The world is expecting to welcome more advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technology in 2019, not just stop as a digital assistant but also develop with many other areas.
Looking back at the AI of 2018
2018 is recognized as a milestone for autonomous vehicles, both positive and negative.
In early 2018, Google’s self-driving car research firm Waymo faced Uber in intellectual property lawsuits.
Only a few months later, although the conflicts were erased, the names Waymo and Uber were still noticed in the autonomous vehicle industry for… different reasons.
Uber’s self-propelled vehicles have caused the first fatal accident in the industry, causing the business to temporarily suspend experimental projects. The incident also caused other self-propelled vehicle companies to put their vehicle testing program on hold.
By the end of 2018, Uber’s autonomous vehicle test was restarted, but in manual mode (ie, with a driver). Some experts ask if Uber still needs a driver, why can they say this is a self-propelled vehicle.
Meanwhile, Waymo of Google has announced unmanned vehicle service under the brand Waymo One. Finally, the self-driving cars seem to have officially appeared, but initial experience has shown that there are still many issues to be resolved before the vehicles are completely autonomous.
Along with that, the device that integrates “virtual” assistant and is controlled through voice has a great position in the AI trend of 2018.
These devices have been significantly invested in appearance, with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung all offering different colors, sizes, features, and capabilities.
Amazon is pushing the ability to play videos on their devices, while Google and Apple are competing for sound quality and other consumer-focused features.
National AI strategy
The world is out that 2018 is the year of national AI strategy. About a year ago, China published details of the three-step roadmap that represents the goal of becoming a leader in the field of AI by 2030.
By 2018, Beijing has launched a series of orientation programs for AI development, which include initiatives and goals for research and development (R&D), industrialization, human resources development, promotion of education and skills improvement, establishment and regulation of standards, ethical standards and security.
The movements to increase Beijing’s strong investment in AI in 2018, including a plan to establish a $5 billion fund and a $2.1 billion technology park to facilitate the development of AI, showing that this country considers AI as a competitive and strategic tool.
The US government is not an exception in the race with China, has strongly promoted the AI strategy plan with the Pentagon, besides declaring a $2 billion investment plan for AI-related initiatives.
In addition to the US, European countries are also making huge bets on their AI initiatives. French President Emmanuel Macron has introduced a national strategy for AI in 2018 with plans to invest more than 1.5 billion euros (about US $1.7 billion) in AI-related research activities in the next 5 years.
Germany also announced to establish Cyber Valley, a new technology hub area in the south of the country, in the hope of creating new collaborative opportunities among scholars and businesses focused on AI.
Even the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South Korea have also announced major AI initiatives.
Technology forecast for AI in 2019
According to NewsAsia Channel, technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Alibaba… have forecasted AI in 2019. Ms. Irina Kofman, director of Google AI, said that AI is not only “potential” useful feature to solve a series of old problems “but can also help Google” to make new scientific discoveries, identifying new problems that have not been identified and resolved before.
Google has witnessed many of the first benefits that AI can bring to people. Currently, the company is working hard to help AI come to more people. “We do this in three ways: Developing applications and services to become more useful with AI, helping businesses and developers innovate tools like the TensorFlow open source learning framework and working with researchers to solve many difficult social challenges such as health, environmental protection, and energy consumption by AI”, Ms. Kofman said.
Director of Google shared that AI can help solve many very deep issues. She pointed out that about 250 million people around the world are affected by floods and natural disaster forecasts can help people and governments better prepare for such events. The exact forecast is currently not available.
To solve this problem, the US technology firm studied many better forecasting models and cooperated with the Central Committee of the Indian State to issue early flood warnings, starting from the Patna region of the country before expanding to more countries in the future.
Similar to Google, Microsoft also expects to bring AI closer to everyone. Microsoft ‘s chief technology officer, Richard Koh, shared that they are adding AI layers to the product to make them more effective for users. An example of this is the embedded AI support tool that translates between Chinese, German and English into a Microsoft Translator application. “Services will help break communication barriers, allowing digitalization of meetings in many markets,” Koh said.
Salesforce’s vice president of Pacific solutions engineering, Rob Newell, said businesses see AI as a way to simplify things and enhance consumer skills and knowledge with key guidance. Help them work more effectively.
“In 2019, we hope that the decision makers in the business will improve their knowledge in the most effective way, incorporating many relevant parts, related to AI to create competitive advantages and more activities, adding businesses and promoting growth”, Mr. Newell said.