Quantcast
Latest Stories

Computers to soon mimic human senses, IBM says



In the next five years, computers will be able to mimic the human senses—in their own way see, smell, touch, taste and hear, according to IBM Corp.

In the next five years, computers will be able to mimic the human senses—in their own way see, smell, touch, taste and hear.

This was the primary focus of IBM Corp.’s 7th annual “IBM 5 in 5”—a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years.

“Every year, IBM makes predictions about five technology innovations that stand to change the way we live within the next five years. This year we’re focusing on the ability of machines to—in their own special way—emulate humans’ five senses. Just as the human brain relies on interacting with the world using multiple senses, by bringing combinations of these breakthroughs together, cognitive systems will bring even greater value and insights, helping us solve some of the most complicated challenges,” said Lope Doromal, Chief Technologist, IBM Philippines.

Here are five predictions that will define the future:

Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone.

Imagine using your smartphone to shop for your wedding dress and being able to feel the satin or silk of the gown, or the lace on the veil, all from the surface of the screen.

In five years, industries such as retail will be transformed by the ability to “touch” a product through your mobile device.

Utilizing the vibration capabilities of the phone, every object will have a unique set of vibration patterns that represents the touch experience:  short fast patterns, or longer and stronger strings of vibrations. The vibration pattern will differentiate silk from linen or cotton, helping simulate the physical sensation of actually touching the material.

Current uses of haptic and graphic technology in the gaming industry take the end user into a simulated environment. This technology will become ubiquitous in our everyday lives, turning mobile phones into tools for natural and intuitive interaction with the world around us.

Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousand words

We take 500 billion photos a year, 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. The global medical diagnostic imaging market is expected to grow to $26.6 billion by 2016. Computers today only understand pictures by the text we use to tag or title them; the majority of the information—the actual content of the image—is a mystery.

In the next five years, systems will not only be able to look at and recognize the contents of images and visual data, they will turn the pixels into meaning, beginning to make sense out of it similar to the way a human views and interprets a photograph. In the future, “brain-like” capabilities will let computers analyze features such as color, texture patterns or edge information and extract insights from visual media. This will have a profound impact for industries such as healthcare, retail and agriculture.

Within five years, these capabilities will be put to work in healthcare by making sense out of massive volumes of medical information such as MRIs, CT scans, X-Rays and ultrasound images to capture information tailored to particular anatomy or pathologies.

Sound: Computers will hear what matters

Within five years, a distributed system of clever sensors will detect elements of sound such as sound pressure, vibrations and sound waves at different frequencies. It will interpret these inputs to predict when trees will fall in a forest or when a landslide is imminent.

Such a system will “listen” to our surroundings and measure movements, or the stress in a material, to warn us if danger lies ahead.

Raw sounds will be detected by sensors, much like the human brain. A system that receives this data will take into account other “modalities,” such as visual or tactile information, and classify and interpret the sounds based on what it has learned. When new sounds are detected, the system will form conclusions based on previous knowledge and the ability to recognize patterns.

For example, “baby talk” will be understood as a language, telling parents or doctors what infants are trying to communicate. Sounds can be a trigger for interpreting a baby’s behavior or needs. By being taught what baby sounds mean—whether fussing indicates a baby is hungry, hot, tired or in pain—a sophisticated speech recognition system would correlate sounds and babbles with other sensory or physiological information such as heart rate, pulse and temperature.

In the next five years, by learning about emotion and being able to sense mood, systems will pinpoint aspects of a conversation and analyze pitch, tone and hesitancy to help us have more productive dialogues that could improve customer call center interactions, or allow us to seamlessly interact with different cultures.

Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter

What if we could make healthy foods taste delicious using a different kind of computing system that is built for creativity?

IBM researchers are developing a computing system that actually experiences flavor, to be used with chefs to create the most tasty and novel recipes. It will break down ingredients to their molecular level and blend the chemistry of food compounds with the psychology behind what flavors and smells humans prefer. By comparing this with millions of recipes, the system will be able to create new flavor combinations that pair, for example, roasted chestnuts with other foods such as cooked beetroot, fresh caviar, and dry-cured ham.

A system like this can also be used to help us eat healthier, creating novel flavor combinations that will make us crave a vegetable casserole instead of potato chips.

The computer will be able to use algorithms to determine the precise chemical structure of food and why people like certain tastes. These algorithms will examine how chemicals interact with each other, the molecular complexity of flavor compounds and their bonding structure, and use that information, together with models of perception to predict the taste appeal of flavors.

Not only will it make healthy foods more palatable—it will also surprise us with unusual pairings of foods actually designed to maximize our experience of taste and flavor.

In the case of people with special dietary needs such as individuals with diabetes, it would develop flavors and recipes keep their blood sugar regulated, but satisfy their sweet tooth.

Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell

During the next five years, tiny sensors embedded in your computer or cell phone will detect if you’re coming down with a cold or other illness.

By analyzing odors, biomarkers and thousands of molecules in someone’s breath, doctors will have help diagnosing and monitoring the onset of ailments such as liver and kidney disorders, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy by detecting which odors are normal and which are not.

Today IBM scientists are already sensing environmental conditions and gases to preserve works of art. This innovation is beginning to be applied to tackle clinical hygiene, one of the biggest challenges in healthcare today.

In the next five years, IBM technology will “smell” surfaces for disinfectants to determine whether rooms have been sanitized.

Using novel wireless “mesh” networks, data on various chemicals will be gathered and measured by sensors, and continuously learn and adapt to new smells over time.

Due to advances in sensor and communication technologies in combination with deep learning systems, sensors can measure data in places never thought possible.

For example, computer systems can be used in agriculture to “smell” or analyze the soil condition of crops.

In urban environments, this technology will be used to monitor issues with refuge, sanitation and pollution—helping city agencies spot potential problems before they get out of hand.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims 2 mins elapsed Light plane crashes on banana plantation; no one hurt 12 mins elapsed Annual blackout simulation drill held 19 mins elapsed Saudi Arabia reports 3 more deaths from MERS virus 27 mins elapsed Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima 36 mins elapsed Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane? 46 mins elapsed PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers 1 hour elapsed Napoles to have surgery on Tuesday – report 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Computers , Forecasts , human senses and computers , IBM , infotech , mimic , technology

  • John Sulayman

    Ok, kapag nagbluescreen ang computer ko, it can hear me foul-mouthing, feel me hitting it, and see me foul-mouthing and hitting it.

  • divictes

    Demon Seed… he he he



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  2. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  3. Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  4. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  5. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  6. SKY says ‘malicious third parties’ caused internet access problems
  7. Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  8. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  9. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  10. Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  1. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  2. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  3. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  4. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  5. IT technician found guilty of defrauding firm of P130,000
  6. Netizens react to Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley
  7. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  8. Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  9. Online-addicted man arrested over son’s death
  10. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  8. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  9. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest
  10. Filipino artist copies piece from digital art

News

  • Light plane crashes on banana plantation; no one hurt
  • Annual blackout simulation drill held
  • Saudi Arabia reports 3 more deaths from MERS virus
  • Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  • Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane?
  • Sports

  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace