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Artificial intelligence; perhaps it’s a sign of how fast the times are moving, but the majority of us see AI as being something so incredibly futuristic, beyond our level of understanding, that it’s nowhere near the levels of science fiction in the movies. But the thing is, we’re a lot closer to those technologies than most can believe.

One of the biggest topics at this year’s virtual Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2021) is in fact artificial intelligence, and how it can be used in the modern world and indeed in the very near future. If you’re the kind of person who fears a global uprising of AI devices and robotics, then buckle up, because here are some of the best examples of futuristic AI technologies that you can barely believe are truly here…

Sony Bravia XR

Sony have announced the latest intelligence in television, Sony Bravia XR. This new technology uses what developers are calling ‘cognitive intelligence’ to create a far more realistic viewing experience. The ‘cognitive processor’ imitates human vision and hearing by using focus points and sound sources, creating a viewing experience incredibly close to the way the human brain does.

The processors divide the screen into sections and analyses the colour, contrast and detail individuality, cross analysing just the way our brains do for us. This way, everything is adjusted and synchronises, becoming incredibly lifelike.

Sony has said that the pricing for retail will be announced come spring, 2021. Just imagine the incredible viewing experiences you could have watching a David Attenborough documentary, or the Tokyo Olympics – or indeed, The Only Way is Essex, if that’s more your cup of tea.

‘Star Wars’ Inspired Holograms

Yes, you read that right. Holograms inspired by ‘Star Wars’, from your smart phone. We’ve all seen the scene in ‘A New Hope’ where R2-D2 projects the hologram of Princess Leia, and the famous line – “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope!”

But those holograms could become our reality sooner than you think. Scientist Taylor Scott is on a mission to provide these kinds of holograms to the average living room. During the CES show (Jan 11th – 14th), Scott’s company IKIN will meet prospective investors about the accessory they’re currently developing that will turn content on a smart phone into a 3D hologram – which you can even see clearly in daylight.

The use of holograms in daylight is a new concept, using a specialised polymer lens to be able to project from Android and iOS devices. Holograms have been used in the past for music events mainly, which still now seems like such an incredible advancement; from Tupac’s appearance during Snoop Dogg’s 2012 Coachella set to Michael Jackson in 2014. But even more recently, Kanye West had gifted his wife, Kim Kardashian-West, a hologram of her late father for her birthday.

It seems that everyday hologram technology is much more in reach than we may have thought…

AI in Healthcare

When talks of artificial intelligence first began over 80 years ago, it was thought that the primary use would be for machines to carry out tasks that human could, but far more efficiently and accurately, leaving no room for human error. In recent years, AI has been created and designed to assist in healthcare with the hope that it could really transform many of the major issues that come with the medical sector.

The first major step in AI for healthcare, is hoped to be the elimination of admin tasks. Healthcare professional spend hours inputting data and records, which could be eliminated using AI like speech recognition.

Data collection could also be hugely benefited thanks to AI, improving medical research at a much faster rate to determine how viruses and diseases work. AI could collate and analyse huge amounts of data much quicker than any human activity could.

AI can be used for patients to monitor their own health and wellbeing from home, with apps that can store family history data, current body functions, and help you to manage existing conditions. AI could really help people take charge of their own health.

But one of the biggest advances in modern medical technology, is the invention of prosthetic limbs that can be powered simply by thought. Researchers at the University of Michigan have been able to amplify nerve signals in patients’ residual limbs using tiny muscle grafts, which then instruct the robotic arm/hand/leg to move. The advancement means that signals from the human brain can be picked up much clearer and then translated into extremely precise movements with little or no lag at all. Incredible!

Dog Translators (Yes, you read that right!)

One of the pet-specific gadgets debuting at CES 2021 is Petpuls’ smart collar. This is a device that uses AI to listen to your dog’s bark, and tell you the emotional state of your pet.

Voice recognition technology is used to analyse the tone and pitch of the bark to tell you which of five emotional states your dog is feeling; happy, anxious, angry, sad or relaxed. The small device pairs with your Android or iOS device to tell you what your dog is ‘thinking’ (to an extent), but is also able to track your dog’s activity and rest, and manage your dog’s diet too whenever you’re in range.

The A.I uses a database of over 10,000 bark samples from around 50 different breeds of dogs. And the more data Petpuls records from your dog, the more accurate it becomes, learning your dog’s mannerisms and characteristics.

Sound like this is from the future? Not at all. This device is available to purchase for anywhere between $99-$133, and in five different colours from the Petpuls’ website. Perhaps the next step is real speech collars…. Either way, this collar is definitely giving us ‘Up!’ vibes.

The advances in these sectors of technology are astronomical, and what we thought was the future of Artificial Intelligence is in fact the present. Who knows what other technology is right around the corner, or even set to be announced during CES 2021…