The Short Cut: Exploring AI, from melting icebergs to urban streets.
Andrea Lorenzo Sacchetta·Nov 21, 2023

The Short Cut: Exploring AI, from melting icebergs to urban streets.

Andrea Lorenzo Sacchetta
Staff Writer
Nov 21, 2023 · 1 min read
Using AI to map icebergs and optimize public transport | TomTom Newsroom

From melting Icebergs to urban streets, AI is everywhere. This week we’re exploring how AI is speeding up how scientists map icebergs, upgrading in-car experiences, helping target illegally parked vehicles and more. Ready? Let’s dive in!

AI maps icebergs 10,000 times faster than humans

Researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK developed a neural network that can rapidly map large Antarctic icebergs from satellite images using artificial intelligence, the European Space Agency reports.

Large icebergs have great significance in the Antarctic Ocean’s environment and sea operations. Until now, providing clear satellite images of them posed a challenge because they were often mistaken for sea ice and clouds, both appearing as white in the images.

This project, part of the Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar mission, allows scientists to identify and monitor iceberg changes even in these challenging conditions with an accuracy of 99%.

Chile’s capital introduces AI to manage its public transportation system

Santiago, the capital of Chile, selected Optibus, an artificial intelligence operating system, as the scheduling and planning software to manage the city’s public transportation system, as announced in a press release by Optibus.

The goal is to improve the transport scheduling and management of the bus network managed by the DTPM, consisting of nearly 7,000 buses, using optimization algorithms, cloud computing and advanced data analytics. When implemented, it will benefit more than 950 million passangers per year.

Testing ChatGPT in cars

It’s only been a few months since TomTom launched its ChatGPT plugin for navigation but the incorporation of Large Language Models into in-car experiences is already gaining traction.

DS Automobiles, the luxury-focused spin-off of French automaker Citroën, is becoming part of the trend by starting a pilot to incorporate ChatGPT into its voice assistant, CarMagazine reports. The pilot phase will provide 20,000 DS owners with invite-only access to ChatGPT integration and will run until February 29, 2024.

TomTom VP of Software Engineering, Marcin Kmiecik, already noted in August this year: “There are so many open possibilities with generative AI; it really feels like we are on the verge of a new era. (..)” Could ChatGPT also revolutionize the way we move? The answer seems positive, but we’ll need to wait a few more months to find out.

Philadelphia incorporates AI-powered cameras for parking enforcement

The Philadelphia City Council signed a bill that allows SEPTA, the city's transit authority, to install AI-powered cameras on its buses for parking enforcement, according to a press release from The City of Philadelphia.

The goal is to target illegally parked vehicles obstructing transit stops and bus lanes. In addition, it will also improve traffic safety for all residents, particularly those with disabilities affected by parking infractions.

The initiative, although only approved last week, started earlier this year when SEPTA partnered with a specialized company to equip buses with AI-powered cameras as part of a 70-day pilot program. After identifying 36,000 instances of obstruction, and completing the necessary law procedures, the technology is now ready to roll out fully.

UK’s AI safety summit: Does AI have a limit?

Last week, the UK’s Artificial Intelligence Summit at Bletchley Park resulted in an international declaration addressing AI risks, backed by more than 28 countries from across the world, TheGuardian reports. In essence, it aims to recognize the need to understand and manage AI risks through joint global efforts.

The international declaration was followed by the United Nations’ confirmation to create an AI expert panel to carry out analysis and recommendations for the international governance of AI. Additionally, major tech companies agreed to collaborate with governments in testing their AI models

The summit paves the way for governments to shift the conversation into the political and international spheres. The intention is to host this summit every 6 months, either virtually or in-person. But, are laws going to keep up with tech? Will there be limits on the incorporation of AI into the automotive and location tech industry? There’s still much to discover.

That's all for this week's Short Cut. Join us again in a couple of weeks for more captivating stories in the world of technology, mobility, and location data. Keep an eye out for more!

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