Robotics, automation, artificial intelligence: recently we have observed extremely dynamic developments in these areas. We have now reached a level of advancement that for a long time was considered to be exclusively a part of science fiction films. Soon, smart robots will not only clean up your apartment and wash the dishes but will also be able to take care of furniture or even of children and pets. How does modern technology help people? How does it affect our lives? In this article we explore some interesting solutions that you may be dealing with soon.
Google has created an autonomous, self-driving car, and several US states have already introduced legislation to allow such vehicles to use public roads. In this case, the technology uses the LIDAR laser radar system and a rangefinder, allowing the vehicle to generate a detailed 3D map of the environment and apply it to other, high-resolution world maps. In this way, the vehicle creates different types of data models that allow it to drive autonomously.
Other manufacturers use similar technologies with cameras and sensors in their “self-parking” systems. Although it is rare to see cars without a driver on the road, in Japan, for example, unmanned trains carry passengers from city to city. Many metropolises (including Dubai, Copenhagen, London and Madrid) use driverless trains. Artificial intelligence works flawlessly there: it takes responsibility off a tired driver, and the response time is much shorter than in a human individual.
Exploring the space
NASA is already using unmanned shuttles, rovers and probes to explore the outer space. Autonomous rovers provided researchers with abundance of data and photographs collected on the surface of Mars. These intelligent vehicles detect obstacles such as craters or boulders and find a safe way to return to the shuttle. AI technology will also help researchers respond more quickly to emergencies during manned flights, allowing astronauts to see and prevent problems before they occur.
Improving health and living standards
Artificial intelligence has found a wide range of applications in medicine: today it commonly assists doctors in detecting diseases and saving lives. For example, the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is a pioneer in the use of special software to examine the heart and detect heart attacks before they appear. But the most modern medical technology that utilizes artificial intelligence are robotic surgical assistants. They help surgeons by providing them with the necessary tools and utensils during the procedure, and even learn the preferences of a given specialist. There is also an AI software designed specifically for primary healthcare doctors, that tracks changes in medical records, diagnoses patients on the basis of the data in their file, and warns doctors about potential risk factors and drug problems.
Artificial intelligence will also help visually-impaired people. In the United States, the number of such people reaches 1.3 million, and in Australia – 350 thousand. In fact, this ailment affects all countries of the world, including Poland. In response to the needs of such people, Toucan Eye was created. It will be premiered in 2019 and will offer a significant improvement to the quality of life of the visually-impaired (learn more about the product).
The aim of this project is to create an assistant, placed in a small device, that will accompany the visually impaired people, and help them overcome everyday problems. For example, the device will read and transmit in real time information about the building number, the name of the doctor on the door, or the name of the street. The solution will provide plenty of other useful information, inaccessible to people suffering from visual impairment.
Caring for the environment
Robots and other such devices are used to clean the environment and reduce the effects of air and water pollution. Intelligent software eliminates air pollution that can be the by-product in fuel factories. Chemicals, carbon dioxide and other gases are identified and removed before they enter our lungs.
Soon, advanced software will also make it possible to distinguish biological organisms from pollutants such as oil and other hazardous waste. Microbes will decompose — and leave without harm to the environment — good biological matter, minimizing ecosystem imbalances.
Taking care of safety
Artificial intelligence is widely used to protect facilities from burglaries and the state from terrorist threats. Modern home alarm systems, which use artificial intelligence, distinguish residents from unknown, potentially dangerous people. The US Homeland Security Agency (NSA) uses a range of AI technologies to protect the nation, including virtual intelligent agents that complement the activities of its human staff. Advanced software systems monitor phone calls and other communication routes, and filter ordinary conversations to capture potential threats.