Everybody knows that we can’t always stick to the old ways of doing our job. Every day technology is expanding and affecting how we do our job in so many ways. One of them is combining the efficiency of robots and human intelligence, which is called Artificial Intelligence (AI).
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What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks.
History of AI
The first time someone thought of a lifeless creature with intelligence was in ancient Greece. The Greek god Hephaestus wanted to make robot-like servants out of gold. Fast forward to the 1950s, Alan Turing publishes “Computing Machinery and Intelligence, proposing what is now known as the Turing Test, a method for determining if a machine is intelligent. Before that, he had helped the government with decoding the Nazi’s Enigma, and there’s a great movie called “Imitation Game” about it.
After that, many articles were published which helped other scientists out. The phrase artificial intelligence was coined at the “Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence” Led by John McCarthy in 1956. This conference defined the scope and goals of AI and is widely considered to be the birth of artificial intelligence as we know it today. In the 1970s, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) completed street mapping projects and produced intelligent personal assistants in 2003, long before Siri, Alexa, or Cortana were introduced.
Examples of AI
Siri, Alexa, and other smart voice-activated assistants
Email spam filters
There are many uses of AI, but in this article, we are going to learn what AI is and how it helped us in last-mile delivery.
AI in last-mile delivery
Last-mile deliveries can be inefficient due to multiple factors, but by combining data with AI and machine learning, drivers can do much better on the road. AI could optimize routes, which is key to profitability. Also, it could help you to better predict shipments based on historical data, which could help your drivers plan and be ready for their deliveries.
Studies show that the last mile of delivery can be at the root of one-third of shipping costs. The last-mile delivery problem could become less expensive with algorithms powered by AI.
AI can help you even when you have delivery robots instead of drivers. MIT uses AI to train these robots to find the customer’s front door. This is how they do it.
The team created a new autonomous navigation method that doesn’t require mapping out a neighborhood ahead of time. Such a task can be challenging to scale to an entire city, particularly as the exteriors of houses often change with the seasons. Mapping every single place could also run into issues of security and privacy.
Instead, their technology allows robots to find front doors like we do, using visual cues like driveways, hedges, and walkways as clues to find their destinations. For example, if a robot is instructed to deliver a package to someone’s front door, it might start on the road and see a driveway, which it has been trained to recognize as likely to lead toward a sidewalk, which in turn is expected to lead to the front door.
“We wouldn’t want to make a map of every building we’d need to visit,” says Michael Everett, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “With this technique, we hope to drop a robot at the end of any driveway and have it find a door.” While other algorithms have enabled robots to recognize and map objects in their environment for what they are, they haven’t allowed a robot to make decisions at the moment while navigating a new environment on the most efficient path to take to a destination such as a “front door.”
Last-mile delivery is improving every day, and artificial intelligence is one of the reasons why. With scientists researching every day, we can increase the quality of our delivery, and these are the ways to do it.
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