From exciting, new applications to electrifying tech innovations, the twin fields of artificial intelligence and automation are evolving every day. If you missed the latest developments making the news, we have you covered. Here’s a quick recap of the top three AI and automation stories worth knowing.
AI, Google and the Sentience Debate
Arguably the biggest AI headline this month involved Google’s suspension of Blake Lemoine after the researcher released a “conversation” with the company’s LaMDA artificial intelligence project that he believed indicated its AI had become sentient. Tasked with testing whether the chatbot used discriminatory or hate speech, Lemoine became concerned when LaMDA (which stands for Language Model for Dialogue Applications) engaged with him on topics of personhood and personal rights. However, despite Lemoine’s claims, most AI scientists agree that artificial intelligence is incapable of attaining consciousness. “Quite a large gap exists between the current narrative of AI and what it can actually do,” Giada Pistilli, an ethicist at Hugging Face, recently told WIRED. “This narrative provokes fear, amazement and excitement simultaneously; but it is mainly based on lies to sell products and take advantage of the hype.”
General Motors Invests in Automated Inspection Stations
GM dealerships may soon have a new maintenance coworker: AI-powered auto inspectors. Last week, the U.S. automaker announced a deal with Israeli technology company UVeye that will allow dealers the opportunity to install automated, drive-through inspection stations on site. According to Forbes, the stations will combine artificial intelligence with machine learning and high-definition cameras to analyze a vehicle’s chassis, tires and more for damage, defects and missing parts—all without the driver ever needing to stop. “It’s automating the process for our service advisors, making it quicker [and] more transparent for the customer,” explains Alex Bowsher, Marketing Director for the Carl Black Automotive Group, which currently uses the technology. “[It’s] almost making it like a medical report, so you’re not fighting against the customer anymore. You’re showing them the issues; this is why you need it fixed.” In addition to creating a more convenient customer experience, the automated stations also address another hot business concern: the shortage of qualified automotive technicians. “If you can identify vehicles that potentially need additional inspection, then you can put your technicians on that right away,” Dave Marsh, General Manager of Customer Service for GM told Forbes, “because bandwidth is terribly limited in dealerships right now.”
McKinsey Predicts Metaverse Could be Worth $5 Trillion by 2030
In its recent report, Value Creation in the Metaverse, McKinsey predicts that the burgeoning metaverse could be worth as much as $5 trillion by 2030. Often described as the “next generation of the internet”, the metaverse aims to connect physical and virtual experiences, combining elements of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the greater Internet of Things (IoT). “It is a collective virtual space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality,” explains Gartner, which predicts that “25 percent of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social media and/or entertainment.” While still largely being defined, the collective virtual space has already accumulated more than $120 billion in investment in 2022 alone—more than double the $57 billion invested last year. The McKinsey report found also that 79 percent of metaverse users made a purchase on the platform and identified packaged goods, retail, financial services, technology, manufacturing and healthcare as the biggest areas for growth in the next ten years.