Ambient Intelligence

The term “ambient intelligence” was coined by Emile Aarts, former Chief Scientific Officer at Philips.There is a lot of speculation in the tech world about ambient intelligence becoming mainstream and the type of changes this can bring in our lives. Given the range of ambient intelligence, we have broken up the post into a two part series. This first post discusses what ambient intelligence entails and the second post will talk about the possible benefits and risks  following the  introduction of ambient intelligent to  personal, social and professional spaces.

An ambient intelligence system is a digital environment that actively supports personal and professional lives and spaces through an interconnected system of artificial intelligence (AI), big data and Internet of Things (IoT). Ambient intelligence was slated to be developed during 1990-2020 and is steadily progressing towards becoming a reality. The introduction of ambient intelligence is expected to change our surroundings and the way we interact with our surrounding at work and at home. Constant assistance and monitoring of work processes will help foster an exponential rise in efficiency. Since everything is connected to a common network, errors are instantly detected and corrected (or notified) by the system. Similarly, everyday problems will be easily resolved through machine assistance.

An ambient intelligence environment is characterized as an environment that has the following features.

bluetoothEmbedded devices: Many networked devices like Bluetooth low energy, ICT implants, RFID, sensors and nanotechnology are built into the environment where every element within the environment is a node in IoT.

Context awarenessContext awareness: Through the use of context aware computing and sensors, an ambient intelligence environment will be able to recognize and respond to the situational context.

thumbprintPersonalized features: Personalization is a prominent feature and will allow the environment to ‘be modified and tailored to your needs. In other words, the environment is specifically designed to suit the user’s preferences.

Adaptive natureAdaptive nature: The environment will be able to adapt and change in response to the user’s actions.

Anticipatory capabilitiesAnticipatory capabilities: It will have the ability to anticipate people’s desires and actions through the computation of data received through a myriad of sensory devices that constantly receive and transmit information.

IntelligenceIntelligence: A.I with machine learning, knowledge processing, hearing and visual interpretation abilities will form the foundation for ambient intelligence environment.

El Kaliouby, the founder of Affectiva, predicts that ambient intelligence will become popular mainstream technology in ten years. However, whether we will live in a Sci-fi paradise by 2025 will depend on how people react to ambient intelligence and the measures implemented to address privacy, safety and security related issues. The current level of A.I. infused in our daily lives suggests that people take intelligent machine assistance positively. So ambient intelligence could feel like an extension of AI. Next on the 2 part series, we will address the benefits and risks of ambient intelligence, an expected reality of the upcoming decade.


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