When you think about it, the main thing technology has done though the centuries is come up with one way after another of interacting with us humans. Basically, the main objective has been to enhance our abilities and help us to compensate or exceed our natural limits.
From as early as the invention of the wheel, man and machines have been pursuing an inevitably artificial interaction.
The glasses I am wearing, one of the earliest examples of wearable technology, you could say, are merely a form of technology that works closely with me, day in, day out, all of the time. They help me t overcome the limits of my astigmatism.
This opportunity to enhance or amplify or augment our senses as individuals, or to have access to more professional business acumen in order to see, analyze, hear
or access the world around us is essentially the result of an inevitable collaboration between man and technology. In all forms and substance, it is a mechanical system, an electronic device, a robot or information system, and achieved increasingly with the use of artificial intelligence devices.
IBM Research recently published a fascinating , perspective study entitled, “The invisible made visible” (http://research.ibm.com/5-in-5/ ) outlining five examples of technologies which could, in the next five years, change society. They are also an example of how through interaction with artificial Intelligence, we can now see what was previously invisible. The work makes the collaboration between man and technology its premise (based on concrete objects as well as algorithms, digital data, devices and machine learning). If the five technologies listed develop as expected they will enable us to see an understand the world around us in different ways, to some extent how the telescope, centuries ago, even allowed Galileo to disprove a general theory: the one that said that the Earth was at the centre of the cosmos. In the next five years:
- Through artificial intelligence, language understanding, namely words we use and the way we write and speak will become a means of gouging mental health, like a new kind of stethoscope for mental illness.
- Hyper-imaging, combined with artificial intelligence will result in devices that enable us to thing not normally visible to the human eye. In short with our new super-vision, we will be able to see the nutritional value of the food we eat or if a pharmaceutical drug is fraudulence or not.
- Macroscopes will help us to understand the complexity of our planet and its ecosystem. Following the digital transformation of people and relationships, it is the time to turn around physical world around us. The macroscope will enable us to systematically analyze the properties of a complex system by combining multiple variables.
- Labs-on-the-chips will tasked with identifying and analyzing biological markers in nanoparticles at the size of DNA, exons, viruses, circulating in bodily fluids, allowing us to detect illness infections before the symptoms emerge.
- Intelligent sensors, acting like super noses, will be able to detect environmental pollutants at speed of light.
All these examples are are simply a new wave of, or new forms of interaction with, artificial intelligence, the purpose of which is to give us humans, professionals, new ways to solve complex problems, or to put it in another way the change to seeing the invisible.
This article was my contribute to “Making Weconomy 11 – Quid Novi? Generazioni che collaborano” – Quaderni della collana “Making Weconomy” – Logotel. http://www.weconomy.it/making11
Pietro Leo is an Executive Architect and CTO in IBM, Chief Scientist and Research strategist for IBM Italy Research and Business, a well-known Innovation Agitator and Analytics maker. Member of the IBM Academy of Technology Leadership Team (#IBMAoT) and Head of IBM Italy Center of Advanced Studies. You can also follow him on Twitter (@pieroleo)