In this article you will read about,
- the areas where we often benefit from artificial intelligence without realizing it,
- how AI can save lives and the environment,
- and how it can help solve an age-old math problem.
Hundreds of cities, thousands of streets, millions of households, congested roads, rising energy costs, and ever stricter limits on pollutants: finding the shortest, fastest, most efficient, and reliable route to deliver an ever-increasing number of parcels on time and efficiently – that’s a major challenge for parcel carriers and route planners. Mathematicians have been racking their brains for centuries over this phenomenon, which is referred to in scientific literature as the "traveling salesman problem". This is because the number of possible routes quickly increases to infinity with each additional destination. Whether it's the order of the destinations to be covered, the length of the route, or the obstacles: Finding the optimal route, taking all factors into account, without duplicating routes – that’s something that becomes almost impossible above a certain number of destinations.
Finding the optimal delivering route with AI
Artificial intelligence is now helping to solve the problem. It takes into account traffic jams, opening hours at the destination, weather conditions, and many other factors when optimizing the route. And in logistics, AI also helps with another disruptive factor in the traveling salesman problem: Empty runs. Because these are expensive and harm the environment. Ensuring fewer empty runs is one of the most important measures for optimal transport routes, according to a survey by the logistics industry association (PDF). Artificial intelligence in the background is thus working for the benefit of logistics providers, online shoppers who receive their packages more punctually – and our planet.
Sustainably stabilizing energy supply
Achieving greater sustainability through the support of AI in the background is also a major topic in the energy sector. By its very nature, a green energy mix with a high proportion of renewable energies often depends on uncertain factors such as the weather. In addition, more and more people are feeding private energy into the grids. Such micro-utilities lead to strong power fluctuations in the electricity grid. However, artificial intelligence helps many utilities to estimate power peaks and troughs and to set up the necessary capacities for them. This means that nothing stands in the way of a stable, sustainable basic electricity supply.
Fighting tumors more effectively
The third area where AI is helping us in the background is medicine. The technology can provide crucial support, particularly in imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Thanks to intelligent pattern recognition, neural networks, and deep learning, AI can also detect tumors at early stages of development very reliably. This is based on findings from millions of MRI scans. In this way, the technology can contribute to timely treatment with effective early diagnostics and thus save lives.
But the possibilities of AI are far from exhausted here. In this video, Ralf Hülsmann from the T-Systems A.I.-Team explains how artificial intelligence can help us go even further in these areas.
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