Welcome to the roaring 2020s, the artificial intelligence decade

Perhaps that’s why I’m so fascinated by the intersection of artificial intelligence and sustainability: the applications being made possible by breakthroughs in machine learning, image recognition, analytics and sensors are profoundly practical.

In many instances, the combination of these technologies completely could transform familiar systems and approaches used by the environmental and sustainability communities, making them far smarter with far less human intervention.

Except what researcher has the time or bandwidth to analyze thousands, let alone millions, of images? Enter systems such as Wildlife Insights, a collaboration between Google Earth and seven organizations, led by Conservation International.

Second, we must view these systems as part of the overall solution, not replacements for human workers.

As IBM’s vice president of AI research, Sriram Raghavan, puts it: “New research from the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab shows that AI will increasingly help us with tasks such as scheduling, but will have a less direct impact on jobs that require skills such as design expertise and industrial strategy. Expect workers in 2020 to begin seeing these effects as AI makes its way into workplaces around the world; employers have to start adapting job roles, while employees should focus on expanding their skills.”

Where will AI-enabled applications really make a difference for environmental and corporate sustainability? Here are five areas where I believe AI will have an especially dramatic impact over the next decade.

The intelligence behind the system comes from Taranis, which uses AI to monitor and analyze aerial imagery.

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The Merging of Humans and Artificial Intelligence

Getting back to our own world though, prostheses enhanced with artificial intelligence is a reality.

Jason Barnes, a musician who lost his arm in an accident, was fitted with a prosthetic arm that enables individual finger movement through the use of artificial intelligence.

Kernel, and even Facebook are developing artificial intelligence implants and morefor your brain.

Would you want artificial intelligence messing about in your brain? I, again, asked my eclectic group of friends what their thoughts were.

It’s kinda creepy to think of an artificial intelligence being physically inside my head. What if someone figured out how to hack the system? Then, they would have literal control of my mind.

Them, aged 29: I would be 100% against having an artificial intelligence implant in my brain because technology is so easily corrupted by the simplest of methods.

Though everything is either in development or in the early stages of implementation as far as the merging of humans and artificial intelligence goes, progress is definitely being made.

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FDA developing new rules for artificial intelligence in medicine

The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it is developing a framework for regulating artificial intelligence products used in medicine that continually adapt based on new data.

It is the most forceful step the FDA has taken to assert the need to regulate a category of artificial intelligence systems whose performance constantly changes based on exposure to new patients and data in clinical settings.

The white paper describes criteria the agency proposes to use to determine when medical products that rely on artificial intelligence will require FDA review before being commercialized.

The paper is the first step in a monthslong process in which the FDA will collect input from the public and a variety of stakeholders in medicine before finalizing a policy on regulating adaptive AI systems.

Eric Topol, an expert in artificial intelligence at the Scripps Research Institute, said the white paper “Demonstrates careful forethought about the field” of artificial intelligence in medicine.

“Artificial intelligence has helped transform industries like finance and manufacturing, and I’m confident that these technologies will have a profound and positive impact on health care,” he wrote in his statement.

“I can envision a world where, one day, artificial intelligence can help detect and treat challenging health problems, for example by recognizing the signs of disease well in advance of what we can do today.”

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