Intel: AI as big as the invention of the wheel and discovery of fire

Posted: 1 March 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

The advent of AI will go down in history as having as significant impact on humans to that of the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel.

This was the view of Intel SVP platform engineering Amir Faintuch, who was speaking during a keynote discussion titled The Age of Intelligent Machines’, at Mobile World Congress today.

Faintuch, who joined Intel from Qualcomm Atheros in 2014, hailed the evolution of technology (highlight AI, machine learning, deep learning) as bringing the human-race to the doorstep of the most important “major revolution” of our lifetime.

Unleashing our potential

“When we think about AI and machine learning it’s all about huge possibilities,” Faintuch told the capacity crowd. “It’s about humans unleashing their potential and interacting with things beyond humans. To continue to transform and automate their life.

“Mankind since the dawn of humanity has always been able to progress in a relatively short period of time in comparison to the earth. When fire was discovered and harnessed it was all about the automation of nutrition. It allowed mankind to enjoy warmth and light, but even more important than that, to cook and to start migrating from one place to another. The invention of the wheel was a truly mobile revolution. It allowed people to further travel, progress by travelling with goods and taking mankind from one step to another.

Major revolution

He continued: “When we look back and as we look forward, I believe we are now at the door-step of yet another major revolution. This revolution will probably be the most important in our lifetime. It’s all about the automation of intelligence. We already know how to leverage face recognition, text to speech, speech to text and others. Everything helping us to automate our decisions. What lies ahead will be an amazing transformation. With the power of AI, ML, deep learning and other elements to come into fruition, we will be able to take by far more complex function to allow us to unleash our digital capabilities.”


Faintuch then begun to educate the audience by highlighted several industries in which AI and its various fields will have the biggest transformative impacts in the future and something that is no longer confined the science fiction.

Healthcare was one of several industries discussed through a mix of what’s available and evolving today and what is expected in the future.

Examples included the ability for doctors and physicians to harness machine learning, big data and AI to accurately diagnose and treat patients first time (saving lives and money) by accessing, reading and understanding medical documents.

“In this life, we wouldn’t have to get a second opinion because we will get thousands of opinions from the best physicians on the planet. We will be able to detect whether we are about to anticipate disasters and to heal it.”

He also discussed the impact of machines such as drones using AI to transform entertainment, showing the above video on how it performed a light show.

Autonomous vehicles were another area of focus during his discussion, suggesting the first fully driverless vehicles will be clearly visible on our roads within 4-5 years commercially.

Describing autonomous vehicles as “mini data centres”, he said the primary focus is around collision avoidance today. However, he expects this to evolve to a point where cars are communicating with each other and things around them.

“It will all be about cars discussing with each other vehicle to vehicle. But also, more importantly that, vehicles to infrastructures. In 30 years from now, it will all be about data performing between these objects. Managing fleets, managing pollution and emissions.

He concluded the keynote: “Since the dawn of humanity at relatively short pace have been able to take ourselves to the next level. I mentioned fire. Unlike animals who run away from it, we were attracted to it. It’s us that takes these courageous moves and to really dream. It’s not about one person, one company or one society. It’s for all of us to take advantage of the power of the intelligence we have and to embrace it and think how we can create a great society with great technological advancements.”

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