The next level in developing augmented and virtual reality solutions is to harness the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to the fullest. Artificial intelligence is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, expecting to reach $126 billion in global revenue by 2025.
Forbes declares that “whoever controls the strongest artificial intelligences controls the world.”
The reason why AI is so powerful is that it deals with a vast amount of data. And in this highly political era of economic powers fighting for supremacy, data represents a significant competitive advantage.
But what do AI and ML have to do with AR and VR? In what ways could these two technologies of the future work together?
Before we dive into the particulars of AI and ML boosting AR and VR, let us start with defining the terms AI and ML and the differences between them.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence entails that the machines are capable of carrying out so-called “smart tasks” and making independent decisions. Machine learning goes a step further – it enables machines to improve themselves as time goes by and as algorithms become more and more sophisticated.
Several groundbreaking innovations were important for the advancement of AI and ML.
The first one was Artur Clark’s approach that instead of teaching machines everything they should know, we should teach them how to learn and improve themselves. Secondly, because the internet and a monstrous amount of data became available worldwide, better learning and modeling of the machine mind became possible.
Up until now, software developers would supply intelligence to a system with their supreme coding skills – a process that is not artificial intelligence. Those were simple software applications with no capabilities of learning.
However, AI is now being used to automate many mundane processes. It can be implemented in all industries that rely heavily on complex data sets: healthcare, banking, retail, business, logistics, and more.
There are various ways that artificial intelligence can be applied along with virtual and augmented reality.
Let’s take a look at some of the most striking examples:
Customized Education and Simulation Training
It is incredible that VR and AR, together with AI, can educate the next generation of professionals in life-threatening and high-risk jobs such as doctors, factory workers, firefighters, pilots, and alike.
We have shared our own example when VR is used for training and maintenance in factories of the future. The same kinds of solutions are used for doctors that can go through countless virtual scenarios without jeopardizing a single life.
Healthcare, in particular, can benefit from data reorganization. In countries across the world, patient data is stored in fragments – a powerful AI solution that untangles and connects those fragments piece by piece will revolutionize this sector.
Virtual reality powered by AI is also available to firefighter teams that go through the worst scenarios, pilots that bring back the plane’s altitude to safety, or emergency medical teams (EMTs) that save people’s lives from traffic accidents and natural disasters.
One of the most significant benefits of artificial intelligence is that it has the power to make complex decisions. This is incredibly useful in the defense industry. Before any actual weapons are used, an AR military system fuelled by AI can be deployed. This set-up would allow for many simulations that can be tested and compared to the system archives to find the best military strategy.
The constant advancement of tech shows us where future battlefields will take place.
For example, the ARC4 is AR technology that delivers tactical situational awareness no matter the time of day. It connects to the military satellites and drones to highlight dangers and threats in AR mode.
AR Social Media and VR Chatbots
AR filters have become the norm on social media. How many of your friends have used filters where they can transform themselves into a cat or dog or a Disney princess? How many have used the ‘Which __________ are you?‘ filters? All of those are considered AR filters since they augment reality – make it appear on the screen as something more than it is in real life.
Chatbots are typically AI-powered services that you can find on plenty of web pages. If you see a chat icon in the corner of a screen offering you instant help, it’s a high chance that there isn’t a human but an AI system behind it.
These AI chatbots are evolving as we speak, and one of the next avenues is to include a VR component. VR Chatbots will come in the form of avatars – life-like human simulations that should, thanks to AI, talk and act exactly like real humans. The benefit of VR chatbots lies in more realistic interaction. They should be able to help you with pretty much any question you have or retrieve any data from an accessible database.
Physical Environment Mapping
Similar to high-quality CAD (computer-aided design) models for training and maintenance, companies are turning to AR to help them map large areas and enhance them with relevant data. (Data that can be gathered by AI.)
Take the example of a Danish construction site that emphasizes health and safety. An AR solution helped them view full BIM models on-site in real time, allowing them to recognize and avoid any inaccuracies that can occur in early-stage construction. AR has succeeded in turning a reactive approach to construction errors into a preventative one.
In-Depth, Sensitive Mapping
Our future looks promising because we are continually expanding our frontiers of what is possible through technology. Not only do we map the walls and furniture inside buildings, but we can also see the internal organs of patients that need to be operated on in real time.
In June 2020, surgeons at Johns Hopkins performed the first-ever AR surgeries. Neurosurgeons performed one spinal fusion operation and another to remove a cancerous tumor from a patient’s spine. In both cases, they used AR headsets that project the patients’ CT scans onto their body – essentially providing the doctors with X-ray vision.
Timothy Witham, M. D., who led the first spinal fusion operation, said, “When using augmented reality in the operating room, it’s like having a GPS navigator in front of your eyes in a natural way so you don’t have to look at a separate screen to see your patient’s CT scan.”
By taking advantage of AI, ML, AR, and VR, all these insights and automatic depth perception with precise adjustments will be ingrained into emerging technology devices.
Our examples of this cutting-edge tech in healthcare, construction, military and defense, and customer service are just a glimpse of what is possible. When it comes to machine learning, the options are endless. We are looking forward to a future where machines take over routine procedures with more accuracy and less risk of error than humans will ever be able to achieve.
Interested in an AR or VR app for your business? Contact us with your ideas, and we’ll see what we can do to make them a reality!