In the course of my work at Dell EMC, I regularly encounter people who are truly excited about analytics and, most recently, artificial intelligence. And there’s good reason for all the enthusiasm. AI holds virtually limitless potential for businesses in every industry and for humanity as whole. From enabling self-driving cars to creating systems that learn from their experiences, from curing cancer to bringing vision to the blind, AI is opening up possibilities that were once all but unimaginable.
Can you imagine the day when a blind person might drive a car? AI-enabled autonomous vehicles could make it happen — in the near future, not in some distant century. This is one example of the promise of AI.
But here’s where things get harder. It’s not always easy or straightforward to connect the dots between magical AI outcomes and the impact AI could have on a business. This is highlighted by the fact that, while the vast majority of CXOs agree AI will transform their business, only a relatively small percentage of organizations have actual AI systems in production. One of the reasons for this gap is that people don’t fully understand what is now possible with AI.
This is where the Dell EMC Magic of AI series comes into play. The series is designed to showcase what’s possible with the latest machine learning and deep learning techniques, and to help spark ideas about how techniques like video analytics, image detection and natural language processing can be applied to different industries. As part of the presentation experience, AI industry luminaries provide third-party perspectives on where AI and deep learning technologies are heading and share their ideas on how this applies to everyday business.
We recently had our first Magic of AI event in New York City, featuring Sophia the Robot as our industry luminary and AI muse. Created by Hanson Robotics, Sophia consolidates innovations in science, engineering and artistry into the form of a human-like robot that showcases the potential of AI. Using AI, visual data processing and facial recognition, Sophia can imitate human gestures and facial expressions, answer questions and engage in simple conversations.
As Hanson Robotics explains on its website, Sophia is a personification of our dreams for the future of AI, as well as a framework for advanced AI and robotics research. Sophia is also an agent for exploring the human-robot experience in service and entertainment applications. I can personally attest to this aspect of Sophia, because I had multiple days of interactions with her as part of the Magic of AI engagement.
As we demonstrated in interviews and in our Times Square event, you can interact with Sophia as if she were a person. You can chat with her about topics on which she has been trained, and you can even make some small talk and friendly jokes with her. While at first it can be awkward to engage in a conversation with a robot, after a bit of experience, it feels fairly normal.
For a parallel, consider the ways in which you might interact with a virtual assistant like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. It all feels perfectly natural to ask these AI-driven applications to give you directions to a restaurant or to order you a case of dog food, as if they were real people. That’s the case with Sophia.
As you can see in this online video we shot at the O’Reilly AI Conference in New York, Sophia can carry on a pretty good conversation on certain topics, including use cases for AI. While demonstrations like these are a lot of fun, there’s a bigger point to make here — specifically that AI is here with us today. As Sophia explains in the video, AI is already all around us, enriching many aspects of our lives. From home and work to points beyond, AI is now both the present and the future.
Seeing is believing: Get involved with our Magic of AI event series
For a closer look at Sophia, you can catch a replay of our recent Magic of AI webinar or watch one of our video interviews with her. If you prefer IRL experiences, register for one of the events in your area for a first-hand AI experience. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and dive into the world of Sophia and AI in any of these events:
- Live on July 23: Magic of AI VIP Event at ABC 7 Studio in Chicago. Register here
- View now: “The Magic of AI: Demystify AI with Sophia the Robot and Dell EMC’s Thomas Henson” webinar (18 mins)
- View now: Coffee with Sophia the Robot chat about AI (4 mins)