Some Thoughts on the Future of AI and TransportationPosted: July 12, 2011
I have participated in a chapter of the new circular of the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Committee of the Transportation Research Board, to be published this August, and the members have all shared some thoughts on the future of artificial intelligence and transportation. Here are mine
“This document is a testament to the contributions of AI and advanced computing techniques to transportation and there is every reason to think that this will continue. In particular, systems relying on these techniques should become more and more autonomous. As authors have noted repeatedly in this circular, a major disadvantage of current techniques is the selection of parameters and the lack of guidance, which leads to painstaking and time-consuming manual trial and error and sub-optimal operation. Truly autonomous systems will minimize user input and supervision by being able to adapt automatically to various environments and conditions.
A perhaps overlooked and significant force in this progress is the Internet and its enabling power: it enables in particular at a minimal cost the sharing of knowledge and collaboration in spatially distributed network of individuals. The use of AI and advanced computing techniques has become more widespread because many tools are freely available, many under open source licenses, because they can be re-used and modified which allows a better and faster bootstrapping of technology. Demonstrating the principles of swarm intelligence, re-use, sharing and collaboration allow human society to become more intelligent and better equipped to adapt to a changing environment and to cope with the complexity and challenges of ensuring safe and fast transportation for a growing population.”