The use of artificial intelligence in the world of science fiction has led to a lot of excitement and a bit of dread. However, the capabilities of AI are all around us. Using AI to expand your business options and innovations can be quite lucrative over time. Keep reading to learn about more AI opportunities to try out at your business this year.
What Is AI?
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the concept that questions whether machines can think. While early computer programs functioned in an if-then process of listed behaviors that narrowed to a final outcome, AI promotes the idea that computers can solve problems if given enough data.
Narrow Vs. Broad
If you’ve ever used GPS to get from one point to another, you know that narrow AI can be quite useful. Narrow AI is the basis for
- self-driving cars
- lights turned on by Alexa
- information from Siri
Obviously, these highly useful programs are doing a lot more than if-then thinking. Giving these programs problems to solve doesn’t yet recreate Strong AI or human thinking. Strong AI is currently entirely theoretical.
Putting AI to Work: Understanding the Space Around Us
In addition to the GPS function, which tells us where we are in relation to the world, there are narrow AI options that allow us to fully understand the space around us. There are forms of scanning that can help map out the ocean depths, look for wrecks and find hazardous oil plumes from ocean based rigs.
What is Lidar? Lidar, known also as light detection and ranging, uses light waves outside the visible spectrum to determine the distance from the scanning tool to nearby surfaces. These dimensions can then be fed to an AI tool that can create a 3D map of the measured space. Lidar was originally put to use in the 1960s to measure the terrain beneath planes. It can be used to measure the ocean bottom, the remaining interior space of a vessel designed to hold bulk liquids, and the interior space of a room for air capacity, such as would be needed by an HVAC designer.
There are four key elements of a Lidar system.
1) The laser sends pulses of light to the area surrounding the pulsing tool to note the difference between the tool and the objects around it.
2) The scanner tracks the speed of laser pulses and the distance measured for your projects.
3) The sensor notes the length of time between light transmission, bounce and return.
4) GPS, or global positioning system, determines where the pulse originating tool is and helps to confirm accuracy of the Lidar reading.
This means that the Lidar tool can be fixed or mobile. The tools that make self-driving cars effective and safe utilize the ability to take this concept on the road.
The ability to measure moving items from a moving object offers businesses a lot of opportunities to offer new safety gear to their clients. For example, this tool could be useful for athletes. Runners, cyclists, and equestrians could all benefit from a tool that could give them a heads up of approaching vehicles, animals and other athletes.
This technology could also be extremely helpful in the agricultural industry. In regions where the fields are extremely large, the harvesting process can be quite time-consuming. With a harvester that can track on its own over the course of some of those large fields, farmers can free up a great deal of time and address other needs while the harvester tracks with the help of proximity scans and GPS tracking.
There are many applications in which humans cannot function safely. Those who work in the metals industries know that their materials can often be too hot to touch. Chemicals that reduce corrosion may be dangerous to apply by hand, and tight corners can be hard to manage inside a sealed treatment container. Lidar could make it possible to complete detailed metal etching, welding and abrasion steps without risking lungs, eyes and skin to dangerous fumes.
Conclusion for AI Opportunities for Your Business
The technological benefits of AI are growing every day. Utilize AI opportunities at your business if you think it will be beneficial. Because so many of us are using the narrow AI tools on a regular basis, our understanding of the benefits of this technology continues to grow.