At Bosch, we believe artificial intelligence is the key to making our lives safer, easier and more eco-friendly. In the years to come, AI will become an integral part of most industries and undoubtedly change how we live. But what will those changes look like? How will we live tomorrow?
Since its beginnings in the mid-1950s, artificial intelligence has developed to such a great extent that experts now believe two-thirds of all future technologies will utilize AI in some way. From virtual assistants answering simple questions and algorithms personalizing our movie recommendations, to image recognition software improving the quality of our photos – AI-powered software has become so ubiquitous we barely even notice it.
AI harbors a significant business potential. Globally, the growth of the AI software market is estimated at $120b and it is predicted to create 60 million new jobs by 2022.
As a company that has been on the forefront of innovation for over a century, we are ready for these new opportunities. We are adapting our business to the demands of the future in three main areas: our product portfolio, our workforce, and our guiding principles.
Industrial AI – building products that assist
We predict that, by 2025, each and every one of our products will be developed, manufactured or equipped with AI. Artificial intelligence has an immense potential to improve existing technologies, making them safer and more reliable. By building AI applications for physical objects and using artificial intelligence to “explain” the physical world to machines, we are able to create products that function as assistants and help people achieve their goals faster.
We have already implemented multiple smart solutions in three key domains:
Mobility. Bosch is dedicated to making roads safer. Our AI-enabled driver monitoring system recognizes line of sight, head position, and blink rate to reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel; AI camera makes automatic emergency breaking more reliable, increasing safety, while our Virtual Visor protects drivers’ vision while they are on the road.
Residential solutions. AI helps us make buildings safer and more comfortable for the residents. Our intelligent cameras and connected sensors identify threats such as fire or intrusion while Smart Home appliances assist you in the kitchen and adjust the temperature inside your house to your preferences.
Manufacturing. Predictive maintenance and autonomous machines reduce time spent on repairs and number of faulty products.
Workforce of the future
To successfully transform our business into an AI company, we work with the brightest minds in their fields and create an environment in which they can conduct their research. This is why in 2017 we established Bosch Centre for Artificial Intelligence (BCAI), where 250 specialists in 7 locations around the globe are now working on over 150 projects.
Our strategic goal is to enable 20,000 of our associates to become AI-savvy by 2022. To help them with the transition, we have implemented a three-step AI training program that addresses the needs of our business on multiple levels:
- Providing training on business aspects of AI for 16,000 executives.
- Introducing an AI learning platform – 3,000 engineers will use this online university with real-life examples by 2021.
- Training 500 experienced engineers in data engineering and analysis on AI development methodology.
AI at Bosch – safe, robust, and explainable
The rise of AI excites the imagination of filmmakers and science-fiction writers and visions of evil machines taking over the world have become a popular movie topic. While those apocalyptic predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt, it is true that we are on the brink of a breakthrough in sophisticated AI development, with self-learning and autonomous machines quickly becoming a reality. It means we are nearing the point after which technological growth will be hard to predict and control.
We realize the responsibility that comes with developing innovative solutions and we are prepared to shoulder it. To ensure we always keep our guiding principles in sight, we developed the AI code of ethics – a framework that helps us to create a truly beneficial AI that is transparent and safe.
Going forward, it will be essential that the rules and parameters guiding our AI are transparent and comprehensible. People will remain in control of systems that use AI, always being able to override it. Data security and data transparency will remain our priority. Building rigorous guarantees into AI systems will ensure that they always meet the high standards we defined for our physical products.
Building trust together
As a society, we need to learn how to live with intelligent technologies and machines able to think for themselves. At Bosch, we believe that IoT and AI should benefit everyone, that it can complement human creativity, and that soon enough technology will be working alongside humans to solve problems of everyday life. We will harness the power of AI and take the next step towards the future, but we will do it responsibly and by building confidence in connected and intelligent products.
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