You’ve heard them many times before but what do they really mean without out all the fancy jargon than confuses you and me. In this article I look at a few common IT buzz words and give simplified explanation and uses or possible use cases for them.
First up on our list is computer vision. As the name sounds computer vision is a field of computer science that allows computers to interpret images so that they can be programmed to take action like humans do. With computer vision a computer can find and be taught to identify different objects like cars, persons, bikes, dogs and the list goes on. Computers can be trained to find the differences within and image; Computers can be trained to identify text within and image and capture it for you. Computer vision is a pretty powerful and expanding field which gives great capabilities that are already implement in many applications of you everyday life and more will be implemented as time goes on. A non exhaustive list of some of things that computer vision can do are :
- Face detection and tracking
- License plate recognition and car identification
- Text detection and scanning of images. Optical character recognition.
- Groceries shopping counters automated.
- Security, household and corporate intrusion detection
Artificial Intelligence or AI
AI in computer science represents the kind of intelligence that can currently be displayed by the machines. Thanks to huge datasets and mathematical and statistical algorithms and models computers can now “think” in their own way. Currently computers can learn on the fly based on data provided and adapt there responses based on how they are programmed and the models used while learning. This enables computers to do really amazing things. It is however all very prediction based thinking but it is still very effective. Some usages of AI intelligence which includes computer vision mention above are
- Predicting when crops will be ready
- Training simulations
- Fake pictures
- Chat bots and help support
- Email and grammar correction and suggestions
- Marketing and predicting trends
- Personal fiance, consumer spending trends, Ads and marketing
- Robots and help assistance, household robotic cleaners
- Games, enemies and objects
Internet of Things
Things are any electronic device. Your stove or fridge, kettle, the water cooler in the office. The Internet of things is a protocol to connect all electronic devices to the internet. This will make our lives easier and allow for us to be more efficient. At least that’s the sell. Anything that can be connected to the internet is part of the internet of things. Anything can be connected and it will become part of the family of devices sharing information. From your shoes, to your pajamas. Devices will be able to communicate with each other and will also be able to communicate with you. You or a company will be able to debug your appliances easier and remotely. Your appliances and devices will update you on different events. Imagine your fridge telling you when you need fresh milk. Your washing machine reminding you to wash this week based on your habits. Your stove alerting you when your cooking is finish. The possibilities are endless and really fantastic.
Some of the things that are here and are maybe coming are listed below.
- Smart homes
- Smart cars and fleet management systems
- Smart Tv’s
- Smart phones
- Smart switches
- Microwaves, Fridges, Stoves
- Smart speakers
- Smart lights blubs
The school where all machines come to learn so they can be useful in the working environment. Machine learning as the name suggest is a field of study that focuses on getting machines/computers to “learn” and adapt based on changing inputs. The algorithms developed in machine learning help with artificial intelligence and making computers smarter. Machine learning is very close to statistics and predictive analysis which is why AI, the deeper you go has a more statistical feel to it. When machines need to learn they require large sources of data to generate the models used to train them. These models can then be used to solve different problems and be applied in different situations. You also don’t always need to train a entire model you can create new models from parent models. This makes models very flexible to different applications.
Where can you see machine learning in practice. Well anything that learns possibly.
- Youtube videos, suggestions, google search
- Google maps and navigation systems
- Emailing spam filters
- Neflix and movie suggestions
- Image recognition
- Speech recognition
Blockchain and digital currencies
Blockchain is a technique used to store data safety and privately while still making information about the data accessible to the public. It can allow you to see transactions or records publicly while still not giving out private information like users name, addresses, account balances etc.
Blockchain consists of a list of blocks and works like a public ledger or excel sheet. Using the excel sheet example every row is a block and the entire sheet is the chain. A row or block can hold a lot of information so you can store multiple transactions within one row. Each row is unique and cannot be edited easily.
Blockchain is used in building cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and is used when creating other digital currencies. Blockchain is great for privacy, security and ease of decentralization. Giving the above excel example each row is hashed and other techniques are employed that give blockchain its power and security allowing for the birth of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Many industries can and are benefiting from the benefits of block chain such as
- Banking sector for recording transactions etc
- Digital currencies ( Bitcoin, Tether etc)
- Voting systems etc
5G networks and telecommunications
The special mention is 5G which is the recent network upgrade in mobile, cellular telecommunications. It promises fasters speeds, peak data rates and low latency which in total means its better, faster and can handle more traffic than 4G which was better than 3G and it goes on. It is the fifth installment in the every evolving telecommunications discipline.
So those are top five common IT buzz words that are pretty easy to understand once you take way the fluff. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Computer vision are all related and will have even more advances in the future. With even more things happening online and more data being used networks would need to be upgraded to facilitate the extra traffic and transactions hence 5G and the internet of things which will benefit greatly from 5G as well. If all currencies become digitized it will be using blockchain or a version of blockchain ushering a different economic climate and world.