Welcome to our sixth edition of AI Landscape where we have collated interesting insights from the world of AI and other emerging technologies.
Flying cars? Not yet
Covid-19 has had a major impact on the future of mobility, with an accelerating shift towards micro-mobility and increased car usage as consumers look for alternatives to trains, buses and other shared modes of transport during the pandemic. 5G, the current hot topic of debate in the UK, is thought by many to be instrumental a future where self-driving cars look to replace conventional means. The articles below highlight the recent movements in this space, with some major investments from established players who are looking to cement their place in the future vehicle ecosystem. Beyond the pure technology, integration of these autonomous vehicles into the cities of the future is going to be key to their success, as the world’s population increasingly gravitates towards urban hubs.
Chinese technology company Tencent wants to “reimagine the future of cities” and is building an Internet-inspired campus roughly the size of Midtown Manhattan for its employees in Shenzhen where mobility will be focused around autonomous vehicles, cycling and pedestrians.
Waymo and the Volvo Cars Group have agreed to develop a self-driving electric vehicle designed for ride hailing use, as part of a new global partnership.
Amazon have confirmed that it will acquire Zoox, a 6-year-old self-driving car startup that has raised $955 million in venture-backed funding, and is building advanced mobility experiences aimed at supporting future needs of urban mobility.
Ford, and a consortium of partners, have received government backing - via a £65 million 5G development fund from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) - to introduce 5G connectivity into its production process for electric vehicles.
Fighting Fraud with AI
Harnessing AI to battle fraudsters has been billed as a key use case for artificial intelligence since early on in the uptake of these types of technologies - we are now seeing this really come into fruition. The financial and reputational damage of fraud is vast, which is likely why companies are so willing to spend large sums trying to get to grips with it. AI is fundamental to the majority of the solutions coming to the market, with the drive for facial recognition technology being one of most popular use cases in the past year. This particular technology is not without its controversy however, and responsible adoption is increasingly important in this space.
Visa has announced a digital tool to help U.S. financial institutions with their efforts to combat new account fraud – estimated at $10 billion a year – and give consumers greater peace of mind.
Barclaycard Payments, which processes almost 40 per cent of card transactions in the UK, is to provide merchant customers with real-time fraud detection software from Kount.
Spotlight on Facial Recognition
Wise AI and the independent financial advisory and tech wealth organisation deVere is launching an onboarding verification app to the hot eKYC market, based on a biometric selfie and document capturing to meet what it characterizes as “soaring global demand.”
Caixabank is embarking on a project to roll out facial recognition technology at 100 ATMs throughout Spain, enabling users to make withdrawals without using a PIN code.
Amazon has announced a one-year moratorium on allowing law enforcement to use its controversial Rekognition facial recognition platform.
AI and the Media
AI is set to transform the media and entertainment business – impacting all parts of the media value chain from content creation to the consumer experience. Proponents say that is will be used to assist human creativity and human curiosity by taking a lot of the leg work out of finding and navigating relevant content. To date, media companies have been relatively slow to adopt technologies that harness machine learning, for example – this is due to the industry lagging at driving through a data-first approach. The signs are there that times are changing.
Microsoft has decided to replace dozens of journalists with artificial intelligence software. Staff who maintain the news homepages on Microsoft’s MSN website and its Edge browser have been told that they will be no longer be required because robots can now do their jobs.
The BBC has launched an early version of its previously announced voice assistant in partnership with Microsoft to support its own products, as opposed to launching a dedicated product like Amazon’s Echo.