Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Search results for: artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence speeds up Pixar’s movie-making

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 14 July 2017

Have you ever settled yourself down in front of an animated movie and marvelled at how the 3D figures are brought to life?

From Sulley’s wind-ruffled fur as he strides across the ‘Monsters’ University’ campus to the heart-wrenching fade-out of Riley’s imaginary friend, Bing Bong, in ‘Inside Out’, it’s the play of light across these 3D scenes that brings the characters so vividly to life. Each moment is painstakingly animated, textured and rendered to give a carefully crafted illusion of reality.

In these more recent productions, a technique called ‘ray tracing’ maps out each ray of light in a scene, giving rise to the shadows, reflections and 3D appearance of characters. Even with the help of vast banks of powerful computers, the rendering process takes hundreds of thousands of computing hours, and films can take years to finish.

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Future of AI – less artificial, more intelligent (part two)

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 25 March 2019

Discussing Intelligence – the image shows text “Future of AI – less artificial, more intelligent (part two)”. To the left of the text is an abstract depiction of AI that uses neuron-looking fibers swirling around a central, circular nucleus.Artificial intelligence, robotics, and the pursuit of autonomous systems that we can trust.

In part one, Beyond Limits CTO Mark James sets the scene for new developments at the intersection of AI and robotics. In part two, he describes how cognitive intelligence moves to the extreme edge, and provides cautionary guidance for humans to remain in control of artificial intelligence as it grows in power and capability.

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Future of AI – less artificial, more intelligent (part one)

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 21 March 2019

Image shows text “Future of AI – less artificial, more intelligent (part one)”. To the right of the text is an abstract depiction of AI that uses neuron-looking fibers swirling around a central, circular nucleus.Artificial intelligence, robotics, and the pursuit of autonomous systems that we can trust.

Part one of two articles about robotics and AI by Mark James, who spent 30 years developing advanced software systems for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and is now CTO of Beyond Limits, an AI engineering company in southern California.


Intelligence is a rare and valuable commodity. From the mysterious brain of the octopus and the swarm intelligence of ants, to Go-playing deep learning machines and driverless vehicles – intelligence is the most powerful and precious resource in existence. Despite recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that enable it to win games and drive cars, there are countless untapped opportunities for advanced technology to have a significant and beneficial impact on the world. Particularly so at the intersection of AI and robotics.

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The path to superintelligence – applications for AI

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 22 October 2018

Image of a young girl holding the hand of a robot.

In 2018 it’s hard to go a week without seeing an AI innovation making the news headlines. Just last week, NEX Team (a mobile intelligence company) released HomeCourt – an iOS app that combines your smartphone camera with artificial intelligence to count, track, and chart basketball shots in real-time. The app allows players to self-analyse and improve their performance, and has the potential to transform the way that athletes train. While HomeCourt represents niche applications of AI, engineers’ continued development of artificial intelligence(s) across various industries could revolutionise everything from aerospace technology and healthcare through to civil construction work and lifestyle activities. As such, we aim to explore where AI stands in 2018, where its development is heading, as well as the implications for when we get there.

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World Engineering Day: Interview with Dr Marlene Kanga

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 18 July 2019

UNESCO’s recent decision that 4 March will henceforth be celebrated as World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development was a significant moment for both early-career and established engineers alike. Starting in 2020, the annual celebration will present a global opportunity to celebrate the profession and encourage the next generation of engineers to solve the challenges of the future. Our previous article on the announcement can be found here.

We sat down with WFEO President Dr Marlene Kanga, who led the initiative, to hear her response to the announcement:

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3D printing and the path to next generation optoelectronics

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 10 June 2019

Image of a fully 3D printed bionic eye held up against a black background.3D printing optoelectronic devices directly into curved structures could create a new paradigm for ocular prosthetics.

Introduction

Today, optoelectronic devices such as LEDs and light receptors (photodiodes) are everywhere, ranging in application from mobile phone screens and energy-efficient lighting to large digital display panels and image sensors. These devices – which convert electrical energy into light or vice versa– transmit a substantial amount of visual information. Made using the same techniques used to make computer chips, optoelectronic devices similarly get smaller and smaller as technology evolves, eventually coming into closer contact with human bodies (the now-omnipresent smartwatch, for instance). With this increasing proximity comes an increasing role in our lives; where we currently rely on wearable sensing and therapeutic devices to monitor our health, routine use of smart prosthetics in our skin, tissues, and organs is fast becoming a reality.

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How AI and automation will shape the future of agriculture

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 8 May 2019

Close-up photo of the Mamut robot travelling along a path between rows of bush or tree-looking crops demonstrating its use in agriculture

The agriculture industry is fundamental to securing a sustainable future for humanity. Few other sectors have such enormous potential to benefit the planet in the face of population increase, resource depletion, and climate change.

For some observers, the focus on agriculture pertains to the simple concern of feeding 9.8 billion people from a static (or worse: declining) arable land base. For others, the focus lies more on the quality of our soils, watercourses and ecosystems, and their ability to support life or sequester carbon.

Regardless, the basic mathematical realities of our finite land mass and the competing demands upon it – rapidly changing weather patterns and increasing rates of consumption – lay bare a stark challenge: producing more food from less land, with less waste, lower inputs, and lower environmental burden. According to estimates, we need to produce as much food in the next four decades as we have produced, so far, in the entire history of agriculture – some 10,000 years.

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Feeding the world with AI

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 29 October 2018

Image of the Yield's smartphone app being used on a farm

When we hear about food waste, we tend to think of wastage at the consumer side of things – the bag of half-eaten salad mix you guiltily throw out every week, the enormous meal at a restaurant you couldn’t finish, or your parents sternly reminding you of the ‘starving children around the world’ as you pick at your peas.

Food loss and wastage, however, is a pervasive issue at all stages along the food supply chain from production and storage through to transport and consumption.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) claims that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally – equal to around 1.3 billion tonnes annually.

While consumer-side efforts have been launched in recent years to combat this issue (such as ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetable campaigns, and apps that let consumers buy cheap food from cafes before it gets binned), there’s an opportunity to combat the issue on the production-side by harnessing AI and machine learning (ML) technology.

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