The Case for Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence has significant negative press recently. With movies like those of the Matrix or Terminator series it has to be expected. The unrealistic AI depicted in SciFi movies are all Strong AI capable of fairly human like general reasoning. In our world they don’t exist.

It has in fact, taken decades just to achieve the Narrow AI we have. Narrow AI is tailored to fairly specific tasks for example, Google has AI software capable of finding cats in photos. Doesn’t feel that threatening does it?

Despite the hysteria we need to keep developing AI software to unlock the secrets hidden in Big Data to provide a better life for all mankind. Watch our new video to find out the truth about artificial intelligence.

Exoskeletons – Military, Industry, Rehabilitation and Personal

New YouTube video released – Exoskeletons – Military, Industry, Rehabilitation and Personal

Exoskeletons combine human intelligence with machine power to boost strength, extend endurance or regain lost capabilities.

They are being developed for the military, industry, rehabilitation services and individuals.

The promise is to restore lost functions to those paralysed, help rehabilitate injured patients, reduce factory worker injuries from strain and repetitive actions and protect and empower soldiers.

It’s been predicted that the global exoskeleton system market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 72.51 percent over the period 2014-2019.

Watch some other In5Years other future technology videos:

Qualcomm Tricoder Prize

IBM Watson – Cloud Based Cognitive Computing

Deep Learning – World Changing, Disruptive Artificial Intelligence

Fly Electric – The Age of the Electric Aircraft has Arrived

Since the Wright brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk the mainstay of propulsion for aircraft has been the internal combustion (IC) engine. Now significant improvements in battery technology are making it possible to fly electric airplanes on batteries.


There are two factors why electric aircraft are a compelling technology – Environmental and Engineering.


Stricter regulatory emissions standards are pushing electric aircraft development as they are far easier to achieve by this route.


  • Electric motors are significantly mechanically simpler
  • Intrinsically more reliable
  • Can be fully enclosed from weather
  • Require less maintenance
  • Without IC engine vibrations to absorb, electric aircraft airframes can be lighter.
  • Vibration drives airframe fatigue so, fewer inspections are necessary.
  • Electric motor performance is not affected by the same environmental factors eg. temperature and air density
  • Positioning, orientation and the number of electric motors is far more flexible.
  • They can be mounted in different locations to improve aerodynamics.
  • Thrust vectoring can be used to reduce, or eliminate, control surfaces
  • reducing maintenance and lowering drag on the aircraft.
  • An electric airplane can recharge during descent with the motors becoming generators.
  • Regenerative soaring is a unique capability to harvest the energy from updrafts to extend range.
  • It’s estimated that this source of in-flight recharging should exceed solar panels by 10 times.
  • Electric aircraft are safer in an accident as they don’t carry flammable jet fuel.

Many electric planes are being developed around the world.  Airbus is producing the e-fan. Boeing has been researching electric aircaraft for NASA. The Skyspark is a very fast electric plane.  Performance is rapidly improving.

We hope you enjoy our latest video –  Fly Safe, Fly Green, Fly Electric – The Coming Age of the Electric Aircraft.

5 Amazing Future Defense Technologies

Discover some amazing future defense technologies in our new YouTube video.  Some of the technologies covered include:

Laser Weapon System (LaWS)

A futuristic laser weapon system that can disable or destroy drones or small surface craft.

Electromagnetic Railgun

The railgun shoots projectiles at Mach 7 (7x speed of sound and 7 x missile speed). It’s a long range weapon capable of hitting surface targets up to 110 miles away. It can engage high altitude aerial threats including cruise and ballistic missiles.

Atlas Robot

ATLAS was developed for DARPA by Boston Dynamics for the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC).  DRC is an international competition for robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters.

LS3 – Legged Squad Support System

LS3 is a four-legged robot designed to reduce the load carried by ground troops. Development is being carried out by Boston Dynamics funded by DARPA and the US Marine Corps.

LS3 is intended to carry 400 lbs of gear for 20 miles over 24 hours through rugged terrain. Using computer vision, LS3 autonomously follows its leader – no driver required. It can also travel to designated locations using terrain sensing and GPS.

X-47B Drone

The  X-47B is a demonstration unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) designed for carrier-based operations. It’s a tailless jet-powered blended-wing-body aircraft capable of semi-autonomous operation and aerial refuelling.


Star Trek Tricoder X-Prize

Qualcomm Tricoder XPRIZE

The Qualcomm Tricoder XPRIZE is a $10 million world-wide competition launched January 2012 to stimulate innovation and integration of precision diagnostic technologies into a mobile consumer devices. The aim is to allow health consumers to make reliable health diagnoses on their own. With the data that can be collected and advances in the diagnostic capabilities of cloud based artificial intelligence (IBM Watson that can be connected to local apps will shift medical care towards prevention rather than treatment. The shift to prevention without increasing the burden on the health care system with make medical treatment less expensive.

The Tricoder XPRIZE winning team’s technology will be the one to most accurately diagnose a nominated set of 16 health conditions independent of a professional healthcare while providing the best consumer experience.

Required Core Health Conditions (13): Anemia, Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Diabetes, Hepatitis A, Leukocytosis, Pneumonia, Otitis Media, Sleep Apnea, Stroke, Tuberculosis, Urinary Tract Infection, Absence of condition.

Elective Health Conditions (Choice of 3): Allergens (airborne), Cholesterol Screen, Food-borne Illness, HIV Screen, Hypertension, Hypothyroidism/Hyperthyroidism, Melanoma, Mononucleosis, Osteoporosis, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Shingles, Strep Throat.

The winning team’s technology will also be required to accurately measure 5 health vital signs:
Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, Oxygen Saturation, Respiratory Rate, Temperature.

The final judging of the Qualcomm Tricoder XPRIZE and the awards ceremony are scheduled for early 2016.

During the competition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is offering regulatory input to the competing teams and helping them prepare for potential FDA review post-competition.

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IBM Watson – Cloud Based Cognitive Computing Software System

IBM’s Watson is a unique cognitive software system – programmed software combined with natural language processing, dynamic learning and hypothesis generation and evaluation. It thinks and learns like a human but, far faster and on a vast scale.

Watson is programmed software combined with natural language processing, dynamic learning and hypothesis generation and evaluation. It was developed in IBM’s Research labs.

It is now a Cloud computing platform enabling new consumer and enterprise apps delivered on smart phones, tablets and PCs to tap into its power. IBM has already made available 13 different Watson APIs that can be used to create cloud services.

Using natural language processing and analytics, Watson processes information similarly to how people think and can understand unstructured data.

It’s a tool sorely needed by knowledge workers who must now cope with a world where 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years alone.

IBM has announced the purchase of AlchemyAPI intending to integrate AlchemyAPI’s deep learning technology into the core Watson platform enhancing Watson’s ability with deep learning enabling it to identify patterns and relationships within large data sets.

New capabilities will also be added including new types of text and visual recognition and the ability to automatically detect, label and extract important details from image data.

Discover what exciting applications IBM’s Watson is being used for including:

Interpreting medical data
Discovering and evaluating medications
Analysing business data
Cyber threat defence.
Online e-mail services
Authoring a new cookbook!

Deep Learning – World Changing, Disruptive, Artificial Intelligence

Deep Learning is a software imitation of the neocortex’s layers of neurons – the thinking part of the brain. It allows a computer to discover patterns contained in digital data just like the human brain identifies patterns in the world around it

Exponential advances will allow deep learning to handle significant intellectual activities within 5 years. Health, the law and education are just a few of the vast array of human enterprises that will benefit.

Some recent applications of deep learning include:

– The “Google Brain” identifying a cat simply by watched 10 million YouTube videos
– Microsoft Research’s Project Adam integration into Cortana for vastly improved image interpretation
– Facebook’s 97.25% accurate face matching deep learning software
– Google’s “neural image caption generator” (NIC) designed to produce captions for images without human input
– Netflix’s application of deep learning to improve video recommendations
– DeepMind’s Neural Turing Machine learns to play video games by playing each game many times.
– Skype’s real time translator
– Enlitic’s use of deep learning to process medical images, test results and patient histories and deliver more accurate and comprehensive diagnostic assessments

Some 80% of employment opportunities in developed economies will be affected by software systems based on deep learning principals leading to social disruption if governments don’t plan the re-shaping of economies as change occurs.

Eventually these developments will lead to significant productivity benefits delivering reduced working hours and an improved quality of life.



Arthur C. Clarke Demonstrates His Futuristic Foresight in Found Footage

The AT&T YouTube Tech Channel recently posted a video interview with Arthur C. Clarke who as well as being a scientist and science fiction author was also a remarkably accurate futurist.  Clarke was interviewed at a 1976 conference on futurism and technology held by AT&T and MIT.  He had a strong reputation as a futurist having conceived of the geostationary communication satellite over 30 years previous – 1945.

The video reveals just how accurate Clarke could be with his predictions.  Significantly, he describes how we will share information including data, voice, photos and books using a high definition monitor and a keyboard (PC).  He clearly understands that the breakthrough is about transmitting data rather than things and that it would be global in nature.

Towards the end of the interview he focuses in on phones being mobile and how significant this would be to society.  Lightheartedly he even predicts how we could get into to trouble for not answering our mobile phone.


HP’s Machine to Revolutionise Computer Architecture

World changing disruptive technologies most often arrive with little, if no, public fanfare. The Wright brothers first flew the Kitty Hawk in a desolate location, the computer was born to wartime secrecy and Elon Musk’s Falcon launched from an isolated Pacific atoll. In contrast, the disruptive potential of HP Labs’ Machine was revealed with significantly more fanfare as expected of the Silicon Valley culture primed to identify such events. HP CTO Martin Fink’s introduction of The Machine at HP Discover 2014 is likely to be ascend to historical significance #in5years or less.  It promises to be one of the critical breakthroughs required to crunch through the immense amount of data that would be produced by an Internet of Things.

HP - The Machine Introduction - HP Discover 2014

With a simple concept – electrons for computation, photons for communication, and ions for storage – HP Labs’ biggest project is re-inventing the computing architecture model that has dominated the last 60 years. A large, talented team of disciplinary researchers are applying their skills in semiconductor physics, photonics, systems engineering and software architecture to bring The Machine to life. Key research areas are new memory, memristors, and silicon photonics. It’s basically a radically new computer architecture for data centres with a new operating system, different memory, and extremely fast data transfer.

The Machine photonics

The results HP Labs is aiming for are – a quantum leap in performance and efficiency, lowering of costs over the long term and improved security. In hard numbers, according to HP, a Machine server could address 160 petabytes of data in 250 nanoseconds, be about six times more powerful existing servers and consume 80 times less energy. This computer architecture also lends itself to radically new computing shapes as the contemporary physical limits applying to electron data transfer don’t apply.

HP’s Machine – electrons for computation, photons for communication, and ions for storage.

Among its research projects HP is continuing with a new form of memory known as memristor. If they can transition research into production of fast, cheap and persistent memory it will replace the conventional coupling of slow hard disk drives and fast memory. Silicon photonics transferring data inside a computer using light instead of electrons will provide near instant data transfer between memory and computing chips.  HP is working on a new operating system to handle this new architecture as current operating systems are built upon a paradigm of processors waiting for slow memory access.

HP predicts it will bring the Machine to market within the next few years. Bringing The Machine to production presents significant risks balanced by significant rewards. Factors that are encourage success are management funding and commitment and how HP appear to be applying what Elon Musk refers to “physics reasoning” to bring about a new computer architecture. Physics reasoning has been crucial to the success of Musk’s big-name ventures — namely SpaceX

HP needs a disruptive new technology like The Machine to sell hardware to the likes of Google and Facebook who install their own stripped down servers at minimised costs.


Have a look at our new video covering the latest on The Machine by HP.

Cutting the Workplace Cords with Intel’s 5th Generation Core vPro Processors

A couple of features of Intel’s new 5th generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor family that will be appreciated by business users and their IT departments are:

  • Intel Pro Wireless Display (Intel Pro WiDi) which will make conference rooms a cable-free zone.
  • Intel Wireless Docking which will allow users to be connected and ready to work the moment they walk up to their desk.

Tom Garrison - IBM - 5th Gen Intel Core  VPro Processor

Any suitable room can become a conference room without having to install data cabling and access points delivering infrastructure savings and true mobility.  No struggling to match cables or frequently replacing cables with damaged connector pins.  Significant time savings in getting started with instant wireless docking with projectors, desktop monitors, printers and other office equipment.

“Our goal is to enable all users to simply work better by offsetting the growing challenges of today’s businesses”

Tom Garrison – VP + GM – Intel’s Business Client Platforms.

As well as workplace productivity improvements the 5th generation Intel Core vPro processors provide hardware-enhanced security, manageability capabilities and extended battery life.