Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence technologies are coming on in leaps and bounds. Commercial, fully autonomous vehicles are on the horizon, and many of us use AI assistants like Alexa in our homes every single day.
Our embracing of AI has been swift, and some of the biggest names in tech are working tirelessly to keep up the momentum of technological progression.
While we still have to wait for some truly exciting breakthroughs, we can enjoy tantalizing glimpses of what's to come. This includes projects currently in development, and newly-launched platforms that could inform the AIs of the near future.
Here's just a quick run-through of some of the most exciting AI platforms from some of the technology industry's biggest names.
1. Google: Making AI More Accessible and Less Dangerous
Fairly recently, Google had come under fire for their involvement in AI weapons development. After much public outcry over their Pentagon-backed drone project, the company decided to re-evaluate their approach to AI. Just last month, Google released a set of guidelines outlining their commitment to ethical AI development.
Luckily, there's more to Google's involvement in AI than military endeavors. Just this month, they introduced their cloud-based, AI-powered platform which will allow developers to work with container-wrapped software applications. The Cloud Services Platform would allow developers to access the tools they need from anywhere, at any time.
This all comes fresh off the trail of Google's realistic voice functions and AI-human interactions. While very much embroiled in steady competition with Amazon and Microsoft, Google is pulling out all the stops to develop and deliver a variety of AI to suit multiple needs.
2. Amazon: Expanding the Scope of Amazon Web Services
Like Google, Amazon is showing their dedication to developing cloud-based AI services that will benefit developers. At this month's AWS Summit, the company unveiled the new computing services available on its cloud platform, as well as their more recent efforts into machine learning.
The star of their announcement was the changes made to their SageMaker service, which allows developers to build and test applications in the cloud. The introduction of SageMaker Streaming Algorithms means that developers will have the ability to stream large amounts of data and efficiently train custom machine learning applications.
3. Apple: Improving Siri With New Management
Contrary to what you might think, Apple has been lagging behind its competitors when it comes to AI development. Despite the commercial popularity of Apple products, Siri and its other AI developments have failed to match the levels of data currently being boasted by Google and Amazon.
That may, however, be about to change. Earlier this month Apple's Core ML Team welcomed former Google head of AI, John Giannandrea, as their Chief of Machine Learning and AI Strategy. As part of his new position in the company, Giannandrea will be reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
This isn't the only move Apple has made in an attempt to boost their AI profile. In 2017, they acquired a number of AI start-ups with an aim to better compete with their rivals. These start-ups included Israeli facial-recognition company, RealFace, and SensoMotoric Instruments, who use eye-tracking technology for application in VR. Both acquisitions point towards Apple's move into more sophisticated, visual AI platforms that could see the company catch up with their competitors.
4. Intel: Pushing the Boundaries of AI and Technology News
Intel has become incredibly serious about AI in recent years. They've already paired up with Chinese tech giant, Baidu, to develop AI for autonomous vehicles.
The collaboration was announced at this year's Baidu Create conference in Beijing, where Intel revealed its involvement in the Baidu Apollo autonomous car project, and its decision to utilize a Responsibility Sensitive Safety (RSS) model.
Further to their work in autonomous vehicles, Intel has also partnered with Samsung in South Korea to explore the possibilities of using AI in healthcare applications. Together, the companies hope to create an AI capable of researching different diseases and even detecting tumors.
Finally, Intel has joined forces with Forbes magazine to create a digital publication devoted entirely to the news on the latest AI developments. With so many interesting collaborations in the pipeline, Intel could very well pull into the lead of the AI race.
5. IBM: Using AI to Treat Cancer and Debate Humans
Tech industry veteran, IBM, has already made headlines multiple times over the past two years thanks to its revolutionary AI, Watson. Since its conception, Watson has been utilized in autonomous vehicles and day-to-day business endeavors.
As part of Watson Health, the AI was also used in a partnership with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to prepare treatment plans for cancer patients based on their specific genomic data.
The project was launched in 2016, and just last month was extended. The use of Watson in this project has been showing the benefits of using AI in a medical setting, where data can be compiled and assessed faster than any human medical professional possibly could.
Last month also saw Watson take on its first set of human opponents in debates. Project Debater has no clear commercial goals yet, but it has proven to be an impressive display of technology and another fine example of IBM's work in the field of artificial intelligence.
6. Ford: Driving Forward With AI-Powered Vehicles
Ford hasn't been quiet about its ambitious, AI-powered plans. At the beginning of this year, Ford revealed its plans to create a smart city run on a variety of different AI and smart technologies.
The plans featured a centralized AI - the Transportation Mobility Cloud - which could track data from the city in real time, and orchestrate all vehicles, citizens, and stop lights efficiently.
It's clear that Ford is moving forward with its plans, if recent news is anything to go by. Just this week Ford created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, in a bid to accelerate its autonomous vehicle efforts.
The LLC will be based in Detroit, and is eligible for third party funding. This is a strong indication that the AI utopia envisioned in Ford's smart city could soon be in production.
7. Microsoft: Saving the Environment Through AI
Just last month, Microsoft announced its partnership with National Geographic as part of an effort to fund conservation research around the globe. The project will give data scientists access to Microsoft AI as part of the Earth Innovation Grant. The Grant program is an expansion of Microsoft's 2017 AI For Earth program, which awarded over 35 grants globally.
Just this week, Microsoft also released information on its Dynamics 365 AI, which is due to be rolled out between October of this year and March 2019.
The notes included information on AI for Sales app, which is designed to help companies with making deals. Though not as focused on the individual consumer as many of its competitors, Microsoft's latest moves in AI certainly prove the rapid spread of the technology throughout different industries and sectors.