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[INFOGRAPHIC] AI Technologies: The Role of Humans & The Application in Logistics

Today our focus has been on KPIs, ERP, WMS, TMS, YMS, EDI, The Cloud, S and OP, 3 D Printing, IoT, IoE, Drones: Same Hour/Day/Time Delivery to Customers, Cyber Security, Theft, Government Regulations, E-Commerce, Omni-Channel, Modeling/Simulation, Risk Management, Tracking, Traceability, Re-shoring, Robotics, et al, but…what about Artificial Intelligence or AI technologies? 

AI is a controversy of deep, lasting dimensions. Will machines learn to think like humans…and then outthink us?

If AI Technologies Can Think & Act Like "Us" Where do "We" Go?

The application of AI technologies has created the ability to understand, store and use product information in an entirely new way. AI technologies allow you to understand the underlying grammatical structure, the product DNA, used to build each product, together with all natural variations that potentially exist. AI gives you the ability to maintain these structures/natures of being dynamically continually learning and updating as new data passes through the system. Now you have a “smart attribute,” because AI technologies use what it “learns” on one product and transfers that knowledge when it recognizes the same descriptive synonyms used for a different product.

Using AI driven product nature of being and smart attributes, data can be structured to support the needs of ERP applications as well as strategic sourcing and Value Analysis activities, all from one data set. The data from this global virtual item master takes another step in its evolutionary journey and is refined using an online, cloud-based platform with user tools that automatically present the normalized data obtained from all sources, both internal and external, in natural English.

AI technologies have become one of the defining facets of high tech. From Apple to Amazon, Facebook to Intel, Sergey Brin to Elon Musk, the titans of the 21st century are investing fortunes and countless hours in artificial intelligence. Google’s 2014 purchase of the British firm Deep Mind for something more than $ 400 million produced a bonanza of publicity earlier this year, when its game playing program whipped a human master of the ancient strategy game Go.

IBM is pouring $ 1 billion into building a business around Watson, the company’s digital Jeopardy champion that chats with Bob Dylan in its latest campaign. Amazon’s new personal digital assistant, Alexa, dwells in the cloud, like her cousin Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft) and google Now, will dispense instructions from speakers, smartphones and cars. We have adjusted to their presence very quickly, haven’t we?

These super-intelligent machines are already taking over factory workers, stock traders, data processors, even news reporters. Will they make all of us obsolete someday?

Practical Applications: Using AI Technologies to Maximize & Compliment Logistics Resources

Hong Kong: Logistics

Dr. Andy Chun, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Chief Executive Officer of a spin-off company from CityU, BonVision Technology (Hong Kong) Limited, which is a leading provider of AI technologies and his team have also applied AI techniques to other cargo handling companies, such as Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd, Hong Kong International Terminals, and Modern Terminals Ltd. Using a sophisticated set of AI rules and constraints, such as priority, cargo type, flight schedules, pick-up schedules and resource capabilities, resource assignments are made automatically to handle and process each container within each arriving/departing cargo aircraft.

"The system pays for itself by maximizing resource utilization, allowing the terminal operator to handle more business and generate more revenue," Dr Chun explained.

CityU has also worked with other transportation-related companies, such as Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the Kowloon Motor Bus Company to develop AI timetabling algorithms to increase service levels with limited resources.

However, the application of AI technologies to logistics is not limited to resource optimizing and scheduling, Dr Chun said. "Logistics require the collaboration of many parties and companies, all with their own peculiar processes, procedures and guidelines." Many companies are beginning to use AI rule-based techniques to help manage and monitor complex business processes and workflows, especially those that span organizational and geographical boundaries. "AI, combined with various e-business XML (Extensible Markup Language) standards, allows logistic companies to operate in real time, or what we refer to as zero latency.

Thought from The AI Technologies Pioneer

The pioneer of artificial intelligence is David Gelernter, and he has some radical ideas about the supremacy of the human mind. Gelernter observes that the mind operates in different ways through the course of each day. It works one way when it is on high alert, another on the edge of sleep. Then, as the body slumbers, the mind slips entirely free to wander dreamscapes that are barely remembered, much less understood.

All of these physical conditions go into the formation and operation of a human mind. “Until you understand this, you don’t have a chance of building a fake mind”, adds Gelernter.

What do the Technology Heavy Hitters Think of AI Technologies?

Here are some quotes from some of silicon valley and high technologies' greatest minds.

Mr. Ray Kruzwell: Futurist and Director of Engineering at Google: AI will be achieved by 2029. AI technologies can help find cures for diseases and clean up the environment. We have a moral imperative to realize this promise while controlling the peril.

Sam Altman: President of startup Incubator Y Combinator: AI should be self-policed and used for benevolent ends only.

Michio Kaku: AI is an end of century problem. Use AI, but put a chip in the brain to stop them if necessary.

Bill Gates: Microsoft Co-Founder: It will be strong enough to be a concern.

Stephen Hawking: Theoretical Physicist: Most miraculous and catastrophic. The biggest event in human history. It could be the last event unless we learn how to avoid the risks.

Nick Bostrom: Director of The Future of Humanity Institute: AI could turn dark quickly, and dispose of humans.

Elon Musk: Spacex Founder: AI is tantamount to summoning the demon.

One of the most advanced artificial intelligence systems is about as smart as preschooler, new research suggests. But your preschooler may have better common sense and, clearly better language. 

Microsoft, in their experiment featuring Tay, the social media AI to mimic millennials, found that AI still has a long way to go, according to the video below. Showing that AI learns from us and that perhaps twitter and social media was not quite the place to learn after Microsoft shut down the project when Tay turned into a Nazi.

An artificial intelligence (AI) system known as ConceptNet4 has an IQ equivalent to that of a 4-year-old child, according to the study. But the machine's abilities don’t evenly match those of a child: the computer system aced its vocabulary test, but lacked the prudence and sound judgment of a preschooler

“We’re still very far from programs with common sense — AI technologies that can answer comprehension questions with the skill of a child of 8,” study co-author Robert Sloan, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a statement.

Infographic: 80% of Tech Leaders Say Artificial Intelligence Creates Jobs, Increases Productivity

A new article out of the company reports, “Narrative Science, the leader in advanced natural language generation for the enterprise, today announced the 2015 State of Artificial Intelligence & Big Data in the Enterprise Report. The report includes a survey and analysis revealing numerous insights into how all levels of employees, from executive leadership to data scientists to managers, view artificial intelligence (AI) and how they use it in conjunction with Big Data in their organizations. Many salient findings came to light and several confirmed what true attitudes and beliefs towards AI are. One of the most interesting was that respondents are positive about the impact it will have, with 80 percent reporting that AI-powered technologies creates jobs and improve worker performance and efficiency, while only 15 percent believe that AI eliminates jobs.”

AI Technologies infographic

Artificial intelligence has been getting exponentially smarter for decades, and some technologists even believe that we are nearer to the point where:  machine intelligence will overtake humans. Such machines might be made to look like humans, and even react as humans.

Gelernter summarizes AI technologies: “We can’t have artificial intelligence until a computer can hallucinate.”

What do you, the reader, think of AI technologies? Let me know in the comments section below. 

Chuck Intrieri
Mr. Chuck Intrieri is a highly experienced and credentialed Supply Chain Management professional and is a recognized thought leader and innovator, primarily in the areas of Supply Chain Optimization, LEAN initiatives, Operations, Manufacturing, Third Party Logistics (3PL) International Purchasing/Importing, Inventory Management and Logistics, Strategic Sourcing, and Procurement Operations.
Chuck Intrieri
Chuck Intrieri
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