93rd Tech Day - Artificial Intelligence

10/01/2018     Tech Days



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The 93rd Tech Day was held at Altice Labs, under the theme "Artificial Intelligence".

"Artificial intelligence was coined by John McCarthy, an American computer scientist, in 1956 at The Dartmouth Conference where the discipline was born. Being understood has the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems, it is today an umbrella term that encompasses everything, from learning to robotic process automation to actual robotics. It has gained prominence recently, in part, to big data, or the increase in speed, size and variety of data businesses are now collecting." [source: http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/AI]

This event was intended to summarize the state of the art on this topic as well as give examples on how Artificial Intelligence can perform various tasks, in different areas, and more efficiently than humans, thus allowing existing businesses to take better advantage of their data.

Prof. Paulo Novais, from the University of Minho, and André Pimenta, CEO of Perfometrics, made a brief introduction to the subject with focus on the the application of AI in human resources and in the detection of mental fatigue states.

Prof. Penousal Machado, from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra, scientific director of the Computational Design and Visualization Lab, presented AI-based visualization models applicable to storytelling, information aesthetics, traffic visualization, networks and transport systems , Big Data visualization, among others.

António Castro, founder of MASDIMA, presented an automated, autonomous, distributed and with a high decision-making and learning capability solution for operations management, oriented at the area of air transport operational control.

Finally, Paulo and Pedro Caridade, founders of Space Layer Technologies, presented this startup, dedicated to environmental sensing for air quality control with decision support AI to provide real-time alerts.

The following discussion panel, moderated by Mário Moreira from the Technological Coordination and Innovation Direction, addressed topics such as the need for companies to identify the business opportunities in which AI can be applied, instead of just following the trend. Speakers acknowledged that AI applications are multidisciplinary, crossing various technologies and areas of knowledge, as exemplified by the presentations made. AI "only" provides technologies that generate knowledge.

The applicability of this knowledge requires interaction and integration with other areas and disciplines. It was also recognized by all that the IA area requires an approach, at least on an european scale, with international collaborations. From the ethical and legislative point of view, there is still much to be done, data security and privacy are worrying issues, as well as the imputation of responsibilities. It’s possible to have AI in highly certified industrial environments, with operational examples in the area of industrial robotics and aviation, while other areas of applicability are still considered risky, namely autonomous driving systems.