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Beyond Limits

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

AJ Abdallat, founder and CEO of California AI company Beyond Limits, sees AI as being in a pyramid with data analytics at the base, with data science, then deep learning, then cognitive reasoning above it.

By cognitive reasoning he means 'actionable intelligence', which tells you what to do, not just what is going on. 'We believe AI should be in everyone's office t to magnify human talent,' he said.

The company's technology grew out of work done by the NASA Space Program, trying to develop 'human like reasoning' for the 'Curiosity' car sized rover, which landed on Mars in 2012.

In 2017, the company received $20m investment from BP, which was looking for tools to support BP decision makers, including with monitoring the health and maintenance of wells, and autonomous pipeline inspection. It also wanted ways to make expertise from a few individuals available to the whole organisation, by embodying it in digital tools.

Together with BP, the company is looking to develop what it calls 'physics based AI', or AI based on physics.

To illustrate what this means, Mr Abdallat told the story of the May 2016 collision between a Tesla in autonomous mode and a truck.

It was a 'black swan event', with the sun hitting the sensors on the Tesla in such a way that it made the background impossible to see, and a truck painted white, so the system could no longer see a truck. So the autonomous driving system gave the vehicle instructions to change the lane.

However the system could see the truck a few moments before.

A physics based AI model could have informed the system that it makes no sense in physics for a truck to go to 'no truck', Mr Abdallat said.



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