The Impact of AI on the Future of Drones

The Impact of AI on the Future of Drones

The Impact of AI on the Future of Drones

Introduction

Technological advancement is a major earmark of the 21st century and one of the prominent developments we can boast of is in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Modern artificial intelligence leverages deep learning and this has engendered solutions to complex problems once considered intractable. The fusion of AI and robotics is one of the solutions which appears promising and we shall go into detail.

AI

How AI of an autonomous system works

What Underpins the Success of AI and Robotics?

This boom in AI is facilitated by three major factors;

  1. The increased access to big data,
  2. The development of more sophisticated/complex algorithms, and
  3. GPUs with increased computing power.

Future Applications in Autonomous Tasks

Drones, in the nearest future, will be used to obtain privileged data which can be applied to weather forecasting, storm tracking, and precision agriculture. They can even be used for surveillance purposes, especially in search and rescue.

This year, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University published a paper year titled, “Learn to fly by crashing”. An AR Drone 2.0 taught itself how to navigate through 20 doors by trial and error. It was able to master the path in just 40 flying hours. The future drone will be more equipped with faster learning capabilities and we can safely project more involvement of AI drones in automated tasks with ever-rising efficiency.

autonomous drone

An autonomous drone passing through the chairs

Future Applications in Military

When it comes to warfare, military forces are on a constant search for tools for superior advantage. Such little advantage can be the deciding factor for victory or defeat in a battle.

Military forces are beginning to innovatively integrate AI into drone technology for warfare purposes. At the moment, AI drones are being used as spy devices, and even as killer machines by arming them with missiles and bombs for destroying enemy forces.

AI Drones for Inspection of Infrastructure

Catastrophes happen, sometimes we can guard against it, most times, and we have to deal with the consequences. While AI is being used to anticipate and prevent future disasters, we also envision improved automated inspections of infrastructures. Tests are ongoing and the New York Power Authority discovered that while it costs $3500 and $3300 to send a helicopter and boat on an inspection mission, a drone can do the job for $300.

bridge inspection drone

A bridge inspection drone with a spherical shell

Addressing the Elephant in the Room

Is There a Possibility of AI Drones Colonizing Earth?

We are right on track to a final destination where drones will eventually be self-sufficient. In fact, AI-driven drones have been claimed to defeat human pilots in a combat named ALPHA. There are major concerns shared by prominent figures like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking as to whether drones with fully automated artificial intelligence will eventually become smarter than man.

If this happens, then the possibility of them launching an attack to wipe out humanity is pretty high, just like in the Terminator. However, there are sufficient facts to dispel these fears. AI enthusiasts posit that only those who have no knowledge of AI entertain these beliefs. Some of the prominent AI researchers assert that we are still a long way from self-sufficiency and to ensure that this doesn’t occur, there are three rules in place.

Rules of Robotics

  1. A robot is not allowed to injure a human being or, through inaction, cause harm to come to a human.
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it provided that the order is not conflicting with the first rule
  3. A robot is required to protect its existence provided that this protection does not flout the first or second rule.

Will Robots Take Your Job?

The statistics provide an almost unanimous answer, the ubiquity of drones will significantly increase efficiency, productivity, and ensure security. This development is predicted to replace about $127 billion in labor costs with the impact being felt in the area of agriculture, transportation, and infrastructure.

We have already seen things such as Automated Call Routing, replacing workers at Telecomm Exchange, also, AI-generated content is fast replacing creative writers and this trend is expected to permeate other sectors. While it is impossible to accurately predict the loss this will cause, workers are expected to brace up.

Conclusion

AI has drastically improved the capabilities of drones. Given the amount of money and effort being lavished on this course (projected to more than double by 2020), it is only possible that drones will continue to get more intelligent in the recent years to come.

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