Kimera Systems demonstrated a breakthrough in artificial intelligence at the NewTech PDX meetup, held in Portland, Ore. on January 16, 2015. Kimera Systems achieved the ability for Nigel to have a situational and context awareness that allows it to understand “why” something is said as well as “what” is said – achieving this breakthrough at least five years before the earliest prediction that such technology could be ready for commercial deployment.
“When machines start comprehending what they are observing and then use that knowledge to predict and manipulate the future, everything changes,” said Mounir Shita, founder and CEO of Kimera Systems. “The impact of technology that understands will far exceed the impact the Internet had for people. Unlike current ‘Deep Learning’ techniques that today have no obvious way to achieve human-like intelligence, Nigel is based on a new approach to artificial intelligence that fuses together any kind of soft and hard sensor data to achieve situational awareness that it comprehends. Though we are still early in our R&D, Nigel is making amazing strides in human-like learning and comprehension.”
One simple sentence can have widely different interpretations depending on circumstances. For example, the statement “we are out of bottled water” means something completely different if is made by a thirsty hiker versus a grocery store inventory manager. Nigel’s system of smart agents on its neural net understands the situation and even the intent of a statement, allowing it to return information that is precisely relevant to the user’s situation. In one instance Nigel may return the location of the closest convenience or grocery store; in the other it could alert a stockperson to bring more bottled water to the floor.
Artificial intelligence as delivered on today’s connected devices typically requires a user to tell the system what is needed, for example finding the closest convenience store. Nigel determines the user’s needs by constantly analyzing the world around it from the sensors on a device plus smart agents on the Internet and the user’s other connected devices, and proactively delivers just what the user needs, even before the user asks.
On a basic level, Nigel could discover, download and open the appropriate app for the store a person has just walked into to make the shopping experience better, change an alarm setting to wake up the user early should current traffic conditions make arriving on time for a morning appointment impossible, or, as Kimera Systems demonstrated at CTIA Wireless in 2013, automatically customize a restaurant menu to reflect appropriate choices based on a person’s preference or food allergies. As Nigel is further integrated into the global network infrastructure, its applications become limitless. Nigel will be able to comprehend data and assist in everything from medical research to space exploration.
Kimera Systems is not deploying Nigel as an app. Instead the company is working with app developers and device manufacturers to integrate Nigel into existing apps and devices. This app-free approach makes deploying Nigel to even low-cost devices eminently affordable while delivering end-user value exponentially greater than even today’s most advanced digital assistants. The more devices using Nigel, the more data is generated to provide a detailed view of the world Nigel uses to predict the future.
The demo was made available through a partnership with the Heads-Up Notifications application for Android devices.