Inventors month: 3 developing technologies that are shaping the future

It’s August and that means it is officially inventors’ month! We are celebrating by looking at 3 major technologies that are shaping the future and how you can bag yourself your dream role in these innovative industries.

Artificial Intelligence

According to Gartner, by 2021, AI will create $2.9 trillion worth of business and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally. Scientists at Stanford University have claimed that by 2030, all US cities will be using AI for public safety and security, transport and health care, something that we can already see emerging. 

Artificial Intelligence robot

Google is hard at work, developing BERT, a system that learned how to predict missing words in a sentence. When presented with a multiple-choice test, BERT performed at the same level as a human given the same test. According to Bill Gates for Technology Review magazine: “New advances in capturing semantic relationships between words are making machines better at understanding natural language.”

Autonomous and electric vehicles:

Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous cars are set to take the future by storm. At the beginning of August, 2019, the UK launched a £2million feasibility fund to encourage businesses to crack safety and security concerns. V2X (vehicle to everything) Wireless hopes to bridge that gap by allowing the vehicle to communicate to its surroundings as well as other vehicles on the road. It is predicted that over 11.2 million vehicles will have V2X communications by 2024 with China leading the way on this.

Electric Vehicles

Thor ET-One is paving the way for electric semitrucks and putting carbon dioxide emitting trucks to shame. While still very much a prototype, it’s claimed that the Thor ET-One can “haul up to 80,000 lb. for up to 300 miles on a single charge” according to Time best inventions 2018.

Thor ET-One, electric semi-truck
Image Source: Time best inventions list 2018, Image showing electric semi-truck Thor ET-One via {https://time.com/collection/best-inventions-2018/5454288/thor-et-one/}

Automation:

Robot Dexterity

Bill Gates is hoping to see robot hands better equipped to manipulate unfamiliar objects. One project currently working towards this is Dactyl, a robot born from the non-profit organisation – Open AI – by Elon Musk. “We’ve trained a human-like robot hand to manipulate physical objects with unprecedented dexterity” says Open AI after their robot hand twisted a block into 50 different requested orientations. Robots might be taking over sooner than we thought!

Close up of robot hand in fist position

Drones

California based start-up, Zipline, is developing their technology with the goal to save lives. Doctors can place an order through a simple app for the medicine they need on-demand. Their latest drone can carry up to 2kg at over 100km/h and is run on an electric battery, saving lives and saving the planet!

Drone in the air with mountains in the background

How can you be a part of this?

Research conducted by GOV.UK found that inward investment to the AI and Automation segment in the UK has increased by 17% (more than the whole of Europe combined!) With that being said, there is no wonder that some of the biggest global brands are hiring for AI specific roles, including; Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, Adobe and Uber.

How can you get a piece of that pie? If you want a role at the forefront of a leading AI / automation company – you’ll need to adopt a holistic approach (coding in a relevant language may not be enough!) Here are our suggestions on getting your foot through the door and your CV noticed by the right people.

Events:

One event that is making a name for itself is ‘Robotics Week,’ hosted by UK-RAS Network, and now in its 4th year. Currently, it is the leading national event that showcases hundreds of robotic events, competitions, lectures, hackathons and workshops all under one roof. There are also challenges featured on their website that gives opportunity to build robots to their specifications (2019’s was the Surgical Robot Challenge.)

The Festival of AI & Emerging Technology hosted by CogX, is hosted annually during the first half of London Tech Week and boasts 500+ speakers including; Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI & Machine Learning at World Economic Forum. Here you can expect to find a range of ground-breaking topics ranging from autonomous transportation, blockchain, Internet of Things, VR and AR. It hosts over 150 exhibitors from AI and emerging Tech start-ups to enterprise vendors, with specific areas for networking. 

Online courses:

With approximately 70% of all machine learning and AI specialists still learning their trade in university, an online course could boost your skillset and set you ahead of the rest.

Fast.ai is a website offering online courses specifically for developing skills you already have such as ‘deep learning for coders’ and ‘computational linear algebra.’

Udacity offers courses that also allow you to build real world projects given by industry experts as well as learning and acquire a Nanodegree program. Here you can find various courses such as; data science, AI, programming, autonomous systems and cloud computing.

Google offer 2 online courses at varying levels. The first ‘Learn with Google AI’ is a resource provided to broaden the understanding of AI among the general public. It currently contains a crash course in TensorFlow (a machine leaning library.) The second is an in-depth course from Google offered through Udacity, this one focusing on large complex databases.

Skillsets:

Both AI, machine learning and automation require a knowledge of coding. Learning languages such as Python, C++ and Java can open doors into drone and robotic programming careers. Python will make it easy to create complex algorithms and C++ will speed up the entire coding process. Other languages needed include:

  • Julia: for projects that demand high-performance tasks surrounding numerical computing and analysis.
  • Haskell: perfect for engaging in abstract mathematics as it allows expressive & efficient libraries to create AI algorithms.
  • Lisp: rapid prototyping capabilities, support for symbolic expressions, library of collection types and is highly flexible / adaptable for problem solving needs. 

Information sourced from Springboard

In addition to these, ROS (Robot Operating System) is a useful set of software tools that help to build robot applications. ROS comes with support, tutorials and a contribution community for sharing ideas and submitting your projects.

Matlab toolboxes interface with ROS and is used for data analysis, developing algorithms and creating models and is used worldwide by scientists and engineers.

Practical Showcase:

GitHub is a great way to put your coding into action, contribute to other similar projects and show off your talents to industry experts. Innovative projects such as face recognition, are all open-source and hosted on GitHub and thanks to the amount of contributors, face recognition now has a success rate of 99.38%. Other amazing AI projects that have come from GitHub include; fastText by Facebook research, awesome-TensorFlow (machine learning designed by Google,) and Predictionio by Apache (used by developers, data scientists and end-users.)

Hackathons are a great way to network, collaborate and learn about tech. The UK Ministry of Defence hosted a 2-day hackathon which saw 13 teams try to find new ways to use AI for defence. It’s a great way to get involved, even if you don’t have experience in a certain field as almost 40% of people who took place in the MOD hackathon had never worked with the Ministry before.

If any of the above has you thinking about your next career move, we have expert consultants who have placed many roles within these fields. If you would like more information or advice, give us a call on 0117 4280600.

Engineering, Information Technology