Landing : Athabascau University

Two Great Techs That Taste Great Together

I've got a friend who's a rather high up muckety-muck in a rather well known computer services company which shall remain nameless. I got him to talk a bit about the needs of his company, and how an advance in AR technology would aid him. He actually ended up talking a lot more about AI and automation than AR, though both came into the talk.

About 40% of a workers' day, at best, is spent on actual work. The rest of the day is spent in struggling with communication issues - either cleaning up the messes left by miscommunications, or trying to accomplish some sort of communication, or preparing to communicate some message. Actual productive time is less than half of the total. This has a lot to do with the fact that our means of sorting and moving information haven't changed significantly since the 17th century, even with the advent of the internet and high speed communication. We still deal with ledgers and letters. Little rows of numbers and paragraphs of text.

That's where AI comes in. Artificial Intelligence handles interpretation, synthesis of data - it gets rid of the ledgers and gives you the results. This leaves the drudge work to the computer, where it belongs, while leaving the interesting work to people. It reduces the amount of noise in the signal. Good AI is very important even now - where would we be without Google? The internet certainly wouldn't be a usable resource without it.

AI also lets a user reduce the volume of orders they need to issue to a computer to perform a task. The (usually boring, always annoying) details can be left to a computer. Transferring major processes from one server to another (an example he cited as being a nuisance) could be done with a single command instead of having a tech spend a half hour chewing through all of the tasks. That is, if we have an AI competent enough to do that.

More on AI later - it's a huge topic, obviously. Having a good AI opens the door for Augmented Reality, and the two fit hand-in-glove very nicely. Ai allows the user to deal in a world of objects instead of a world of data. No rows of numbers, no spreadsheets - you get proper information, things that mean something. Embedding these into a real-world display would let people interact with them naturally, making them happier and healthier in the process.

But none of this will be possible without a solid foundation of Artificial Intelligence to cut through the cruft. Without AI, Augmented Reality is just a really expensive way to do the same thing we've been doing for centuries.