs, along with other factors such as weather and mobile phone data and locations, NTT Docomo trained its AI system to predict where localized ride demand will be in 30 minutes within a 500-square-meter area. Drivers participating in its trials used tablets that provided updated ridership data every 10 minutes, which gave drivers enough time to reposition their vehicle based on anticipated requests.
An app offering real-time translations is to allow people in Japan to speak to foreigners over the phone with both parties using their native tongue. NTT Docomo - the country's biggest mobile network - will initially convert Japanese to English, Mandarin and Korean, with other languages to follow. It is the latest in a series of telephone conversation translators to launch in recent months. Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft are among those working on other solutions. The products have the potential to let companies avoid having to use specially trained multilingual staff, helping them cut costs.