Cars, robots, kitchens, education, clothing… AI is being used more and more. Researchers and developers from Germany, Japan and Switzerland are showcasing several of the most exciting solutions at CeBIT.
No one is more proficient at explaining artificial intelligence than Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster: "AI accelerates Industrie 4.0 and is the driver behind autonomous systems as well as the next step in digitalizing services. The current limitations on digitalization are being overcome through a combination of innovative algorithms for machine learning and knowledge-based processing," says the Director and CEO of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). According to Wahlster, AI has been a part of everyday life for quite some time. "Whether we use spoken dialog systems like Siri or Cortana to find a restaurant nearby, or Google Translate to translate a Korean website into German, activate the autopilot function in our cars, or confound a fraudulent attempt to use our credit cards, AI is always at work behind the scenes," says Wahlster.
With DFKI, Germany is the seat of the world’s largest research center for artificial intelligence. According to its Director, this gives country a competitive advantage. "Using AI-based cutting edge technology in Industrie 4.0 and digitalized services, we will effectively secure the prosperity and growth in Germany by integrating AI into our economy’s major exports – from combine harvesters to cars, and from machine tools to dishwashers," explains Wolfgang Wahlster. Using AI-based automation for processes in banks, insurance companies, government administration, and retail, Germany will be able to provide more efficient and less expensive services.
At CeBIT 2017, a broad range of new AI applications can be found in various halls. At Research & Innovation (Hall 6) for example, two interdisciplinary DFKI centers of excellence will be presented at Stand B48: The Deep Learning Competence Center, which combines the areas of text, image, video, and social media analysis; and the Wearable AI Competence Center with the latest trends in wearable technologies. Intelligent agriculture is also addressed here: An app gives farmers an overview of the state of health of their milking cows; smart services increase the economic feasibility and traceability of land cultivation.
At the DFKI and BMBF stand in Hall 6 human-robot collaboration (HRC) can be experienced in a manufacturing exhibit that uses mixed reality technologies. In the demonstration next door an exoskeleton acts as an intuitive human-machine interface that can also be used in industrial production, assembly, and logistics. The acatech special display Connected Autonomous Systems in Halle 12 also addresses HRC. Visitors there will learn how humans and machines can work together and interact safely in the same space. In the context of Industrie 4.0, visitors can also see how virtual technology (VT) can aid in engineering change management and how a new service platform can intelligently improve installations. In addition, a LEGO demonstrator illustrates how concepts from process mining can support production scheduling using real-time analyses.
Smart data analytics technologies for researching information and intermodal mobility and supply chain events are being showcased at the BMWi stand in Hall 6 (C40).
An additional AI highlight of the trade show is a visit by Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro and his own robot twin. At CeBIT Global Conferences, the Director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at the Department of Adaptive Machine Systems at Ōsaka University will show his silicon and silicium alter ego in action. On Tuesday March 21, 2017, Ishiguro, one of the most enigmatic representatives of Japan, CeBIT’s Partner Country this year, will take to the stage at 9:45 a.m. Ishiguro not only wants to use his technology to create a double of his own personality, but an actual life partner. He purpose is not to create mechanical supermen or cute toys, but socially interactive robots that can became our friends – and perhaps even more.
CeBIT visitors can discover what AI can do for vehicles by taking a ride from entrance West 1 right across Hall 13 to Hall 12 in the SmartShuttle from the Swiss Post . The shuttle buses are equipped with several cameras and sensors to identify people and objects along their route and will brake automatically if need be. These 'Arma' shuttle buses were constructed by the French company Nayva. Nayva developed the software together with the start-up BestMile, a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. Since June 2016, the Swiss Post has had two autonomous "SmartShuttles" running through the old town of Sion in the Swiss canton of Valais. Displays can be found at the stops along the test track showing the position of the two vehicles in real-time. Passengers can also locate the shuttles using an app.
At Future Talk (Hall 6, A 54) autonomous driving is also on the agenda. Dr. Simon Burton, Chief Expert of Safety, Reliability, Availability at Robert Bosch GmbH, will be speaking here on March 21 (from 11:30 to 12:00) on "Intelligent self-driving vehicles: How to make mobility systems of tomorrow smart and safe." "Artificial intelligence and deep learning in particular show great potential for solving automation tasks in an open-context environment," explains Simon Burton. "Such technologies however can only be applied if it can be shown that stringent safety requirements are met at all times." In his talk Burton describes the challenges that need to be overcome to ensure that mobility systems are not only smart but also safe.