Ambient intelligence, often shortened to “AmI,” is an emerging technology that aims to bring pervasive computing, artificial intelligence (AI), sensors, and sensor networks to our everyday lives. This technology is human-centric, as it is highly responsive to the presence of humans within its environment.
Ambient intelligence is a sophisticated AI system that detects and reacts to human presence. One concrete example of ambient intelligence is Siri or Alexa that responds to you once it detects your voice.
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The concept of ambient intelligence was first developed by Eli Zelkha and his colleagues in the late 1990s. They initially aimed to create devices that would work with humans to make the latter’s everyday life easier. The devices would use data and intelligence carefully collected and stored in connected devices, such as those powered by the Internet of Things (IoT).
Examples of Ambient Intelligence Devices
With many industries contributing to the growth of the field, research on ambient intelligence expanded. The concept led to the production of a host of devices and technologies that aim to make the human environment highly adaptive and flexible.
Among the typical applications of nascent ambient intelligence are intuitive assistants like Alexa, Echo, and Google Home. These devices feature multimodal interfaces, which can be activated via text messaging, voice, or touch. Some organizations furthered this idea and developed specialized intuitive assistants. Here are more examples of notable ambient intelligence technologies:
Neura Inc. aims to provide senior citizens in assisted living homes with ambient apps that can learn from their daily routines and assess their medical needs. With the apps, seniors no longer have to miss out on medication schedules, plus they can comfortably ease into their routine as they age.
Startup Otter.ai is also harnessing the power of ambient intelligence to develop intuitive assistants. The company developed a voice technology that allows devices to transcribe conversations. These are critical in getting full transcripts of meetings. Users can similarly make the app dive deeper into each material and transform content into valuable insights.
Another ambient intelligence that aims to keep seniors sharp, connected, and engaged is ElliQ. The proactive AI device allows seniors to stay in the loop. As an intuitive assistant, ElliQ can provide answers to questions seniors may have or suggest possible solutions to expressed problems. It’s like a reliable robot sidekick for the aged.
Given these technologies, we can be sure of one thing—the human-machine relationship continues to evolve to keep up with the changing times. Ambient intelligence has proven useful in managing workflows within organizations, making everyone’s life a little easier. With this benefit in mind, ambient intelligence devices can easily win humans over. But this is where we must caution ourselves. While ambient intelligence technologies offer tons of perks, they can be subject to abuse and misuse.
Like any technology, ambient intelligence can have flaws, and one of them is data privacy. Proponents and users must also start talking about managing complex issues while continually improving functionality.