I recently asked ChatGPT what “intelligence” means. It told me that intelligence is a complex and multi-faceted trait, generally consisting of three key aspects: cognitive abilities (learning, reasoning, and problem-solving), emotional intelligence (empathy, self-awareness, and emotional regulation), and practical intelligence (street smarts or common sense). It also informed me that since its last knowledge update in January 2022, AI systems do not possess a general intelligence comparable to humans.
Phew, we’re still safe for now. (Or did ChatGPT just exhibit self-awareness — or worse, street smarts?)
Generative AI is a hot topic in every industry, and it’s made its way into fluid power. Alongside electrification, the digitalization of industrial and mobile machines is expected to improve efficiency, safety, and emissions. But it’s not just about converting analog controls into digital touchscreens and making manual operations autonomous — it’s about connecting digital systems effectively to form an intelligence network that solves problems in real time.
At the 2023 Advantech Industrial IoT World Partner Conference, generative AI took center stage. The technology was touted for its ease of use, image and video accuracy, and ability to bring high performance and intelligence to edge devices.
Willie Lin, director of iFactory Solutions and WISE-IoT at Advantech, told me that intelligence consists of two things: knowledge — which requires sensors — and problem-solving. The next step is to boost capabilities with AI.
“With generative AI, you will use chatbots to get answers. Maybe not now, but in 10 years, I think that will change the way you control a device, the way you control the machines, the way you get the answers,” said Lin. “You’re not using AI to repress a human; you are using it to make smarter decisions.”
Yet, for many humans, how all that works remains fuzzy at best.
To start, David Jen, AVP and head of Advantech’s Intelligent System Group, encourages us to view generative AI as a collaborative coworker. He notes that humans make mistakes and are influenced by emotions and external factors, such as the weather, which can vary worker performance. That’s when our AI coworker steps in.
“IoT data-driven applications with generative AI will facilitate efficiency, especially for production manager decisions,” said Jen. “Besides the data, it’s all about image and video.”
For example, AI can expedite notifications when images or videos show anomalies, especially for safety purposes. Instead of capturing video and waiting for a human to notice an anomaly or problem and then notify others, the AI can “watch” the video continuously and alert workers immediately.
AI can also be used for predictive maintenance, optimization, automation, precision functions, and telematics. Chatbots can help troubleshoot and provide recommendations onsite. AI-driven adaptive controls can adjust machine settings quickly based on terrain, temperature, and other dynamic parameters.
Applications abound in fluid power — especially mobile machinery — so long as AI has the correct information and stays up to date.
But out of curiosity, I asked ChatGPT if it thinks it’ll be more intelligent than humans in 10 years. It told me that surpassing human intelligence is speculative, and it’s important to approach AI advancements responsibly and consider societal implications.
Good answer, ChatGPT. Let’s revisit this topic after your next update.
Filed Under: Fluid Power World Magazine Articles, IoT