The McDonald’s on the corner of Third Avenue and 58th Street in New York City doesn’t look all that different from any of the fast-food chain’s other locations across the country. Inside, however, hungry patrons are welcomed not by a cashier waiting to take their order, but by a “Create Your Taste” kiosk – an automated touch-screen system that allows customers to create their own burgers without interacting with another human being.
Singapore’s shipping ports are already among the busiest and most efficient in the world. Now the city-state is exploring a new way to make them run even better: convoys of driverless trucks operating between terminals. The idea is that a lead truck will be driven by a human, with the follower vehicles being automated.
There’s a big temptation for businesses to use artificial intelligence to shave off time and money wherever they can. According to experts, that’s not the smartest use of the technology.
“Until we get to that driverless era, we’ve got a slow-moving parking lot that’s working at a glacial speed in major cities literally all over the world,” says Futurist Thomas Frey, founder of thinktank DaVinci Institute.
“The IBM Watson AI X-Prize fits in perfectly with much of the research we’ve been doing, and we feel well positioned to compete on the world stage for this prestigious prize,” says Thomas Frey, Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute. “We’re already attracting some remarkably high caliber students and this seems like the perfect vehicle for leveraging their talents on a project that can benefit the entire world.”
When you use something so much, your body becomes accustomed to it, and it no longer has the same effect that it once did. This is exactly what’s happening with antibiotics. Our bodies are becoming immune to their effects and building an antibiotic resistance. Statistics show that at least 2 million people are infected every year by antibiotic-resistant bacteria just in the US alone; out of the 2 million around 23,000 people die because of it. Some researchers have even estimated that if no action is taken by 2050 as many as 10 million people will die each year from superbugs, costing the nation around $100 trillion trying to treat.
2016 was a banner year for artificial intelligence. Alpha Go’s victory over Lee Sedol was perhaps one of the most important, but we saw advancements in self-driving cars, the continued embrace of bots and personal assistants for retail, adoption and competition around in-house assistants like Amazon Echo, along with frequent, sometimes weekly, breakthroughs on the academic side, mainly relating to machine learning. With the biggest tech companies in the world–Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and others–devoting more and more resources to AI, the momentum is going to increase.
I’m certainly not going to win any popularity contests for writing this article. The last thing anybody wants to talk about after a presidential election is a patent bubble. After all, most of us took a nice stock market beat down during the recent housing bubble and mortgage crisis.
Donald Trump tends to present the labor market as a zero-sum game: companies have shifted production to China and other emerging markets. He’s going to bring those jobs home. Put aside for a moment how moving jobs back to a country with high costs gives companies an incentive to automate. There’s a bigger problem: After displacing U.S. manufacturing workers, robots are poised to do the same in developing economies, too. It will be hard to re-shore jobs that no longer exist.
Half of today’s car owners will not want to own a vehicle and more and more will want self-driving and electric cars in future, a survey of car manufacturing bosses has found. As fewer people see the need to buy a car, a majority of automotive executives believe the industry will increasingly focus on making money from peripheral digital services to be used with their vehicles.