Professional services firm Deloitte says that we are about to enter the age of “pervasive” AI. The company said that by the end of this year there will be half a billion devices with chips that support AI features. It forecasts that shipments of AI enabled devices will go from 79 million this year, to 1.2 billion by 2022.
The report said: “Increasingly, machines will learn from experiences, adapt to changing situations, and predict outcomes. Some will infer users’ needs and desires and even collaborate with other devices by exchanging information, distributing tasks, and coordinating their actions.”
The hope with this so-called pervasive AI is that it will lead to increased convenience and reduced costs for users.
Manufacturing the benefits of AI
Deloitte highlighted manufacturing as one the key industries that could benefit. It said that assembly line robots may be able to calculate the motion of their arms a thousand times faster than they currently do. They could also quickly respond to downtime. Meanwhile, warehouse machines could reduce fulfilment times by using a combination of in-the-cloud and on-site AI.
The firm also highlighted the ability of drones and smart-cameras to help with the real-time monitoring of construction sites and the ability of networked turbines to increase the efficiency by making adjustments to wind speed, blade and rotor angle. This could increase their output by as much as 8%.
The report found: “By cutting costs and increasing efficiency, smart machines may help expand certain markets … Smart devices have the potential to help companies achieve new levels of efficiency and effectiveness: automating processes, cutting materials waste, reducing cost, and increasing output. But the impact of the age of pervasive intelligence goes beyond faster, better, and cheaper.”
Of course, we have been discussing the potential power of AI for a long while. What this report does is show the full extent of what can be achieved when it becomes ubiquitous.
Apple won’t be left out
Apple is more than aware of this trend and developing its products accordingly. For instance, at WWDC in June, it announced developments to Siri that turn the iPhone into a highly personalised, AI-enabled device.