Smart Machines: AI technology's impact on Florida's business sectors
AI hasn't quite replaced humans, but the technology is making business better
- THE ARTS
Designer: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Product: Dali Lives, a re-creation of the artist
Salvador Dali, the Spanish surrealist painter, died in 1989 at age 84. But visitors to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg can interact with a life-like version of the artist that’s been re-created using artificial intelligence. Unveiled in 2019 on what would have been Dali’s 115th birthday, Dali Lives was created using AI and a faces-wapping technique known as a deep-fake. Using archived interview footage and other historical materials, an AI algorithm designed by San Francisco-based Goodby Silverstein & Partners was able to master Dali’s mannerisms.
Following 1,000 hours of machine learning, the AI tool generated a likeness of Dali’s face that was superimposed over an actor’s body and synced with a voice impressionist to create a talking digital replica of the flamboyant artist. The resulting exhibit includes 125 interactive videos, with 190,512 possible combinations depending on user response, meaning no two visitors are likely to have exactly the same experience. Museum visitors are treated to a selfie taken by the digital Dali that they can receive via a text message before they leave the museum.
- EDUCATION & RESEARCH
Designer: Nvidia/University of Florida
Product: HiPerGator supercomputer upgrade
Nvidia and UF are partnering to create “higher education’s most powerful AI supercomputer” (rendering). All colleges at the university are building AI courses related to their area of expertise.
After graduating from the University of Florida in 1980 with his engineering degree, Chris Malachowsky landed his first job at Hewlett-Packard in California, where he designed a central processing unit, or CPU chip. He leveraged that experience into his second job at Sun Microsystems, where he worked on computer graphics until 1993, when he and some colleagues decided to start their own company, Nvidia.
In the years since, Nvidia has transformed visual computing and come to dominate the artificial intelligence landscape with its graphics processing unit, or GPU, technology. Now, the Silicon Valley company is partnering with the University of Florida to supply an AI supercomputer that works with UF’s existing HiPerGator system to create “higher education’s most powerful AI supercomputer,” which will be capable of delivering 700 petaflops of AI performance, or 1 quadrillion operations per second.
The public-private partnership is anchored by a $60-million donation — including $25 million from Malachowsky and $25 million in technology, training and services from Nvidia. UF will contribute $20 million. The school has also committed to hiring 100 faculty members focused on AI and plans to incorporate AI broadly across its curriculum.
While the school already offers courses in machine learning and AI ethics, each college at the university is building AI courses related to its area of expertise. UF’s College of Business, for instance, is working on an AI course that will focus on AI in financial technologies. “We want to make it possible for every student who graduates from the University of Florida and who’d like to learn about AI the opportunity to either become acquainted with it, to become competent in it or become an expert in it,” says Joe Glover, UF’s provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.
Glover says anyone in the State University System will be able to use its new supercomputer for educational purposes to teach students about machine learning and AI. Researchers at all the State University System schools will have access to the new supercomputer for educational purposes at no charge to teach students about machine learning and AI. UF will also provide limited support and training for using its computer resources.
The partnership comes at a critical moment, with the federal government warning that United States is lagging in churning out AI-trained workers. “We think we have a unique approach here to helping to solve that issue. We intend to create the next generation of the AI-enabled workforce at scale, graduating 5,000 to 10,000 people who are going to pour into the economy and bring those skills with them to whatever their chosen occupation is,” says Glover.
COVID, Cancer & Cats
Designer: Ulas Bagci
Product: Predictive health care software
Ulas Bagci, an assistant professor in University of Central Florida’s department of computer science, has been working with an international team of researchers to develop AI tools that are helping doctors and nurses across the globe manage COVID-19 patients.
Using images from chest CT scans, their algorithm is able to predict which patients have COVID-19 and the infection’s severity, helping health care providers identify which patients need to go to ICU, which are likely to need intensive care or die and which ones can go home based on inflammation it detects in the lungs.
The AI technology has proved especially helpful in countries such as Italy, Japan, China and the U.S. “The hospitals are full of COVID patients. They need to manage them in the optimal way,” Bagci says.
Bagci has developed similar predictive algorithms to diagnose lung cancer and pancreatic cancer from CT scans and MRI images. He says the algorithms can accomplish in seconds what it takes radiologists “ages to do.” But he says the AI tools are not a replacement for their expertise, but rather an enhancement to lend them support and point them to the problem. “A human should always be in the loop for a trustworthy AI,” he says.
In the classroom, Bagci likes to use the “cat behind the tree” example for his students. “Let’s say there’s a cat behind a tree and on one side you see the head and the other side you see the tail. You understand, as a human, that there is only one cat. But artificial intelligence is too artificial. It allows for two cats. It will give labels like cat 1, tree, and cat 2,” he explains. “With high-level knowledge, we are much better than AI, and for high-risk applications, none of these deep-learning algorithms give you reason. It’s good. It’s really helpful, but it’s not going to replace humans. True intelligence is not there.”
- HEALTH CARE
AI-Powered Patient Monitoring
Designer: Chakri Toleti (Care.ai)
Product: Care.ai, patient monitoring software
Chakri Toleti, a serial entrepreneur from the Orlando area, was taking a sabbatical “in between companies” in 2018 when he learned that his 78-year-old mother had fallen in a bathroom in India. She was stranded there for nearly 30 minutes before a caregiver found her. She recovered, but the incident motivated Toleti to create a company called Care.ai that makes AI-powered autonomous patient monitoring systems for hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities.
Toleti says the system was inspired by his experience building motion capture systems at Disney 25 years earlier and sensor technology like that used in self-driving cars. Care.ai relies on similar tools — including sensors and an AI-powered “learning library” of behaviors and movements — to predict when a patient is at risk of falling or wandering off. If it senses something worrisome, it alerts nurses. It can also detect whether workers are washing their hands, delivering medications or coming in to check on patients when they should, in effect creating a “self-aware” room.
When COVID-19 hit last year, Care. ai tweaked its platform to screen hospital visitors for signs of infection. The touch-free screening tool — which is used at Tampa General Hospital, Rush University Medical Center in Illinois and other facilities across the nation — has a contact-free thermal sensor to detect feverish visitors, sending a message to staff if a person’s temperature exceeds 100 degrees.
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