Once upon a time … a hungry new world

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In our last article we shined a light on the principle of Big Data. Today we will peer into the near future, in which Big Data and artificial intelligence merge into a complex data processing system which learns on its own.

Everything is connected. Cameras record every human activity. Cars communicate with other devices and vehicles. With the help of networked traffic lights and street signs, they navigate city traffic, without human influence. The most efficient way must no longer be sought. It is simply presented as an option. Nor will there be driver’s licenses. The driver becomes his own passenger.

Big Data directs and leads

Lisa is being brought home by her car. The voice on radio station KBBL 8.0 is reporting on an old phenomenon of our streets. “It’s been a good 25 years, folks, since we were stuck in a traffic jam! Unbelievable. Who can remember the honking and frayed nerves of the drivers? I, for one, can state that I do not much miss this relic of the streets … So I will wish you a pleasant trip on our jam-free streets.”

“Those were the days”, thinks Lisa, as a YouTube window activates on the interactive windshield. A clip she watched the night before on her smartphone is being continued. It’s one of those retro-cooking shows in which a real chef evaluates the candidates recipes. Lisa finishes watching the clip, but then directs her attention to the street. Her vehicle detects that Lisa’s focus has changed, closes the clip and suggests a new one. But Lisa lets the YouTube window close.

The street traffic resembles a perfectly coordinated orchestra. Cars hurtle down the streets at 90 km without anyone lifting a finger. Accidents – far from it.

 


Lisa has had a long day and her stomach is growling. A soft, friendly voice promptly responds. “Your smart chip indicates that you are hungry. Should I order the items on your grocery list? According to your refrigerator you could also have a cricket soup made? Should I give the word to your kitchen?”

“I’ll save the soup for the weekend”, responds Lisa. At the same time, the car computer orders the items on the list and drives Lisa home, where they are already waiting on her.

With the help of Big Data, this vision of a not-too-distant future exhibits an artificial intelligence that teaches itself and develops itself. Cities and their infrastructures will be connected to the Internet in their entirety. And intelligent algorithms in the background will search out the best routes and solutions for us all.

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