Artificial intelligence has come a very long way over the course of the last several years. In some cases we’ve seen concepts that were once theoretical become reality; in others there have been exciting developments we never saw coming. And yet, as we implied in our post on improving AI and machine learning, the true potential of AI has yet to be reached.
Whether or not it ever really will be reached is an open question. It’s entirely possible that with each advancement in AI we realize new, even more advanced horizons. For now though, we are early enough in the development of modern artificial intelligence that we can see, to some extent, what’s coming. With that in mind, we’re looking at three other technological developments that are likely to help drive AI forward in the immediate future.
There may not be a single technological innovation generating more attention early in 2020 than 5G. Though it’s been on its way for quite some time now, 5G is now being deployed by providers around the world, and bringing unprecedented high-speed connectivity with it. As to how this relates to our main topic, the simple fact is that 5G and AI will be connected in numerous ways. To sum them up broadly though, 5G connections are going to allow for more data to be transmitted more swiftly — which essentially expands the capability of AI, and specifically intelligent Internet-of-Things networks. With 5G supporting device connectivity, information sharing will become nearly instantaneous, virtually limitless data can be handled, and we’ll see AI becoming quicker and more reliable across innumerable applications.
Within the intelligent IoT networks we just mentioned, there are ultimately going to be millions and millions of smart devices and tiny, connected sensors. From home irrigation systems that recognize weather, to retail beacons that interact with customers, to sensors monitoring urban traffic, there is no end to the number of products that will ultimately comprise our smarter, AI-driven world. And in many cases these products are being made possible thanks to advances in printed circuit board (PCB) design that most of us never see or think about. PCBs have long been capable of powering highly capable electronic devices. But the need for small, unobtrusive, connected electronics has presented new challenges. Accordingly, we’ve begun to see high-density interconnector PCBs taking the lead. Descriptions of advanced HDI PCBs indicate that they essentially pack more processing capability into a tighter space, which in turn gives so many smart devices and sensors the power they need.
Advanced 3D Printing
Lastly, it’s also important to mention 3D printing. Typically, we tend to hear about AI driving 3D printing forward, rather than the other way around. Indeed, it’s been said that AI can “give eyes and brains” to 3D printers, expanding their capabilities and improving final products. However, 3D printing is also going to play a role in supporting our drive toward further AI integration. This is simply because this particular method of manufacturing has fast become one of our best ways to create prototypes and test out new designs. It stands to reason then that as AI networks expand, and more products are needed — from the aforementioned smart sensors, to robotic arms in fulfilment centres, to casings for smart speakers in homes — 3D printing will be behind a lot of the designs. In a sense, it will help to build the physical infrastructure within which AI will work.
One of the really exciting things about AI is how many different technologies it does involve or interact with. But as our world embraces artificial intelligence more with each passing month, these are likely to be some of the foundational technologies helping it to happen.