As the world becomes digital, artificial intelligence is no longer something in the distant future. It’s a technology present in our daily lives in more ways than we can imagine.

But what does artificial intelligence mean?

According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, Artificial intelligence (AI), is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans.

The idea of a robot/machine emulating the cognitive functions of the human mind has open the discussion and raised the question, could AI-driven machines be smarter than humans someday?

A perspective from science fiction

For those who enjoy science fiction movies, you may well remember Steven Spielberg´s science-fiction drama movie AI Artificial Intelligence.

Released back in 2001 the movie portrays a vision of the 22nd century deeply affected by global warming, a future in which man and machines co-exist but not without conflict.

The movie centers on David, a child prototype capable of showing emotions, who develops abilities to have a will without being programmed.

Moreover, the film presents an ethical dilemma that transcends imagination.

Elon Musk on AI

Currently, there are no policies to regulate AI technology, but should we be concerned?

According to co-founder and CEO at Tesla´s Elon Musk, we should be.

The technological entrepreneur is also co-founder of OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company.

In the words of the company: “Open AI´s mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI)—by which we mean highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work—benefits all of humanity. We will attempt to directly build safe and beneficial AGI, but will also consider our mission fulfilled if our work aids others to achieve this outcome.”

Last year, Musk responded to questions submitted by the audience on a series of different subjects at the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals, and once again spoke openly about his concerns regarding the use of this technology.

“I´m very close to the cutting edge in AI, and it scares the hell out of me. It´s capable of vastly more than almost anyone knows, and the rate of improvement is exponential.”

Musk on self-driving: “I think probably by intermixture self-driving will well encompass essentially all modes driving and be at least a hundred to two hundred percent safer than a person by the end of next year (2019).

The rate of improvement is dramatic, we have to figure out some way to ensure that the advent of digital super-intelligence is one which is symbiotic with humanity, I think that is the single biggest existential crisis that we face and the most pressing one.”

On regulatory oversight: “I´m not normally an advocate of regulation and oversight. I think it´s once you generally go inside minimizing those things, but this is a case where you have a very serious danger to the public, and it´s therefore there needs to be a public body that has insight and then oocytes on to confirm that everyone is developing AI safely, this is extremely important. Mock my words AI is far more dangerous than nukes.”

The Internet of Things

Technology evolves quite quickly, automation is present in the supermarket, in the bank, in health care, at home, at work.

Some industries are replacing man for machines while in others some jobs become obsolete.

The jobs of the future are mostly technology related, which will demand an even faster approach by educational institutions to be able to capacitate people that can fulfill those vacancies.

AI in the automotive industry

Usually, the first thought that comes to mind when talking about AI in the automotive industry is autonomous vehicles, but the possibilities are endless.

Defining the autonomous driving process

There are five levels of autonomous driving: Driving assistance, partly automated, highly automated, fully automated, and automated driving. In the latter, the driver becomes a passenger of the car.

Autonomous Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan undergoing testing in Los Altos, California. Photo by: Dllu.
Autonomous Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan undergoing testing in Los Altos, California. Photo by: Dllu.

AI case uses examples in the automotive industry

Driver assistance system

BMW: The current BMW Personal CoPilot driver assistance systems support drivers on the road and help ensure additional safety and comfort. Examples of this include the Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function, which independently adjusts the distance to the car in front of you. And then there is the Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Brake Activation, which prevents collisions via automatic braking.

The German automaker received the Euro NCAP Advanced Award (recognizing advanced safety technologies) in the area of accident prevention and passenger protection.

Automated Parking

The Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of technology and services, is one of the companies that has developed and explored further this function.

According to Bosch, at the single touch of a button, its automated parking functions can be activated and controlled, navigating your car to your parking space, identifying obstacles and brake or dodge them, all fully automatically.

Automated valet parking

Last July, it was announced that Bosch and Daimler, have obtained approval for driverless parking without human supervision becoming

the world’s first fully automated driverless (SAE Level 4) parking function to be approved by the relevant authorities.

As part of this pilot project, in which both companies have remarked their priority on safety, the system will be in daily use in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart, Germany, with Bosch supplying the infrastructure and Daimler the vehicle technology.

“Driverless driving and parking are important building blocks for tomorrow’s mobility. The automated parking system shows just how far we have already progressed along this development path,

said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

These automated functions share two key factors, safety, and comfort.

Startups in the Automotive Industry

There are over 500 startups developing technology towards the automotive sector, which only tends to increase along with progress.

Here are two examples of these data-driven innovative solutions.

Carfit is a global technology company that is bringing innovation with its self-diagnostic and predictive maintenance platform, applying advanced mathematical principles, tracking the actual performance of a vehicle based on vibrations and movement.

Among some of the recognitions, the company with headquarters in Palo Alto, California and offices in France, has been awarded is the LAURÉAT DU DIGITAL INDUSTRY AWARD DANS LA CATÉGORIE SMART PRODUCT last year in Paris, France.

German Autolabs developed the first digital assistance CHRIS, made for drivers, linking the phone via Bluetooth to safely operate apps by voice or gesture while driving.

German Autolabs has been distinguished with the iF Design Award 2019, one of the world’s most valued design competitions.

Shaping the future

Last month, the World Economic Forum´s Technology Pioneers of 2019 awarded 56 early to growth-stage companies at the Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions that took place in the city of Dalian, China.

“Our new tech pioneers are at the cutting edge of many industries, using their innovations to address serious issues around the world,” says Fulvia Montresor, Head of Technology Pioneers at the Forum. “This year’s pioneers know that technology is about more than innovation – it is also about the application. This is why we believe they’ll shape the future.”

Among them are Perceptive Automata, which develops technology on human intuition for machines.

Founded in 2014 with headquarters in Somerville, USA, the company combines behavioral science, neuroscience, and computer vision to help autonomous understand how pedestrians, bikes, and drivers communicate on the road.

One of the achievements highlighted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) President Borge Brende, was the announcement that Bahrain will run a pilot scheme on the ethical procurement of Artificial Intelligence in the public sector.

“AI can deliver huge benefits to citizens, but it needs a robust framework for successful implementation, and this project with WEF will build a global knowledge-base that can be used by other governments to sustainably and responsibly introduce AI across their public sector institutions,” said Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).


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