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The future of artificial intelligence


Costas Bekas, Manager, Foundations of Cognitive Computing IBM Research, Zurich explains that his team is going from data to knowledge. Data is multiplying exponentially in many formats – reports, tables, images and video. How do you digest all this information, organize and present it to people to make the best decisions? Medical knowledge will soon be doubling every 73 days. How will it be possible to find the time to digest this information and make sense of it to put into a practical action?

IBM is working on “liking” the data points on all formats to organize and present the big picture. Basically, their system takes piles of raw data, processes it and serves it up in a way that people or computers can digest and use. The system also learns and creates metadata so very large amounts of information can better analyzed, correlated and managed.

Health care is one big area that can be dramatically impacted from this ingestion and transformation of massive amounts of information from everywhere. The end result is to provide meaningful information to help the doctor’s decision-making.

For example, this can provide doctors with the best and latest information to better treat a rare disease. Collectively, many people have rare diseases and cost to treat is enormous. Cognitive technology can help doctors to access data from many sources to make better decision on treatment as well as share results with their peers. Collectively, they can pool and leverage information better and easier to treat rare disease more effectively.

Real Time Customized Printing Of Packages On Production Line

DataLase Inline Digital Printing delivers enhanced flexibility, quality, productivity and consumer interaction not seen before in the print and packaging sector. It is essentially an inkless, late stage digital print solution that enables true real time marketing capability for brands.

For printers, packers and fillers, the DataLase solution can be integrated into existing production lines, avoiding excessive investment costs and enables high speed, high quality printing at the point of packing or filling. There is also a reduction in SKUs through the removal of the requirement for pre-printed materials, delivering a significant and positive impact to cost and efficiency, minimising inventory and tie-up of capital.

Brands and retailers in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care and household products sectors can benefit from access to a new level of fast-turnaround pack differentiation, with stand-out promotions and key variable data messages that represent progress from traditional marking style graphics.

Mark Naples, Chief Marketing Officer at DataLase, said: “Inline Digital Printing is a unique breakthrough technology that allows true real-time messaging and variable data on pack for a variety of applications, truly unleashing the power of the IoT for brands.

SATO acquired DataLase and its technology in December 2016 to enhance its offer as a one-stop Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider.

Self-Driving AI Cars Comes To Your Door

“AI is everywhere and it will take on a central role in the car of the future,” states Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer at Volkswagen. No one expects it to replace humans, but to complement us where it can – in the dashboard, for example.

“Today you have to push seven or eight buttons before you find what you’re looking for on the in-car entertainment system. We want to reduce that number to one – if not zero.” With this, he means to say that our voices and gestures will come to control far more than just the sat nav. The car recognizes its driver’s expressions, mood, and destination. By monitoring location data and road behavior, the user experience adapts to each specific situation.

The self-driving car is expected to make transport safer, preventing over a million traffic-related deaths a year. It should make parking easier, too.

According to Jungwirth, we waste a third of our time in cars looking for parking spots. The autonomous vehicle would solve this problem by dropping the passenger off at their front door before finding a place to park by itself. It could then be summoned back at the touch of a button.

And discussions on parking didn’t end there. Huge car parks have long been required in highly-developed cities. But Jungwirth claims that in a couple of years only a seventh of these will be necessary. This is because fewer people will be buying cars, with the preference shifting towards using them only on demand.

“For 96 percent of the time, cars just sit there,” states Jungwirth. An autonomous shared vehicle would be almost permanently in motion, dropping one passenger off and immediately locating the next – like a self-driving taxi. VW is the first company to develop this kind of mobility concept – which it has given the working title “Sedric” (self-driving car).

Will it remain just a concept? Yes, most likely. But a whole host of Sedric-inspired ideas will undoubtedly become reality – perhaps even in the next three to four years.

VR in Business?

When most were dismissing virtual reality as a gimmick, Ivan Mathy was already helping companies design virtual worlds. The designer of interactive environments dedicated himself to the development of VR technology – for professional use in particular. In his eyes, there were three kinds of organization: those who continued to see VR as nothing more than a fad; those who virtualized everything and anything they get their hands on; and those who did it right.

“First ask yourself the question: do I really need VR for what I hope to achieve?” He explains that enterprises often tack VR onto existing projects simply because it’s a trendy technology. They then see that it doesn’t make their employees any more productive – and that all it offers is a bit of fun. However, 3D interaction is bringing measurable benefits to an increasing number of tasks.

In manufacturing especially, people are increasingly experimenting with technologies and processes that can prove dangerous to humans. Programming a robot for such specific tasks alone isn’t worth the hassle. But VR is allowing us to experiment in the virtual realm – and a digital lever never hurt anyone. What’s more, when it comes to training, virtual reality can save serious amounts of money. Indeed, with VR, employees no longer need to practice on some special machine, but can learn their trade from anywhere.

Big data has long since made its debut in almost every industry. Yet the more data that exists, the harder it is to analyze. According to Mathy, VR can make it easier. “Directly manipulating data in 3D – and not just viewing it on a 2D timeline – makes it so much simpler to interpret patterns, for example.” VR can even improve what Mathy regards as a rather “isolated” means of collaboration: “You have to see it to believe it, but a VR conference is far better than a normal one. The ability to point at things and read body language changes everything,” enthuses Mathy.

VR might lead to a long-awaited boom in sales and marketing – especially today, when customers are better informed and resistant to persuasion techniques than ever before. Virtual worlds deliver new, fun, and unique experiences designed to provide the finishing touch to any sales pitch. For instance, VR allows prospective buyers to take virtual tours of houses or flats – instead of just looking at the floor plan. Meanwhile, a salesperson can instantly implement changes to the item they’re selling; the car you’re interested in is the wrong color? A flick of the wrist and red becomes green. Scenarios like this give marketers creative freedom and make sales more personalized.

VR is gradually becoming established in almost every area of medicine. Researchers are able to fold proteins by means of 3D modeling. In clinical diagnostics, volumetric display allows doctors to view the development of a tumor over time. VR can even support treatment – of certain phobias, for example. By facing their fears virtually, patients have a higher chance of overcoming them than with traditional methods. The technology has also helped manage phantom pains in missing limbs. VR goggles trick the brain into thinking that the arm or leg is still attached – and can rewire the nerves sending out the pain impulse.

The entertainment industry, art, and the military: VR can create new experiences in almost every sector. According to pioneer Ivan Mathy, its potential is primarily geared towards data processing and training. But he makes one thing clear: “Barely anyone has ample experience with virtual reality.” Developers have to take this into account in designing VR technologies and applications.

Taking down botnets

Botnets are a growing problem around the world, but Ostfalia Univerity of Applied Sciences has come up with a possible solution to counter the contagion of botnets in company computers.

Botnets, like long invisible tentacles, stretch throughout the Internet. Computers manipulated by criminal puppet masters connect together around the world through the web, forming giant networks – without the rightful owners of the machines having any idea. This network of infected computers is controlled remotely by botmasters and is used and abused in all manner of Machiavellian machinations. In fact, botnets are now among the biggest sources of illegal funds for cyber criminals. If serious estimates are to be believed, hundreds of millions of computers worldwide are already affected. The biggest network to be exposed to date comprised more than 30 million computers. Botnet infections pose an especially serious problem for businesses. For example, attackers employ standardized procedures to harvest user data and critical business information from affected systems or deploy bots for DDoS attacks.

However, Ostfalia Univerity of Applied Sciences in Wolfenbüttel has an answer and wants to give companies an efficient tool for identifying botnet infections in their company computers. Bot-Watch features metrics which can be used to evaluate resources in the company based on DNS data. Machine learning techniques can then be applied to calculate indicators of the risk of botnet infections.

What’s new in video conferencing?

alfaview is a state-of-the-art video conferencing solution for professional online business meetings and online courses. With alfaview, all participants of a video conference are virtually connected in real time, broadcasting lip-synced videos and sound of each attendee. In the online conference room, the participants can see and hear each other and are able to manage group projects together.

As an audiovisual solution, alfaview can be utilized variably for different areas of application and offers each user the possibility to set up customized online conferencing rooms. With the video conferencing software developed by alfatraining you are able to globally network with clients, cooperation partners and other companies on an audiovisual basis – live and real-time!

PC-less scanning directly to cloud

With the introduction of the ScanSnap Cloud, Fujitsu subsidiary PFU (EMEA) Limited is launching a new free service that enables ScanSnap iX100 and ScanSnap iX500 customers to streamline document scanning workflows by transmitting data directly from ScanSnap to popular cloud services. ScanSnap Cloud speeds up and simplifies the process to scan and save important information by eliminating the need for PCs or smart devices for the scanning process. Taking one-button scanning one step further, ScanSnap Cloud automatically sorts and routes data directly to cloud-based services like Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and other popular cloud services.

ScanSnap Cloud automatically classifies scanned documents into four categories: documents, receipts, business cards and photos. Customers simply define once which target system should automatically be addressed for each document category by selecting their favourite cloud services per category. ScanSnap Cloud then automatically sorts and delivers the data to the designated cloud service.