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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/6/2017 11:02:10 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
srufolo1,

It's not necessarily any harder than telling the difference between a paper bag or a toy balloon blowing across the road and linking that to the probability of a pursuing toddler.

I'm guessing we'll get tech that smells more than it tastes the food -- but right now there are detectors for plenty of airborne chemicals.  It will be an interesting optimization problem to figure out what 10, or 20, or 50 airborne trace chemicals you have to sniff for -- but again, that's the kind of problem data science/AI/machine learning is made for.

Like so many new and revolutionary technologies, people seem to overestimate the short run and drastically underestimate the long run. Mechanical and electronic reproduction of music was a long time coming and still something of a novelty when my grandfather was young, adn that was decades after Edison and Marconi. But I live in a world where people prettymuch have any music they want wherever and whenever they want it. Refrigerators were invented before the Civil War, and remained luxuries till well past World War II, but they've completely revolutionized our diets now. (Whether we live on fresh produce year round or can always thaw out another greasy breaded freezer snack!)

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srufolo1
srufolo1
6/6/2017 10:11:28 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
@JohnBarnes I agree. It will take a lot of training for these robots to tell the difference between a peach and an apricot or an apple and a pear.  Besides learning how these fruits look, they will have to learn how to taste the difference. Can they be trained to do that, I wonder?

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srufolo1
srufolo1
6/6/2017 10:07:35 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
@mhhf1ve The bananas and apples don't have to be cumbersome because you can use a scanning gun as you go along. So you weigh the produce and then scan the bar code before you get to the checkout line. My bone of contention is people who use the self-checkout that don't have a clue and hold up the entire line! And I agree there will always have to be a few humans around to check that no one is stealing, for instance, and so you can cash in your bottle recycling tickets. Employees are probably good for other things too.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
6/6/2017 10:01:14 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
JohnB - agreed, and there are robots that are already training to recognize all kinds of items. Amazon is actively developing computer vision systems for warehouse picking robots. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/538601/inside-amazons-warehouse-human-robot-symbiosis/ But... it's not an easy problem. I'm not sure when robots will have the same recognition of fruit as humans...

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/6/2017 9:54:36 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
srufolo1,

That's probably early adopter recruitment -- it's a recognized technique -- at first just a few people who really don't like people will prefer to endure an aggravating, counter-intuitive, frustrating gadget. But recording their difficulties lets you improve enough so that many more humanophobes can tolerate your interface, and it starts to make more sense to more people. THen a few people use it because they're in a rush ... and get a habit of using it ... and now there are jokes and insider-sayings about the interface, which teach other people ... and pretty soon it is only crusty old poops like myself who insist on talking to a person at the counter (when we can draw their attention away from their headphones and the screen).

The first plane didn't travel as fast as the train that carried it, in a crate, to Kitty Hawk .. . but remember the Bateson rule: for anything in which machines replace living people, by far the longest time is spent getting the machine to be able to do the task at all. After that it's a very fast trip down the hill to the machine doing it all better than a human.

 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/6/2017 9:47:35 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
mhhf1ve,

The real problem with supermarket checkout right now is, as you say, produce, but that's really just a matter of more training -- I mean training for machine learning, not for people, however. Right now you can't count on a set of cameras to tell an apple from a peach or a pear with adequate reliability; eventually you need something that knows a Granny Smith from a Golden Delicious and a Gala from a Fuji.  But that can be done; again, just a matter of the programs getting their 10k-hour equivalent in.

And given the financial rewards to the companies, somewhere out there right now there's some robot switching bunches of small plantains and big bananas back and forth on a platform, and an AI taking careful notes and scoring itself every few hundred switches.

An automation barrier that can be solved with an automated solution isn't much of a barrier.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
6/6/2017 8:09:49 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
> "But most people who started to use them got fed up, walked away from them and ordered through the clerk at the counter.."

There has also been a bit of pushback with the "self checkout" lines in grocery stores. It sorta works at Home Depot, but paying for bananas and apples is a cumbersome process if you haven't memorized your favorite fruit's 4-digit codes. 

I can imagine a store with far fewer human employees, but there will always need to be a few humans around to catch the edge cases of things that can happen. Unless supermarkets turn into enormous vending machines that just spit out boxes of food for shoppers..?

I assume that's how fast food might evolve, too... you order your food on an app.. and then a drive-thru vending machine just spits it out to you when you arrive.

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srufolo1
srufolo1
6/5/2017 7:11:36 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
@dcawrey This is true. My friend, who travels extensively for business, gave an example that when he was in Germany at a McDonald's, of all things, there were kiosks there for people to order the food to avoid having to go to the counter to order. But most people who started to use them got fed up, walked away from them and ordered through the clerk at the counter anyway. I don't see the value of such a thing. Like, how fast can you make fast food without human intervention?

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batye
batye
6/4/2017 11:30:04 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
@dcawrey  I could not agree more for AI still we need to invest a lot before we see it everywhere...

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dcawrey
dcawrey
6/4/2017 11:25:21 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
I'm excited about the prospect of AI. And I agree, it's going to come down to data. 

If you've used any AI-type products on the market today, it's obvious the data component still needs work. It still needs refinement. It will come - but not tomorrow. 

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