Technology is rapidly changing the way we live our lives, and it’s no different when it comes to personal transport. In this article, Wasim Bux, Product Manager at car insurance provider iGO4, explains how technology is set to revolutionise car safety and provides some examples of innovations we are likely to see more of over the next decade.
Whether it’s the introduction of augmented reality, the integration of eye tracking technology, or voice interfacing, the way that we drive will change massively over the next ten years. In much the same way that seatbelts, anti-lock braking systems, and airbags revolutionised car safety in the 20th century, a new wave of modern technology is set to do the same thing this century, bringing huge implications for individuals and insurance companies alike. In this article, I’m going to look at some of the ways that technology could revolutionise car safety.
Augmented reality displays
The transition from the classic dashboard to fully integrated augmented windscreens is already well underway, and it’s likely to bring a huge boom in terms of vehicle safety. This technology has been used in the military for years, specifically in the cockpit of fighter pilots, and has now become affordable enough to make its way into consumer vehicles, bringing in a new wave of smart windscreens. The first use of this technology was seen in 2014 with the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept which introduced smart roof glass and windows that can display safety images and track the driver’s eyes.
Looking even further forward to the future, it’s likely that smart windscreens will be able to detect potential hazards on the road, including looking out for pedestrian safety. This could include warnings about people who the driver doesn’t see, as well as specific warnings for different types of external danger such as snowy, icy, or wet conditions.
Information that isn’t currently available to motorists could also be integrated, such as safe braking distances for vehicles in front, which could change dynamically depending on road conditions. This could be taken a step further, allowing traffic information to be downloaded to your windscreen directly from the cloud, offering suggested route changes and predicting possible problems ahead. Giving motorists as much information as possible without them ever having to take their eyes off the road will radically change car safety.
Eye tracking technology
As touched on above, it is likely that eye tracking technology will be integrated into our augmented windscreens. This technology will be able to monitor alertness levels and warn drivers of hazards that they may have missed. This could be taken a step further with a smart display that always shows information in the area that the driver is looking. This would have a profound effect on the way that collisions are judged by insurance companies, with crash recorder systems that will be able to determine who is at blame for an accident.
Car accidents caused by drivers failing to look properly are one of the most common, especially among young or new drivers, and this technology should reduce these kinds of accidents. The other major cause of accidents that this tech would help avoid is falling asleep at the wheel. According to an AA survey, a staggering one in eight people admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel. Eye tracking technology would allow the vehicle to either safely slow down and pull off the road or send out a loud alarm to wake up the driver, drastically reducing the injuries and fatalities associated with these accidents.
Touch and talk technology
Touch screen technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade and is becoming something that is almost expected by consumers. Voice control has seen slower adoption, but also seems to be becoming increasingly popular. Though touch technology is more prevalent in other areas of life such as phones and tablets, it doesn’t seem practical for cars, as anything that takes the driver’s hands away from the main controls is potentially hazardous.
Instead, it is likely to be our voices that we use to control our smart vehicles as it is far less disruptive and much safer. That said, the technology must be implemented in a way that doesn’t distract drivers. We already use our voices to control technology, but often we still must physically look at our screens to read and understand prompts. If these can be projected onto the windscreen, it will be possible to ensure that eyes are never taken off the road. Another potential method of interaction is through gestures, something which Toyota and Microsoft are already working on, although this technology is in its infancy.
I have barely scratched the surface of the huge advances in technology that can and are being applied to vehicles. As these technologies become cheaper and more reliable, it’s only a matter of time before they become as common and thoughtless as the seatbelt, anti-lock braking systems, and airbags of our current cars.
WHAT EVOLUTIONARY AI MEANS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
by Babak Hodjat, VP of Evolutionary AI at Cognizant
Many banks and other financial services institutions (FIs) are beginning to recognise the benefits of AI-driven solutions as a way to get ahead in the market and challenge the competition. Amongst many other benefits, the technology enables organisations to offer hyper-personalised customer experience, dramatically improve internal decision making, and drive operational efficiency. However, many businesses are struggling to move beyond the experimental phase and reach actual AI deployment. It is those organisations that are at risk of being left behind.
The financial world has already been transformed by AI, and this transformation is continuous. A new breed of AI, known as ‘evolutionary AI’ has begun to further accelerate innovation. It is capable of automatically designing itself with little need for explicit programming by humans – innovatively creating complex AI models, and optimising decisions considering multiple scenarios.
This technology is revolutionary for industries across the world, but in particular it is set to transform the financial services sector. Enabling businesses to spot novel strategies that would never have been identified by human data scientists, and, in turn, allowing companies to take full advantage of today’s massive data sets – evolutionary AI will soon be a vital tool in all FIs’ arsenals.
The nuts and bolts of evolutionary AI
Emerging technologies that enable AI algorithms to design themselves are allowing organisations to transcend human limitations. Evolutionary AI operates iteratively. Firstly, it randomly generates a set of potential solutions to form an initial population and assigns a score to each solution based on how well it performs relative to other solutions. In the second round, it retains the solutions that performed best, perhaps only 5% of the total, and recombines their components, sometimes “mutating” them to create a new population. This new population is then tested, and the process begins again. Over multiple generations, the appropriate components of the more successful solutions become increasingly prevalent in the population, and eventually a solution is discovered that yields the best outcomes.
Advantages and use cases
Compared to human design, evolutionary AI can be deployed far more quickly, avoids biases and preconceptions, and typically performs better. Furthermore, the chosen model will evolve and improve over time based on new data.
Evolutionary AI can be applied in a wide variety of areas at FIs. Some examples include designing quantitative trading strategies to maximise returns while minimising risk and loan underwriting. Rather than relying on human analysis, evolutionary AI solutions can quickly analyse all the combinations of relevant variables to create models that more accurately assess the risk of default by a potential borrower.
A recipe for success
In order to reap the benefits of the technology, FIs should focus on the following:
- Responsible AI – Behave in ways that make customers and employees comfortable, i.e. not making decisions that are unethical or exhibit bias. Companies need to monitor them to ensure they continue to act appropriately, as they learn and evolve.
- Viewing AI through a business lens – Having AI projects managed by cross-functional teams with business executives in the lead is a good place to start. Companies also need to look across their organisations to identify opportunities to generate concrete business value from AI — not only in reduced costs but also in boosting revenues by delivering enhanced customer experiences and through improved decision-making.
- Enhance data management – AI applications depend on access to timely and accurate data, which is a challenge for many FIs that have fragmented data architectures with multiple legacy systems. Companies need to identify which types of data are required for each AI project and ensure they can be captured in an appropriate format.
- Approach with speed and caution – AI projects need to be rolled out quickly, while at the same time be rigorously measured, so failures are terminated promptly while successes are moved into production.
The sophistication of AI technology is set to significantly improve over the coming years as it continues to design and test itself. As a result, it will become more critical to the productivity of FIs, and soon businesses will recognise it as a vital tool for consulting on important business decisions. It will not be long before humans and AI are working alongside each other, with robots handling routine tasks, enabling employees to focus on more complex and sensitive activities. Delivering more value together than either could on their own.
6 EXAMPLES OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN USE TODAY
We’re probably not aware of the moment when artificial intelligence sneaked into our lives and became a part of our everyday existence.
Was it the first movie recommendation we got from Netflix? Or the item we’ve purchased using Amazon’s suggestions?
AI is now all around us, and it’s holding tremendous potential, with new application possibilities being discovered every day.
We’ve gathered six very practical examples of AI, to show just how widespread this technology is today, and how prevalent it is yet to become.
The use of AI in healthcare is already bringing many benefits – at the beginning of the year, we’ve witnessed AI outperforming six radiologists in reading mammograms and identifying breast cancer more accurately and quickly. A computer algorithm can now analyze images in just a few seconds, significantly improving the speed of diagnosis.
The first AI-designed drug molecule, by Excienta, is currently being tested on humans. While it usually takes three to four years for traditional research to reach this stage, it just took 12 months for the algorithm to make it possible.
As for the current COVID-19 crisis, the Chinese technology giant Alibaba has recently developed an algorithm that can detect coronavirus in seconds, with 96% accuracy. The algorithm that analyzes CT images of patients’ chests is used by more than 100 healthcare facilities to distinguish the disease from other viral pneumonia cases.
2. Virtual Personal Assistants
Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant are just some of the most notable examples of artificial intelligence we’re all familiar with.
We interact with our PAs regularly – ask them for directions, information about the weather and the news. They allow us to finish various tasks easily, without having to use our hands – we can stream podcasts, play music, make to-do lists, set alarms, schedule our meetings, or order pizza.
These voice assistants use machine learning technology and natural language processing so that they can get smarter and more capable of understanding voice queries. In other words, with the help of AI and its subsets, voice assistants learn from your previous searches and preferences and use all the information they collect to offer you better search results and service.
3. Customer Service
Even if you’re still not interacting with your devices using your voice assistant, you’ve surely communicated with AI at least once, most probably in the form of a chatbot.
There is hardly any good online store that doesn’t offer at least some kind of AI-powered customer support.
The most common are conversational chatbots that are now able to answer 80% of most common customers’ queries in an accurate and timely manner, without any need for additional human intervention.
With data AI chatbots gather on the customers, they are now able to facilitate human-like interaction and personalize it more than their human counterparts.
Conversational AI algorithms can now give offers and recommendations that are more likely to fit customers’ needs and interests, boosting both their satisfaction and retailers’ revenue.
The banking and finance sector has recognized the possible advantages of AI early on and is now successfully implementing the technology for various purposes.
The finance industry relies heavily on large amounts of data and accurate real-time information. With the use of AI, it’s now much easier to detect frauds, money-laundering, or any other suspicious behavior. Some of the financial advisors’ tasks can now be automated too, as AI-powered advisors can quickly scan the market data, and predict the best portfolio or stock.
One of the best examples of how useful AI in the banking industry can be, is Erica, an AI employee of the National Bank of America. This digital financial assistant has already served over 7 million customers and handled over 50 million queries. Apart from managing many other different tasks, Erica helps customers with their transactions and budgeting, tracks their spending habits, monitors duplicate charges, and gives useful advice.
5. Smart Vehicles and Delivery
Cars and drones are also shifting towards the use of AI. Even though artificial intelligence is widely used in car manufacturing, its use in the automotive industry is most commonly related to the use of self-driving vehicles, that are leveraging machine learning and vision to find their way through the traffic safely.
Autox is, for example, currently testing their autonomous grocery delivery within San Jose. Their vehicles use AI software, real-time cameras, and sensors to navigate within a geofenced zone, with plans for gradual expansion.
Amazon and Walmart are already investing large amounts of money into drone delivery programs. Amazon’s goal for its Prime Air service is to create fully electric drones that can deliver packages lighter than 5 pounds, to their customers located within 15 miles, in less than 30 minutes.
6. Smart Homes
One of the finest examples is Nest, the thermostat algorithm, which uses an intelligent machine learning process to learn about your behavior and the temperatures you like. It then anticipates and adjusts your home or your office to your temperature needs, at the same time saving significant energy resources.
Google acquired Nest back in 2014 for $3.2 billion and now aims to create a smart and helpful home. The tech giant is trying to connect devices such as thermostats, cameras, alarm systems, doorbells, and locks under the same roof, offering an easy to use smart home solution.
However, for this to work seamlessly, technological advancement in the field of IoT and 5G needs to be utilized. Near-zero latency is what allows for smart homes to be remotely controlled.
As you can see, AI is impacting and improving every aspect of our lives and our society. It will revolutionize the way we do different things, from driving our cars to receiving medical treatment. Although this technology is still in its infancy, it has already managed to disrupt the above-mentioned areas and offer us a sneak peek into the future.
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