“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today.
No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”
– Isaac Asimov
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been on an incredible journey of innovation over the years, but in recent months we’ve seen a dramatic acceleration in its development and implementation.
In this three part blog series, we will explore key milestones and breakthroughs that are shaping the convergence of AI and automobiles, paving the way for exciting advancements in voice recognition, image processing, self-driving cars, and natural language understanding.
But in Part I, we'll start with a bit of history.
From the birth of AI and cybernetics in the middle of the twentieth century to the unprecedented capabilities of Large Language Models (LLMs) today, AI is becoming more integrated in our lives with every passing year.
The Birth of AI and Cybernetics:
The 1940s and 1950s witnessed the birth of AI and the field of cybernetics. Pioneers like Alan Turing and John von Neumann laid the foundation for computational thinking and artificial intelligence. During the 1950’s, Arthur Samuel wrote a computer program to play checkers, one of the first attempts at machine learning. The term "artificial intelligence" itself was coined in 1956, marking the beginning of a new era of research and development.
The following decades saw periods of intense research and development in AI, but progress faced challenges and setbacks. The "AI winters," as they came to be known, were periods of reduced funding and waning interest in the field, roughly from 1974-1980, and then from the late 1980s to 1993. Basically, governments and industry couldn’t see a tangible benefit to this new technology, and cut funds for research and development. Nevertheless, the foundational science and technology behind AI continued to be developed. By the late 1990s, real progress was being made, and it was making a difference in the lives of ordinary people.
Deep Learning: Voice Recognition, Image Processing, and Self-Driving Cars:
The availability of vast amounts of data and advancements in deep learning algorithms led to remarkable breakthroughs in AI applications. Voice recognition technologies emerged, enabling seamless interaction between humans and their machines, and image processing suddenly started to work. In 1997, the IBM computer Deep Blue beat the world chess champion Gary Kasparov, and in 2002 the first Roomba was sold to the public.
A groundbreaking development was the work of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in self-driving cars. DARPA's initiatives, like the DARPA Grand Challenge, spurred research and inspired the automotive industry to invest heavily in autonomous driving technology.
Wanna see some real funny vehicles bumping into things back in these early days?
Siri, Alexa, AlphaGo, and DeepMind
The 2010s witnessed significant milestones in AI. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa became household names, integrating AI into everyday life. For automobiles, these voice-enabled AI systems brought convenience and intuitive interaction, allowing drivers to control various aspects of their vehicles using natural language commands.
A big milestone for me was the colossal breakthrough achievement of AlphaGo, developed by DeepMind (which had just been acquired by Google) - it demonstrated the potential of AI in strategic decision-making.
The game of GO is billions of times more complex than chess and was always considered the very exclusive domain of humans. But suddenly, in March 2016, AlphaGo defeated a world champion Go player, showcasing the power of deep reinforcement learning algorithms and machine learning techniques.
Wanna see more about this monumental AI moment?
Impressive progress, yes, but we were still far away from the most recent AI innovations, bringing colossal advancements in just the past decade!
Generative Networks and OpenAI
OpenAI, a research organisation dedicated to developing friendly AI, was created in 2015 and has played a pivotal role in advancing AI technologies during these last 10 years. They introduced AI generative networks capable of creating realistic and compelling content. Actually, the main invention here came from Google, with a new kind of neural network, the Transformer, which Google created to improve on language translation and OpenAI pushed it further with the magical GPT.
By now, most of us have heard of GPT. But it was developed in phases. I first saw GPT-2 in 2019: super impressive! One could already see its world-changing potential. But yet, it was still not totally coherent and was making a lot of mistakes.
Since then, OpenAI has introduced several further versions, which not only eliminated these early confusions, but more importantly demonstrated a power nobody had imagined, not even GPT’s creators.
GPT-3 totally floored me - it seemed 10+ years ahead of its time. 1.5 years later, GPT-3.5 was 100 times more powerful and convincing than GPT-3, and introduced ChatGPT, which is the conversational version of GPT. And then, just 12 months later, GPT-4 came out, itself hundreds of times stronger than GPT-3.5!
It is hard to describe the depth of the improvements, but this acceleration sure induces vertigo.
Geoffrey Hinton, the renowned computer scientist who is one of the “godfathers” of AI and someone not known for exaggerating things, recently said he didn’t think computers would get that smart so soon: “I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us,” he said in an interview with MIT Technology Review. “I think they’re very close to it now and they will be much more intelligent than us in the future.”
Let’s not hype this too much, of course: we don’t have full human-level AI yet - we’ll need a few more major discoveries in AI to get there. But the progress we just witnessed has been colossal.
So here we are: we have just witnessed what is probably the coolest thing humans have ever invented. And its applications are going to be in every domain. And it’s going to happen very soon.
Here are some areas that are dear to me:
Great Scientific Discoveries
AI has emerged as an invaluable tool in scientific research and discovery. From unravelling the mysteries of the cosmos to advancing the understanding of complex biological systems, AI empowers researchers to delve deeper and faster into uncharted territories and unlock groundbreaking insights.
Better Healthcare: Cure Diseases and Save Lives
The ability of AI algorithms to process and analyze medical data, such as patient records, diagnostic images, and genomic information, is revolutionizing disease detection, treatment, and prevention. AI-powered systems can identify patterns and anomalies that might escape human perception, enabling early detection of diseases and personalized treatment plans. Furthermore, AI assists in drug discovery and development, significantly reducing the time and cost involved in bringing new treatments to the market. Ultimately, AI has the potential to not only cure diseases, but also save countless lives.
Universal Access to Education
AI has the transformative potential to provide everyone with access to the best education, regardless of geographical location or socioeconomic background. Intelligent tutoring systems and adaptive learning platforms leverage AI algorithms to personalize educational experiences, catering to the individual needs and learning styles of students. AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots can provide instant support, answering queries and guiding learners on their educational journey.
Massively Increased Productivity
Automation and augmentation facilitated by AI have the power to significantly boost productivity across industries. By automating repetitive and mundane tasks, AI liberates human resources to focus on more complex and creative activities. Intelligent robots and machine learning algorithms enhance manufacturing processes, streamline supply chains, and optimize resource allocation, leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs. The collective impact of these advancements is a massive increase in productivity, fostering economic growth and opening new frontiers of innovation.
So be ready for this curve and acceleration - this is already happening faster than any other tech breakthrough before. It is impacting all industries - and all aspects inside each industry.
There may not be too much “first mover advantage” since these techs are very open and accessible to all. But there sure will be a “late mover” risk: now is the time to jump on board the AI train!
Next week I'll share with you Part II in this AI series, where we'll talk about AI in Automobile Sales.
In the meantime, if you happened to land on this page because you are looking to sell your car online in an innovative way, then click the big purple button below and get a free estimate (no strings attached).