TechDogs-"All About Intelligent Autonomous Systems"

Emerging Technology

All About Intelligent Autonomous Systems

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Let’s start with a game of Can You Guess The Tune?

"She's fantastic, made of plastic. Microchips here and there. She's a small wonder, brings love and laughter everywhere."

If you've watched the famous American sitcom Small Wonder, then you must already be humming this tune. How can anyone forget V.I.C.I? (Voice Input Child Identicant pronounced as Vicki)? She was an Intelligent Autonomous System (IAS) in the form of a 10-year-old girl. She was developed by Ted Lawson, an engineer for United Robotronics and V.I.C.I's foster parent. V.I.C.I's features included superhuman speed and strength, an AC outlet under her right arm, a data port under her left arm and an access panel at her back. V.I.C.I learned quickly and became more human-like with each episode!

Today, V.I.C.I is no longer a far-fetched dream, it is becoming a reality. Thanks to the constant advancement in Intelligent Autonomous Systems. Want to know everything about this emerging technology? Let's explore!
TechDogs-"All About Intelligent Autonomous Systems" Everything These Day Is Intelligent, Autonomous And Savvy!
You must have heard the buzzword Artificial Intelligence (AI) many times and we assume that you know what it is. Many people come to the field of AI without any formal training in the subject. This is because AI is so ubiquitous and widely applicable that it touches many other disciplines. It has also gained importance in engineering, computer science, cognitive psychology, psychotherapy, and many other domains. Of course, it is of interest to psychologists and psychiatrists who study the nature of intelligence and the human mind. Can technology also be as intelligent as humans?

To find the answer, this article will focus on one aspect of AI: Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS). An IAS is a mechanical agent which perceives its environment, determines its actions, executes those actions, monitors their effects and adjusts them when necessary. That sounds like V.I.C.I, right?

To know what an Intelligent Autonomous System is, its history, working, applications, benefits and its future. Read on!

Let’s Begin – What Are Intelligent Autonomous Systems?

The world is shifting. We are now seeing the effects of an increasingly connected society. Hence, intelligent technologies, such as autonomous systems, are changing the way we work and live. This has led to the rise of innovations driven by Artificial Intelligence. What does this all mean? The future of technology will depend on just one thing: intelligence. Whether humans or artificial systems, intelligence will always play a crucial role. This has made it even more critical to know everything about Intelligent Autonomous Systems, or IAS.

So, what is an Intelligent Autonomous System? These systems (IAS) are artificial intelligence software systems that operate without direct human supervision. Self-driving cars unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), smart manufacturing robots, senior care robots and virtual agents for training and support are just a few examples.

Such systems need to be able to make safe, rational and human values-compatible decisions in unforeseen circumstances. Their decision-making should be understandable by human users and collaborators to ensure the necessary trust on behalf of the human users. Just like V.I.C.I, who not only takes decisions when required but also turned more human-like while living with and learning from humans. She can copy anything she can read! 

After knowing what Intelligent Autonomous Systems are, let's explore when it all started!

Digging The Past – History Of Intelligent Autonomous Systems

TechDogs-"Digging The Past – History Of Intelligent Autonomous Systems"-A Picture Of V.I.C.I From Small Wonder Show.
Intelligent Autonomous Systems are not a new concept - and no we don’t mean the Small Wonder, V.I.C.I. The ancient Greeks were the first to explore the idea of self-directed devices when they built the Antikythera mechanism in 150 BCE. The device was meant to calculate the astronomical positions and movements of stars, planets and constellations. However, it wasn't until 1964 that digital computers were able to process information fast enough for advanced programming.

In 1968, a team at General Motors developed a program for an electric car that would take into account traffic flow and speed limits to find the fastest route from point A to point B. This paved the way for many other programs that focus on efficient navigation, such as IBM's Deep Blue chess program in 1997 and Google Maps in 2005. Today, IAS is a part of our everyday lives because we ask them to do everything from manufacturing and packaging to controlling drones or self-driving cars and soon, V.I.C.I will be at every house making chores easy!
Enough digging into the past, let's jump back to the present and learn the working of Intelligent Autonomous Systems in the following section.

How Do Intelligent Autonomous Systems Work?

TechDogs-"How Do Intelligent Autonomous Systems Work?"-An Image Showing An Autonomous Intelligent System
V.I.C.I was able to perform tasks without human supervision. However, the question here is how was she able to do that? Here is the answer: IAS is controlled and designed using sub-systems in which a set of devices and governing software are arranged in a hierarchical tree. It enables Intelligent Autonomous Systems to make decisions, develop and execute strategies for completing complex tasks, and use multisensory information about their internal state and workplace environment. The general architecture of an Intelligent Autonomous System involves the following key elements:
  • Cognition
  • Perception
  • Planning
  • Control
  • Sensing
  • Actuation

The operation of IAS is usually structured in at least three main hierarchical levels (from top to down):
  • Organization Level
  • Coordination Level
  • Execution Level

Each level may contain several layers. The organization level executes higher levels of functions such as learning, planning and decision-making. This imitates human performance functions and can be represented and treated as AI-based techniques. The coordination level consists of several coordinators who receive the task from the organization level while the execution level involves actuators, hardware controllers and sensing elements.

Now, after knowing how IAS works, let us explore its applications in real time in the next section.

Applications Of Intelligent Autonomous Systems In The Real World

Do you remember the purpose behind developing V.I.C.I? She was developed to assist handicapped children (a great motive!). Today, the world is becoming increasingly automated and the development of Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS) is one of the most significant technological advancements that we've seen in recent years. IAS will be able to autonomously make decisions without any human input. These systems can sense the environment, perceive the current situation, decide what to do and commence an action without human intervention. Like V.I.C.I, IAS is making an impact in various aspects of our lives. Some of its applications include:
  • Factory automation
  • Assistive robotics
  • Medical care
  • Intelligent vehicles
  • Visual surveillance
  • Business management

Let's move quickly to the next section to know its benefits.

Benefits Of Intelligent Autonomous Systems

TechDogs-"Benefits Of Intelligent Autonomous Systems"-A GIF Of An Autonomous Intelligent System In Self-Driving Application
In Small Wonder, V.I.C.I became a savior for the Lawsons many a time, be it her duty to guard the house or saving the family members from a fire that broke out in the house. This is simply to say that there are several benefits of an IAS:
  • They are designed to complete tasks that are too dangerous or difficult for humans. For example, self-driving cars.
  • IAS can also go into places and situations where humans cannot. This includes dangerous places, such as inspecting inside a nuclear reactor to check for faults and inaccessible areas such as inside aero engines.
  • Using IAS leads to increased efficiency. One of the greatest advantages of the system is that they enable humans to be more efficient as IAS automates certain tasks without human supervision.

Wait, we are not done yet, the road to the future is coming up. Keep reading!

Future Trends Of Intelligent Autonomous Systems!

Anyone who is a big fan of Small Wonder can say that they want V.I.C.I AKA Intelligent Autonomous Systems in their homes. However, this dream is still far away. We are focusing on what the immediate future holds. The industrialized world will witness the advent of robots and autonomous technologies through innovation and optimization. This will mean we will have IAS in cars, farm equipment, factories, planes, power grids, warehouses, and airports. Not only will these autonomous agents get smarter, the way we will interact with them will also become more natural and pervasive. This will happen as Intelligent Autonomous Systems streamline repetitive tasks and make autonomous reasoning-based decisions quicker. #LessWorkForUs

It is also clear that Intelligent Autonomous Systems will continue to offer immense benefits to society and as data continues to gain value, some of the most important advancements will come in the form of smarter database management systems for IAS. This will lead to a better understanding and execution of complex tasks and more use cases.

Let’s Wind Up!

As humans, we are inherently biased to think of ourselves as the smartest creatures on earth. However, are we? Let us answer this (in a robotic tone)! This is a question that has been debated for centuries. While humans are undeniably intelligent, machines may one day prove to be smarter than us. The race to create Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS) has already begun and the consequences of this race are far-reaching. IAS has the potential to affect every part of life, business, industry and education. It is evident from the current usage of technologies that the implications of IAS are huge across the board!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Intelligent Autonomous Systems?

Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS) are artificial intelligence software systems that operate without direct human supervision. These systems encompass a wide range of applications, including self-driving cars, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), smart manufacturing robots, senior care robots, and virtual agents for training and support. Their primary function is to perceive their environment, make rational decisions, execute actions, monitor outcomes, and adapt when necessary. Similar to the fictional character V.I.C.I, these systems aim to mimic human-like decision-making processes while performing tasks autonomously.

What Is the History of Intelligent Autonomous Systems?

The concept of Intelligent Autonomous Systems traces back to ancient times, with early examples found in the Antikythera mechanism built by the ancient Greeks in 150 BCE. However, significant advancements didn't occur until the advent of digital computers in the mid-20th century. In 1968, General Motors developed a program for an electric car capable of efficient navigation, setting the stage for subsequent innovations in autonomous technologies. Over the years, advancements in computing power and AI algorithms have led to the integration of IAS into various aspects of modern life, from navigation systems to manufacturing processes.

How Do Intelligent Autonomous Systems Work?

Intelligent Autonomous Systems operate using hierarchical tree structures comprising various subsystems, including cognition, perception, planning, control, sensing, and actuation. These systems leverage multisensory information about their environment to make decisions, develop strategies, and execute tasks autonomously. The architecture of an IAS typically consists of three main hierarchical levels: organization, coordination, and execution. Each level performs specific functions, such as learning, planning, decision-making, and task execution, with the ultimate goal of achieving autonomous behavior akin to human intelligence.

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