Baidu AI-powered park opens in China

Chinese tech company Baidu has opened an AI park at Beijing’s Haidian Park with intelligent features powered by Artificial Intelligence.

The AI park sits at the east gate of Haidian Park. 10 government departments and companies participated in the renovation of the park, which has taken place over the past 10 months

Features include an AI-powered running track. Face recognition detectors detect and record data about runners including calorie consumption, running distance, duration, and average speed. This information is displayed on ‘scoreboard’ screens.

The park also showcases driverless transportation in the form of the Apollo L4 driverless minibus. The vehicle accommodates up to eight passengers and travels at a speed of 10kmh.  It can reach a maximum speed of 40kmh. The minibus is programmed to stay a safe distance from pedestrians. At the moment, a “safety officer” with emergency controls sits on board each trip.

In an area of the park called “future space” facial recognition acts as guests’ key to doors and lockers. A human-sized robot is the tour guide and various machines show off the capabilities of AI. These include a rock paper scissors machine and a machine that can detect emotions.

The future of AI

As The Guardian reports, AI is all about machines learning to perform tasks better than a human ever could. From the theoretical (AI beating a Grandmaster at chess), to the practical (AI driving cars).

There is a novelty element to AI. Take the chocolate pavilion that used the technology to assess response to the taste of chocolate.

While they eat, AI and facial recognition technologies, developed in collaboration with Milan-based interaction design studio Dotdotdot, collate micro-movements of their lips, eyebrows, pupils, nostrils and forehead. From these, the system works out what the visitor’s reaction has been to each chocolate.

AI also has applications in creating a virtual employee, tour guide or assistant. Research has also shown that visitors would prefer to be verified using AI technology than by a person.

Robots and AI were highlighted by Blooloop as two of six technologies to watch in 2018.

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