AI is al­ready trans­form­ing many in­dus­tries and will likely weave its way into all of them be­fore long. Health­care, ed­u­ca­tion, travel, news and me­dia, man­u­fac­tur­ing, cy­ber-se­cu­rity, le­gal, real es­tate, en­ter­tain­ment and aero­space are among the in­dus­tries cur­rently im­ple­ment­ing AI to vary­ing de­grees. Be­low are some of the dif­fer­ent ways it is be­ing used in New Zealand.

Fac­ing facts

New Zealand com­pany Soul Machines has cre­ated a vir­tual as­sis­tant avatar called Na­dia, which is pow­ered by IBM’s Wat­son, a com­puter sys­tem that is cur­rently be­ing used in 45 coun­tries and 20 in­dus­tries ( it is al­ready di­ag­nos­ing dis­ease at a higher ac­cu­racy rate than hu­man doc­tors). Na­dia was built to help peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity nav­i­gate in­for­ma­tion on gov­ern­ment ser­vices. Another pro­to­type called Rachel helps peo­ple with their bank­ing. The faces of Soul Machines’ cre­ations are in­cred­i­bly life­like and via a de­vice's front­fac­ing cam­era, the avatars are able to read the fa­cial ex­pres­sions of the hu­man user and re­spond ap­pro­pri­ately.

Feel­ing bot, bot, bot

Air New Zealand launched its chat bot Bravo Os­car Tango( ged­dit?)l ate last year in an ef­fort to“of­fer a more per­son­alised ex­pe­ri­ence than search­ing a tra­di­tional Fre­quently Asked Ques­tions sec­tion on­line ”. Os­car, as it’ s known, has had its is­sues and, as it uses ex­ist­ing lan­guage pro­grammes, is still fairly rudi­men­tary, but itis learn­ing as it goes. Chief dig­i­tal of­fi­cer and for­mer Google rAviGol an told the Her­ald he wants his chat bots to know how you feel.

"The vi­sion is for the bots to move from gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion to ac­tiv­i­ties–chang­ing flights and seats ,” he said.

Pre­dic­tion power

Kiwi en­ergy com­pany Vec­tor is us­ing AI within its IoT en­ergy plat­form (de­vel­oped by mPrest, an Is­raeli soft­ware com­pany), which Vec­tor said will of­fer five ben­e­fits: mak­ing the en­ergy mar­ket more ac­ces­si­ble; mon­i­tor­ing and pre­dic­tion through AI re­sult­ing in fewer power out­ages and faster so­lu­tions; higher ef­fi­ciency lead­ing to cheaper en­ergy costs; smart home en­ergy sys­tems and en­ergy that is more sus­tain­able.

A ro­bot in ev­ery port

Ports of Auck­land is work­ing on au­tomat­ing its cur­rently man­u­ally-driven strad­dle car­ri­ers, which shift around the con­tain­ers at the ter­mi­nal. Set to com­plete in 2019, au­tomat­ing the car­ri­ers will in­crease the sus­tain­abil­ity of the Port’s op­er­a­tions, lower costs by us­ing up to ten per­cent less fuel and op­er­ate more qui­etly.

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