AI and the Automobiles of the Future

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Original Anthony    Nov 16, 2016 2:40 AM PT
AI and the Automobiles of the Future

LOS ANGELES, CA — "AI is going to be driving the future of transportation, and it's not just about the driving aspect. It's about what's going to make transportation intelligence work." These were the words spoken by panelists as the "Artificial Intelligence: The New Work in Automobiles."

The premise of the panel discussion centered on the following: "As carmakers, their suppliers, and innovative startups race to put driverless cars on the road, AI is taking center stage. AI is transforming how we drive cars, and how cars will soon drive us. Deep learning – a form of AI – is now able to deiver superhuman levels of perception and undersanding. From natural language processing, to 360-degree situational awareness … industry experts … are making technological breakthroughs with AI."

The panel included C.J. Frost, Principal Solutions Archiect, Amazon Alexa, and Sky Matthews, CTO, IBM Watson. The narrator was Danny Shapiro, the Senior Director of Automotive for Nvidia.

One panelist stated: "We're all technologists at heart." The attendees were told that for a self driving vehicle to work, they will have to be able to understand so many things, the environment and how to interact with people and systesms."

A chart was shown to the audience describing attitudes around the global about self-driving cars. It referred to "Future Cars" that were: "Self Enabling. Self Healing, meaning they had diagnostics and preventative applications. Self Socializing, referring to communication and collaboration. Self Learning, meaning they are cognitive and feature optimization. Self Driving, meaning they are automated and autonomous. Self Configuring , meaning personalization and customization . And Self Integrating, meaning secure and seamless."


The panel discussion then described various "Faces of Autonomy." They discussed aspects such as human interaction, lagnguage, emotion and personality. Autonomous behavior involving sensing, learning and reasoning. Environmental interaction and then "things" such as infrastructure and "cloud" computing.

Fear of AI was addressed through the famous line uttered by "HAL9000," the AI from "2001: A Space Odyssey" released in 1968 by MGM. "I am sorry, I cannot do that, Dave."

C.J. Frost talked about how at Amazon, AI was discussed as being first used as a "friendly personal assistant. When we look at AI … how does your daily life integrate this scenario?"

"At Amazon we work from the customer backwards … how would the customer use practical AI? Let's say you have a doctor's appointment. But what if your car is out of gas and there is an accident and it is a 3 p.m. appointment. But you show up at 4:30 p.m. [Through AI] you'll get a notification saying, ‘We talked with the IOT system in your car and you are out of gas. Up the road there is an accident and there is an EV coming behind you so can you pull over to the right …' This friendly AI helps you avoid problems and adds to your life in an unobtrusive and non-scary way."

Nikhil George, the Senior Manager Perception & Machine Learning at Audi, stole the show when he explained how drivers today will see 1 fatality per 100 million miles travelled.

"Humans require 10,000 hours of consisent practice to attain a skill," he said. That would be five years at 40 hours per week. A machine that could learn 10,000 times faster would be special indeed. He described "deep neural networks" that mimic the way the human brain works and explained the different theories behind "building a brain."

George asked the attendees, "How smart does this neural net brain need to be? You'll have to drive a billion miles to make the network safe … billions of miles … the next couple of years are going to be an interesting journey. Super human levels of data and perception, and how it will change all of our lives …"

AI leaves us grasping for more, standing in awe at how "Deep Learning" may change our notions of reality in a plethora of glorious ways.


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