Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Deep Learning have been extensively used for more than a decade but largely remained confined to areas such as voice recognition, image reconstruction, image/signal processing, and output prediction.
Such algorithms have seen limited usage in engineering domains such as thermal management, electronics cooling industries, fluid dynamics prediction inside the engine or over a bonnet, aerodynamics, and fluid dynamics problems across an aero-foil or turbine engine.
The delicate relation between AI ML and engineering can be better explained with two specific terms – A priori knowledge and posteriori knowledge. Since the time of Emmanual Kent, western philosophy has defined A priori knowledge as something which is attained from reason and independent of particular experiences. On the contrary, posteriori knowledge is derived from real evidence that has to be considered authentic.
It means A priori knowledge is not circumstance-centric but instead follows a set of pretty universal rules. Fundamental concepts of thermodynamics, electromagnetism, mechanical, and material properties are highly quantitative. They stick to a predetermined route rather than a vast stock of different scenarios.
Engineering Problems Requirements
Every problem related to engineering emphasizes the below-mentioned parameters:
High Accuracy Levels – Every endeavor starts with a model in the early stages. The model undergoes various physical applications and virtual simulations. It is done to gather all sorts of data to determine the proposed workability of the model and improvise areas. The model goes through several stages of scrutiny until high accuracy levels are achieved. AI ML works more on input feeding, and the outputs fluctuate every given time.
Function Over Feel – Engineering problems ask for the accurately intended functionality of a model. Feel of the component is never the priority. Every process applied to a model at every stage makes sure the intended functioning is obtained. As mentioned before, it is more linear. On the other hand, AI ML targets more on the feel, which varies with different situations.
High Repeatability and Predictability – An engineering task involves a high repetition of activities and the desired outcome is already known. One cannot simply predict an AI ML output, and as a result, for a conventional model in engineering, AI ML is not suitable.
However, recent years have witnessed increased usage of AI ML in the engineering sector, which is attributed to the following change in trends:
- Keeping up with rapid advancements to address consumer needs, the speed of coming up with new ideas, design, versions have increased
- Extensive field testing is not viable anymore
- Over the years, lots of digital footprint data of earlier design and earlier products have been accumulated and is available to serve as feed for AI ML
- Feel attribute is getting a lot of importance which results in the implantation of AI ML
- The trend of customized design to suit specific requirements is getting more and more common
Application of AI ML in Engineering Problems
Although Artificial Intelligence has found its niche in the engineering sector, it is extensively found in four areas of operation, which have a massive importance in today’s market.
As the related data are available for every product released in the market, we have a readily available vast database to quickly conjure up past information and generate engineering data out of it. This makes the task more streamlined, so we can understand product requirements, highlight the recurrence of similar conditions in the past, and pull out past data that have previously catered to the same.
This minimizes the time required to draw out an elaborate plan from scratch. If a problem is repetitive, it can be solved with the help of past data. This helps to intend to multiple issues simultaneously.
Failure Analysis is the collection of data and analysis to obtain the cause of a failure.
Failure analysis is essential as it helps pinpoint the causes, reasons behind causes and pave a way to determine corrective actions or liabilities. A massive set of failure analysis records is fed to AI ML, which comes in handy during similar failures. AI ML can assess the loss and come back with valuable information, should the incident occurred in the past. Once again, it reduces detailed investigation and time.
A significant aspect of AI, while digital twin has been around circa 2002, credit goes to the Internet of Things (IoT) for making it cost-effective to implement. It was named one of the top 10 technology trends for 2017, considering it is imperative to business.
The digital twin is a virtual, digital replica of a real-world entity or process.
The intelligent components are integrated into a physical element to gather data such as working conditions, position, and process changes. The compiled data is collected, synthesized, and integrated into a virtual model and AI algorithms. Such data assets can be created even before the physical model is built. Applying analytics into these virtual models can give back relevant insights about the real-world asset. The best part of the digital twin is that once the physical and the virtual models are integrated, the virtual model can sync with the actual model.
The digital inspection involves collecting information and analysis of products on production to ensure quality control.
The operation of digital inspection has gained considerable momentum in engineering, especially in the manufacturing sector. Unlike paper inspections which could have been laced with occasional errors, digital inspection minimizes or completely obliterates the chances of mistakes. AI ML has made its way to production and manufacturing, consequently providing automation that is faster, cost-effective, and superior to human involvement. AI-infused digital inspections build intelligent systems that perform quality checks down to the finest of details, leaving no stones unturned.
The rise of artificial intelligence has allowed automated machines to develop complicated manufacturing and design operations. AI has found significant importance in:
- Areas where data is available (or could be generated) and forward model is hazy or too complex
- Areas concerning partial data and incrementally growing data problems
- Areas of operation with disparate sources of information and varied data
- Forward engineering problems where constraints and inputs are not well defined/quantified
The end goal is to introduce machines capable of learning, exploring, probing, and improving without human intervention. AI ML and Big Data are climbing the ladders of engineering with pace. An interesting point to bring up is that in our pursuit of creating supreme AIs, we are unwrapping information about how human brains perceive & operate and how we address the learning process, both consciously and unconsciously.
The emergence of Artificial Intelligence in recent years has shifted the dynamic of technology’s interaction and implementation in a way seldom seen. The fact that machines can think, analyze and operate like humans have been raising eyebrows since its inception. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning is deemed to be the most sought after field and career option in the coming decades.
But what is so captivating about AI ML? What is it that sparked fears of AI ML taking over human labor?
Inarguably, it is the essential attribute of AI – Intelligence and Learning.
Humans are the only species in the world whose intelligent quotient surpasses any other species by a wide margin. Whether due to evolution or otherworldly miracles, it is safe to say that humans stand at the top of the food chain and dominate the ecosystem like no other. This dominance can be credited to human intelligence.
Although there is no definite description for intelligence, one of the greatest scientists of the 21st century, Stephen Hawking famously quoted, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
Intelligence can be thought of as an ability to acquire and apply knowledge or skills. The broad spectrum of intelligence covers abilities like understanding, logic, self-awareness, emotional experience, reasoning, planning, critical thinking and problem-solving. Although some of these abilities are found in every other animal species out there, humans surpass them by a long shot.
So what is it that humans do differently and better than others. Here are a few examples:
- Humans are capable of gathering information about a phenomenon from multiple sources. Such a varied perspective makes it easy for humans to consolidate data from different standpoints and form a solid knowledge foundation.
- Collecting and consolidating information lets humans correlate all the data and bind them together to form a patchwork thus giving shape to the knowledge base.
- A fundamental characteristic is the ability to make decisions with limited data or a partial understanding of the system. A human mind can process a piece of information from several standpoints and draw out the best conclusion, something never witnessed in any other species.
Learning is an essential factor in the field of evolution. Without learning capability, humans would not make it this far. Most of the animal species have a distinct learning curve, which helped them overcome adversities and evolve accordingly.
Learning is a process that causes “change” as a result of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences.
Learning is very much intertwined with intelligence. Learning is an application of intelligence itself. Putting it simply, intelligence is the stirs the pot while learning is the taste of it and understanding what needs to be done. Here is how intelligence and learning interact with each other:
Learning encompasses the following methodologies:
- Working with only data and no/partial knowledge about a system
- The next step leads to building a model with the limited amount of data
- The last step includes drawing out conclusions from the model, analyze and identify the shortcomings and refine the model
Learning facilitates the prediction of data based on the understanding of the model and gathering actual observations. These observations are compared with the predicted outcomes to differentiate between the two sets.
Approach to AI ML through Intelligence and Learning
The conventional method of problem-solving through intelligence and learning covered a one-time pre-defined rigid model which, when running through the application, yields a definite result that couldn’t be processed any further. Such a method consists of strict one-way inputs which are mostly theoretical. This approach negates the learning process and presents a limited scope for refinement. The conventional means of that takes a lot of time and once completed, it can be considered done and dusted.
The AI ML approach, however, takes a more flexible route as it enables the extraction of information from time to time, understanding the essence of information, and refine or adjust a model as per the findings. Such a method consists of various environmental inputs that might vary from time to time to draw several conclusions. The results are extracted to pull the absolute intrinsic or indispensable quality of something, which determines its character. AI ML approach to problem-solving facilitates adjustment of the model in accordance with its character to further run it through application again.
Although AI ML has imitated human intelligence and learning capability to a reasonable extent, the game is far from over. Humans being complex creatures has a wide range of intelligence, namely Logical-mathematical, existential, interpersonal, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic etc. Humans can also derive the meaning of cosmic entities far from the reach of an AI machine for now. It remains to be seen how far AI ML will go considering this is just the start.
Automation is here to stay
An automated warehouse in Hong Kong that runs 24/7 uses a swarm of robots driven by AI to help deliver groceries. Known as Autonomous Mobile Robots, or AMR, they operate on a tailored track laden with QR codes to track their movements. The data they collect aids in improving their efficiency over time. The more the robots work, the smarter they become.
AI has helped meet modern consumers’ demands for fast delivery. The current Covid-19 pandemic has increased markets for automated logistics. Big players in e-commerce like Amazon and Alibaba already have a horde of AI-powered robots relentlessly doing their bidding. These Robots and computerized systems running them are subsets of a much bigger field of study: Artificial Intelligence.
Automation is here to stay and thrive. There is no going back from a technology that is on a mission to transform how we interact with our daily tasks. Automation is everywhere, From warehouses to factories, from mobile phones to customer support, from cab services to transportation. You name a field, and Automation is already prevailing in it.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claimed that AI will be smarter than humans and will overtake by 2025. Although it sounds a bit exaggerated, the rate at which AI and Automation are galloping towards the future, such predictions are entirely dismissible. However, Elon Musk also described AI as an existential threat. There have been growing concerns about AI taking over human jobs.
Is it a grave threat, or is it fear-mongering?
As per a leading consulting firm, one in three US employees will hand over jobs to Artificial Intelligence by 2030.
How Automation is affecting various industries
Automation is a derivative of great industrial revolutions that changed the production and commodity landscape. There are four industrial revolutions, the current one being the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0 (To read more about Industry 4.0, refer to Introduction to Industry 4.0).
Coming back to Automation and its effect on industries, it is safe to say that some sectors will be receiving a more significant impact than others. Let us have a quick look at such industries ready to embrace the automation juggernaut.
Manufacturing: Probably the biggest receiver of change when it comes to Automation, the manufacturing industry is a fast-evolving domain that needs rapid advancements in Automation. Intelligent machines and robots have been in use in this industry for a decade already. The need for Automation in manufacturing is to enable error-proof operation, consistent production, negligible downtime, fewer human factors, and constant pace. In a world where consumer demand is growing, one must be super-efficient to meet those demands by supplying products to the market continuously.
Transportation: Transportation is one of the first industries to be affected by the automation wave. Airplanes have already been using autopilots for decades. Self-driving cars are being increasingly tested and deployed on the road. Couple that with the Internet-of-Things (IoT), and we have a robust system of intelligent vehicles.
Agriculture: With the world population touching 8 billion by the end of this decade, there is a dire necessity of producing the optimum amount of food to feed the people. As a result, the agricultural sector needs increased attention regarding automating food production, distribution, and supply.
Logistics: As mentioned earlier in this blog, top companies like Amazon and Alibaba have upgraded logistics at the consumer level by employing robots, placing AI technologies to manage warehouses and delivery departments.
Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals: With the advent of nanotechnology, robotics, and IoT, the healthcare and pharma sector has climbed the ladder and introduced some groundbreaking medical treatments. The field of gene research and genetic altering system employs nanobots to carry out tasks.
Customer Relations: Remember when you enter a website, and a pop-up generates, eager to lend you support? Or how about when you have a complaint, and you interact with a customer care executive? Well, they are most likely chatbots with curated responses to address your queries and grievances. Many retail outlets in advanced nations are adopting cashier-less automated transaction desks.
Automation will end with repetitive work, and it has started shaping future jobs. It is likely that soon a lot of the current jobs will no longer exist. It is even predicted that jobs like plumbers, car mechanics, barbers, and funeral directors are likely to be replaced by automated appliances, robots, and computers.
Will Automation Take Over Jobs, Or Will It Improve Them?
As seen from the thriving tech sector, there is no immediate threat to jobs with AI, but a more radical use of technology could destroy employment opportunities for millions. Automation has been around since the late 1800s, but with the rise of the digital revolution, we see it gain momentum and be applied to a wide range of sectors and services. We are already witnessing Automation and the use of robots taking over repetitive and mundane processes like manufacturing and sending information to factory floors. In the transport sector, most of the workforce is being replaced by technology. The financial industry has also begun losing jobs to computers as these can perform most of the jobs that have to be done.
Eventually, it may result in a world full of unemployed people and loads of robots and intelligent systems. Yes, all those possibilities could turn out to be true. There are big movie franchises that show why this is not a good idea.
According to a 2013 study on the probability of automated jobs predicted that bank workers, transportation and logistics workers, and clerical and administrative workers - many middle-class jobs - were at risk of being replaced by technology.
But is that fear-mongering genuine?
While Automation will indeed displace many jobs over the next 10 to 15 years, it won’t eliminate human employees at all but rather modify the job landscape by introducing new work opportunities. Rather than eliminating the drudgery of repetitive tasks, Automation will place people in control of an entirely different set of operations. As a result, future jobs will require a different set of skills and educational requirements. By eliminating machines, most experts believe that Automation will create an enormous number of jobs.
The World Economic Forum estimates that automation will lead to a net increase of 5.8 million jobs.
An Investment Management firm predicts that Automation will boost US GDP by five percent to $1.2 trillion over the next five years. Contrary to widespread fears of job losses, the World Economic Forum predicts a net gain of 5.8 million jobs through Automation. Two-thirds of the jobs that will be transformed by Automation will be more skilled, while the other third will be less skilled.
Fears that machines will put large parts of people out of work are exaggerated. Today’s European workers are facing a degree of change as their jobs evolve with technology. Market analysts suggest that more than 80 million European employees - about 50% of the total workforce - will have to learn significant new skills and upgrade themselves for their current jobs over the next decade. In megacities such as London and Paris, employment opportunities are concentrated where few residents are qualified to fill them. This, in turn, is a situation where labor-saving tools can lead to more work for people, sometimes without interference, sometimes due to new technological requirements.
Studies claim that most jobs will modify rather than disappear entirely. Many jobs will continue to exist, with a healthy number of automated tasks. While we have seen a decline in automatic manual work and routine tasks, other skills are generally considered safe: cognitive skills such as critical thinking and socio-behavioral skills such as recognizing and managing emotions and improving teamwork. Robots are not so easy to replicate today. Competitive advantages can be summarized as Automation in selected countries, where companies can protect and increase jobs.
World Bank's 2019 World Development Report dismisses the speculations about automation displacing jobs.
Data entry and office jobs are likely to decline, as computers can instantly load files and sort information. On the other hand, occupational therapists who treat, support, and evaluate people in the workplace are skills that robots are unlikely to replicate.
To be productive in the future, many experts suggest that humans and robots must work side by side. Robots will need jobs that can be automated, but humans will need jobs that require a personal and creative touch.
Companies can make a working synergy between employees and Automation. A good example is a renowned robotics company that uses Cobots - collaborative robots that companies can design to make Automation easier for human employees to use. The company has developed an online course to allow workers with no technical background to program a robot in 87 minutes. As a result, human workers can create automated robots for specific tasks, which will give back large amounts of valuable data.
The book “The Sentient Machine” is more optimistic about the impact of AI on society than books like “The Rise of the Robots,” which is more a cautionary tale, raising concerns about robot automation and AI taking over jobs only by workers but also by employees. Those who have a high probability of losing their jobs through artificial intelligence should not panic.
The Future of Automation
There is a tipping point that Automation is coming, and the impact on jobs will be determined by which country adapts most rapidly and effectively. Employers can expect to rely on computers for jobs that people would typically do. Computers are more error-free, and in some areas, more competent than human workers, so intelligent computers and their robot associates will be the future of work.
One thing is for sure. Countries highly dependent on industries like agriculture, textiles, food, and cars, are expected to be the worst hit. However, a study by The World Economic Forum predicts that even developed economies will see jobs lost to technology in the next five years. But what’s surprising is that the impact on employment is also likely to be far less intense in countries where we’d least expect it. Just before a global conference on the future of work, CNBC decided to explore how technology is transforming the world of work and the effect on both blue and white-collar workers.
The long-term impact of AI and other automation technologies on the labor market is uncertain as of now. It is recognized that many jobs will be affected, but it is difficult to predict precisely which positions in which sectors are at risk. No one knows how things will unfold in the future, so the best bet is to study the Automation & AI market, upgrade accordingly, and stay prepared.
By Pruthviraj Jadhav
Artificial Intelligence is the talk of the tech town. The capabilities that AI can exhibit are breaking all sorts of boundaries. There are intelligent AI projects that can create a realistic image, and then there are ones that bring images to life. Some can mimic voices. The surveillance-based AI can predict the possible turn of events at a working space and even analyze the employees based on their recorded footage. (To learn more about smart surveillance, visit www.inetra.ai)
This blog talks about a generation of AI that can identify human behavior and are special ones.
We are talking about the Expressions Social and Emotion AI, a recent inductee in the computing literature. The Emotion AI incorporates the AI domains adept in automatic analysis and synthesis of human behavior, primarily focused on human-human and human-machine interactions.
A report on “opportunities and implications of AI” by the UK Government Office for Science states, “tasks that are difficult to automate will require social intelligence.”
What is Emotion AI?
Detection and evaluation of human emotions with the help of artificial intelligence from sources like video (facial movements, physiological signals), audio (voice emotion AI), text (natural language and sentiments) is Emotion AI.
While humans can understand and read emotions more readily than machines, machines can quickly analyze large amounts of data and recognize its relation to stress or anger from voice. Machines can learn from the finite details on human faces that occur too quickly to understand.
The Brunswik Lens Model
Let’s have a look at Fig. 1 shown below. The person on the left is characterized by an inner state µS that is externalized through observable distal cues. The person on the right perceives these as proximal cues; stimulate the attribution of an inner state µP (the perceptual judgment) to the person on the left.
From a technological perspective, the following actions are possible –
- The recognition of the inner state (mapping distal cues into the inner state).
- The perception (the actual decision made by the decision-maker).
- The synthesis (the optimal or correct decision which should have been made in that situation)
Fig 1. The Brunswik Lens Model
The Brunswik Lens model is used to compute the human-human and human-machine interactions and their emotional aspects. It is a conceptual model with two states − the inner and outer state. The outer state is easily visible for the observer but not much conclusive. The inner state is not easily understandable but leaves some physical traits (behavior, language, and physiological changes) used to perceive the inner state (not always the correct one).
For example, a happy person might shed tears of joy, but another person will consider the former in grief.?
These physical traits can be converted into data suitable for computer processing and thus, find their place in AI. In addition to the above, the Brunswik Lens covers another aspect of Emotion AI: the capability to synthesize observable traits that activate the same attribution processes that occur when a human’s traits are displayed when perceived by a human observer.
For example, suppose an artificial face displays a fake smile. In that case, humans tend to believe that the machine is happy, even though emotional expression is impossible with artificial entities since they cannot experience it.
However, people can understand the difference between humans and machines at a higher level but not at a deeper level where some processes occur outside their consciousness. In other words, a human’s reaction to machines is like how they react to other humans. Therefore, human-human interaction is a prime source of investigation for the development of human-computer interaction.
How does Emotion AI work?
Emotion AI isn’t limited to voice. It uses the following analysis –
- Sentiment analysis is used to measure and detect the emotional data of text samples (small fragments or large samples). It is a natural language processing method & can be used in marketing, product review analysis, recommendation, finance, etc.
- Video signals - It includes facial expression analysis.
- Gait analysis and gleaning - Certain physiological signals through video are analyzed to learn about heart rate and respiration without any contact using cameras under ideal conditions.
Social Media giant ‘Facebook’ introduced the reactions feature to gain insights and data regarding user’s responses to various images.
Fig 2. Reactions feature on ‘Facebook.’
Emotion AI needs user-generated data such as videos or phone calls to evaluate & compare reactions to certain stimuli. Later, such large quantities of data can be morphed into human Emotion and behavioral recognizing patterns using machine learning. It can leverage more in detail emotional reactions users have with the help of the high computational capability of machines.
The Oliver API Emotion AI can evaluate different modalities through which humans express emotions, such as voice tone, choice of words, engagement, accent. This data can be processed to produce responses and reactions to mimic empathy. The sole aim of Emotion AI is to provide users a human-like interaction.
Industry predictions -
- Global Emotion AI: According to ‘Tractica,’ the global Emotion AI market will grow from USD 123M in 2017 to USD 3,800M in 2025.
- Social Robotics: The revenues of the worldwide robotics industry were USD 28.3 billion in 2015 and are expected to reach USD 151.7 billion in 2022.
- Conversational Agents: The global market for Virtual Agents (including products like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or Microsoft Cortana) will reach USD 3.6 billion by 2022.
- Global chatbot market: Valued at around USD 369.79 million in 2017 - is expected to reach approximately USD 2.16 billion in 2024.
Fig 3. Global Emotion Analytics Market (MRFR Analysis)
- Medical diagnosis – In certain diseases which need an understanding of emotions like depression and dementia, voice analysis software can be beneficial.
- Education - Emotion AI-adapted education software with capabilities to understand a kid’s emotions and frustration levels will help change the complexity of tasks accordingly.
- Employee safety - Since employee safety solutions and their demands are on the rise, Emotion AI can aid in analyzing stress and anxiety levels.
- Health care - Emotion AI-enabled bot will help remind older patients about their medications and monitor their everyday well-being.
- Car safety – With the help of computer vision, the driver’s emotional state can be analyzed to generate alerts for safety and protection.
- The autonomous car, fraud detection, retail marketing, and many more.
Emotions are a giveaway of who we are at any given moment. It impacts all facets of our intelligence and behavior at the individual and group levels. Emotion AI helps in understanding people and offers a new perspective to redefine traditional processes and products. In the coming future, it will boost up businesses and be a beneficial tool in medical, automobile, safety, and marketing domains. Thus, decoding emotions – the fundamental quality that makes us human and re-coding it to machines will be a boon to our future generation.
- Perepelkina O., Vinciarelli A. (2019), Social and Emotion AI: The Potential for Industry Impact, IEEE 8th International conference on ACIIW, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
- Brunswik E. (1956), Perception and the representative design of psychological experiments, University of California Press.