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“Data Is the New Oil”—Intel CEO Brian Krzanich Talks A.I. and the Future at InterDrone

BY Zacc Dukowitz
7 September 2017

Speaking at InterDrone yesterday, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that Intel has gone from being “a PC company to a data company.”


But what does it mean to be a data company?

Ever since the advent of the internet we’ve been inundated in data, but it hasn’t always been helpful—data for data’s sake doesn’t get us anywhere.

This is where A.I. comes in, as Krzanich noted.

A.I. has helped us see data as a valuable commodity instead of a nuisance. Every innovation that occurs in A.I. relates back to the value of the data produced.

– Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich

Data Is the New Oil

As the world becomes smarter and more connected, the amount of data moving into the cloud is growing at an exponential rate. And as more data is collected, more insights can potentially be taken from of it.

But data is useless without a means to process it and turn it into actionable insights. Yes, drones can capture 12 hours of video images to stop poachers from killing elephants on protected land, but who wants to comb through all the footage looking for the thirty seconds where a poacher crosses the camera’s path—which is where A.I. comes in.

As Krzanich observed, with the advent of A.I. that can take raw data (like hours of video footage, or thousands of still images) and process it into useable information, all this data now becomes incredibly useful, and the potential for using data to make observations and improvements throughout the world becomes huge.

So—to bear this metaphor out even further—if data is the new oil, drones are the new oil wells, providing troves of data for A.I. to sort into meaningful, actionable insights.

Inspection Automation and A.I. in Action

To make all of this talk about data and A.I. more concrete, Krzanich did a demo of Intel’s Falcon 8+(released earlier this year at AUVSI XPONENTIAL), using it to perform an inspection on a mock facade.

Falcon 8-intel-interdrone

Using Intel’s software, the data produced by the inspection was automatically compared with a previous inspection, and specific changes from the past inspection were surfaced and identified.

Without any manual processing, the raw data from both inspections was reviewed, and actionable insights were produced—places where the wall was showing degradation over time, and places where a crew would want to focus their rehab efforts to keep the wall intact.

Part of the initial demo included the Falcon 8+ using distance hold to keep the same distance from the surface being inspected, even while the surface changes—check it out:

A little later, Intel demo’ed the Falcon 8+ performing a fully autonomous inspection—Krzanich literally just pushed a button, and the drone performed the inspection on its own.

This autonomous inspection represents another kind of step forward in the work Intel is doing to develop useable A.I.—not just for data processing, but also for performing set functions, like a limited inspection, without the need for a pilot. Talk about futuristic.

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