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How AI and IoT will help drive the future

Disruptive, fast-paced changes are all around us as fundamental shifts take place in business and society, turning the world we thought we knew on its head, writes DEON PRINSLOO, General Manager of Mobile, LG Mobile South Africa.

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These shifts should not be feared as change always brings opportunity and these trends, from population growth to rapid urbanisation to the explosion in big data, will present significant opportunities for all businesses. But to capitalise on these possibilities, business leaders may have to adjust their perspective. We will all need to open our minds to radical new ideas to succeed, part of which will shape the way IoT (Internet of Things) will have an impact on the future of work and how this will drive change in society.

Big businesses are starting to shift their business model and operations towards a more efficient and inclusive use of robotics that shape as well as reinvent the way products are designed, manufactured, used and recovered, encompassing growth from a reliance on increasingly scarce raw materials.

Take for instance, how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing a part in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Most companies across the globe have their sights set on leveraging AI, regardless of the industry. AI-enabled products and technologies are increasingly becoming an important point of competitive differentiation, with organisations using AI to obtain a foothold in the quantum leap to greater development.

LG Electronics recently announced a new AI development tool for business divisions, which ultimately is the proprietary deep learning-based artificial intelligence technology in line with its efforts to speed up the release of new products that are equipped with the latest technology. From mobile devices to home appliances – the technology will deliver a comprehensive user experience by linking a host of technologies and solutions to its state-of-the-art AI platform. AI functions such as voice, video and sensor recognition and space and human body detection, developed with data gleaned from usage habits of LG customers over the years. The development tool was developed tothe openness and diversification of variety of operating platforms such as Android, Linux and web OS in mind. The company will simultaneously speed up its release cycle for products equipped with this technology.

With innovative AI platforms such as ThinQ, the “live and learn” philosophy requires machines to educate themselves and become smarter over time. As machine learning becomes more advanced, products will understand their external environments as well as absorb their customers’ behavioural patterns. For example, an air conditioner will learn its inhabitants’ living patterns over time and adjust the room’s temperature to its occupants’ desired range, or cabin monitoring technology in a car can familiarise itself with the driver’s facial expressions and gestures and be able to recognise the moment a driver starts to feel drowsy.

DeepThinQ has already transformed the way certain products for the commercial and consumer sectors are designed. In Korea’s Incheon International Airport, Airport Guide Robots employ sophisticated ambient noise to improve voice recognition, enabling passengers to be better understood. The platform is an embodiment and extension of the company’s open philosophy – to provide the most powerful AI solutions to customers through a strategy of open platform, open partnership and open connectivity.

ThinQ will completely change the way consumers use products because ThinQ products will learn about people to provide intelligent services, not the other way around.

AI learning is disrupting the status quo in the ordinary ecosystem of IoT and we need to consider how emerging technologies, from AI to IoT can reinvent what you do and how you do it. For product or manufacturing businesses, 3D printing is a prime example. This technology is turning traditional production models and workflows on their head – replacing just-in-time supply chains with on-the-spot, on-demand production. By adopting this new technology, companies could turbocharge their R&D process. It could mean moving from design and prototypes to production in drastically shorter periods. Given the repercussions for product manufacturing, keeping track of mega trends shaping our society is vital.

There is no doubt that technology and the companies that spearhead innovation have grown from mere enablers into giant corporations that are redefining the way we live at a tremendous pace. We feel their impact throughout every aspect of our lives – in our home and personal appliances; through industries; across governments; in the media and of course, on social media. Technology is influencing our thoughts and shaping our opinions. The future is here.

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How tech is keeping us young

Research by Lenovo revealed people who use tech feel, on average, 11 years younger.

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Technology is making the world feel younger, healthier and more emotionally connected, reveals new research by Lenovo, suggesting a growing relationship between technological innovation and wellbeing.

The research, which surveyed over 15,000 individuals from around the globe, from the US, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Japan, UK, Germany, France and Italy, not only found 40% of global respondents feel “a lot” or “somewhat” more youthful thanks to technology, but on average it made them feel younger by 11 years.

This rings most true in China, where 70% of Chinese respondents said technology made them feel more youthful, which could be perhaps due to technologies ability to build connections between generations, especially those who might have once felt disconnected from tech-savvy youngsters. For example, grandparents are now able to better communicate with their grandchildren via smart technology due to its growing ubiquity and ease of use.

The research suggests that this sentiment is felt world-over, across genders and ages. “To know how to operate newer technology makes me feel younger” one US woman, said.  Another woman, from France, also stated, “Compared to the younger generation who are born with all these technologies, my adaptability makes me feel younger”. On the other side of the globe, one female respondent in India cited tech as making her feel like she “can do anything with it which any youngster can do,” and one Chinese male respondent said: “It helps me catch up with the times – not only gaining more knowledge, but also feel that I’m on-trend; I feel younger”.

The research generally revealed that many older generations think using technology helps them to connect better with younger people as well as feel livelier and more knowledgeable. This is especially evident when it comes to the role smart devices (from PCs, tablets to smart home assistants and more) play in terms of relationships with family and friends. When asked to compare technology today to those of 20 years ago for giving them the ability to feel connected to what is going on in the lives of the people they care about, 65 percent answered it’s “getting better”. While 75% also said technology is improving their ability to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away.

The global research also revealed that tech is helping people when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, offering emotional gains, particularly in parents. Over three-quarters (78%) of working parents stated the ever-connected nature of technology helps them feel more emotionally connected to their children, even when they are away from home. An even larger portion (83%) of working parents agreed that emerging technologies are making it easier for them to feel confident that their kids are safe and secure while they are at work.

Over two-thirds (67%) of respondents in the survey stated they were optimistic about the future of technology and the role tech can play in our lives and society, especially in wellbeing, with 67% believing devices are currently having a positive impact on the ability to improve their overall health. And that’s hardly surprising, considering 84% also said tech has empowered them to make improvements in their lives overall.

Take for instance how one respondent, a 51-year-old woman from the US, highlighted how science is using technology to do great things for amputees, and enabling those suffering from mental illness to better connect with people from all over the world. “I think that the medical breakthroughs we’ve had are a tremendous statement on how we can have a positive relationship with technology,” she said.

The recognition that tech is helping to improve the quality of life could also be a result of the time it tends to save people. Half of respondents across all markets (50%) feel their smart devices save them 30 minutes or more a day by helping them do something faster or more efficiently. Similarly, over half (57%) agreed smart devices, such as computers and smart home devices like smart displays and smart clocks, are making them more productive and efficient, the highest perceptions of which were seen in China at 82% and India at 81%.

In terms of personal health, 36% of respondents said smart devices have made it easier for them to access health care providers and make doctor’s appointments, and a further 39% of those under 60 years of age stated modern tech makes it easier for seniors to contact emergency services.

A 23-year-old woman from India, for example, expressed her belief that the technological advancement of medical science is helping people better fight diseases and potentially cure them. “Lives of people are better off nowadays because they know ways of curing such health hazards,” she said. “Through technology, increasing the life span of an individual is very much possible.”

Psychologist and founder of Digital Nutrition, Jocelyn Brewer, said: “Keeping up with advancements in technology can feel like a full-time job, but it can have positive impacts on people’s sense of themselves and their age. While older people are stereotyped as being techno-phobic or inept at staying on-trend, this research points to the fact that maintaining currency in the digital space helps people feel more youthful, more connected to young people and youth culture, which in turn is a social currency for feeling valued and a sense of belonging or in ‘the know’.

“It’s this tech knowledge that drives the perception of feeling younger, without having to revisit the angst of our adolescence!

“Staying connected to the people we care about is a wonderful feature of technology. And while it is no replacement for face-to-face connection, it is a valuable supplement to communication for those who might be geographically divided. Parents can manage a range of responsibilities and provide increasing appropriate autonomy to teenagers through a variety of communication tools, reminders and systems that can help take the struggle out of the daily juggle.”

Dilip Bhatia, Vice President of User and Customer Experience, Lenovo, said: “There is a growing relationship between innovation and wellbeing as smart technologies are not only helping people globally to stay more connected but aiding wellbeing in the form of compassion and empathy by building better connections between them.”

“Technology has a transformational ability to unite people across generations and walks of life around the world, with the potential to help them to live healthier and more fulfilling lives. At Lenovo, we passionately believe in creating smarter technology for all, which is why we focus on making our technology accessible, blending into the everyday lives for the benefit of more people.”

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Advanced traffic management tech market hits $1bn

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A new report from Navigant Research analyzes the ongoing transformation occurring in the traffic management industry, providing global market forecasts, segmented by region and technology, through 2028.

Advanced traffic management systems (ATMSs) such as adaptive traffic control (ATC) are enabling greater efficiencies in the traffic management ecosystem and can help integrate the expected growth in vehicle populations without overwhelming existing infrastructure. ATMSs are also enabling the development of smart intersections, which are emerging as one of the most important data-driven backbones needed for solving core city challenges. Click to tweet: According to a new report from Navigant Research, the global market for advanced traffic management will be worth more than $1.1 billion in 2019. Annual revenue is expected to grow to nearly $3.8 billion by 2028, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2%.

“The global advanced traffic management market is expected to more than triple by 2028,” says Ryan Citron, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Over the next 10 years, the market is expected to achieve gradual but accelerating growth as cities prioritize reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, make improvements in safety and livability, and integrate ATMSs with other smart city initiatives (e.g., smart street lighting).”

Currently, cities vary in their level of maturity in using ATMSs. Collecting traffic and vehicle detection data is often the first step toward advanced traffic management. Then, in-depth traffic analytics enable traffic managers to develop mitigation strategies and make operational improvements to existing traffic signal timing systems. In cities with mature traffic management solutions, ATC technologies enable traffic signals to adjust based on real-time traffic conditions, traffic data is sent from traffic lights to connected vehicles, inter-agency data sharing is on the rise, and transport platforms are used to manage mobility ecosystems.

The report, Advanced Traffic Management for Smart Cities, analyzes the ongoing transformation occurring in the traffic management industry. The study focuses on ATC, traffic analytics, artificial intelligence, vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, and vehicle detection technologies. Global market forecasts, segmented by region and technology, extend through 2028. This report also explores regional trends in advanced traffic management strategy and highlights city case studies where innovative projects are being deployed. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

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