Hearables, the Next Wave of Wearable AI
Here are five important AI stories from the week.
This excellent read discusses hearables (i.e., wireless in-ear computational earpieces) such as Apple’s AirPods and Google’s Pixel Buds. Imagine a world where users are not glued to their smartphone screens but instead use voice-enabled devices to find information and complete tasks. Such conversational user interfaces free up humans to use their hands however they wish, do not block users’ field of vision, and are inherently less intrusive.
Current R&D efforts in this space include the development of silent speech recognition (in other words, the use of electrical signals in the brain to send commands instead of audible speech). Even if such R&D efforts do not work, the future of AI may be driven increasingly by wearable and hearable tech with a conversational UI rather than a graphical one.
5G is supposed to be up to 100 times faster than 4G. If true, 5G will reduce dramatically the time delay between an instruction generated from the cloud (as opposed to from a local device such as a cell phone) and its execution on the ground. Currently time delay — known as latency — is a major problem for all Internet of Things (IoT) devices when these devices are not connected over WiFi at a home or office.
With 5G, we will move closer to a world where all smart devices are connected all the time, paving the way for autonomous vehicles on smart highways, remote robotic surgery, etc. This article explores the race towards 5G between the U.S. and China, the susceptibility of 5G networks to cyberattacks, and the potential for even more intrusive government surveillance that this level of connectivity would enable.
AI is great at uncovering patterns in data for humans to act on. In agriculture, such AI systems allow humans to know which crops are most resistant to climate change and to genetically modify crops to have higher yield, better quality, and greater disease resistance. In other words, AI allows humans to process large volumes of agriculture information, which previously had been too daunting and time-consuming to analyze.
AI startup Vue.ai discusses how automation works in the retail industry. The startup uses AI to automatically tag products and create metadata, visualize clothing on models using synthetic image generation, provide personalized product recommendations to every shopper, and automate marketing, inventory management, sales, and customer engagement. This is an incredible example of AI-enabled automation in a single vertical; vertical automation such as this will likely occur in more and more verticals in the years to come.
Experts in AI recommend books to read, ranging from applied books to science fiction. For those that want to delve deeper into AI, this is a great place to start.
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