A prominent feature in science fiction over the years has been artificial intelligence. Since the earliest days of computing, scientists and other thinkers have been fascinated by the notion of creating a machine capable of replicating the human brain. It used to be thought that the analogy of the human brain is like a computer ran deep. However, we now know that the picture is much more complicated, the way that the brain works goes beyond a simple computer.

多年来,科幻小说的一个突出特征就是人工智能。自计算机诞生以来,科学家和其他思想家一直对创造一台能够复制人类大脑的机器这一概念着迷。过去人们认为,人类大脑的类比就像计算机一样深奥。然而,我们现在知道图像要复杂得多,大脑的工作方式超越了简单的计算机。

We still do not fully understand how consciousness arises in the human brain, and there is still much debate surrounding whether consciousness can be separated from advanced intelligence. But artificial intelligence need not be this complex; we see far simpler examples of what we might describe as artificial intelligence on a regular basis. The voice assistants pre-installed on every modern smartphone are just one example and now these same AIs are being integrated into alarm clocks and speakers so that they can be used to control a variety of smart devices around the home.

我们仍然不能完全理解意识是如何在人类大脑中产生的,关于意识是否可以从高级智能中分离出来的问题仍然存在很多争论。但是人工智能不需要这么复杂; 我们可以看到更简单的例子,我们可以定期描述为人工智能。现代智能手机上预先安装的语音助手只是一个例子,现在这些人工智能正被集成到闹钟和扬声器中,这样它们就可以用来控制家里的各种智能设备。

Artificial intelligence is increasingly finding its way into industrial and manufacturing contexts. There are even AIs being used to conduct high-frequency trading on the stock market. AIs are now everywhere, meaning that it is becoming easy to forget just how amazingly complex they are. AIs have a great deal to offer the world of engineering. Some of the most exciting current and prospective uses of artificial intelligence are within the field of engineering.

人工智能正越来越多地进入工业和制造业领域。甚至有人工智能被用来在股票市场上进行高频交易交易。人工智能现在无处不在,这意味着人们很容易忘记它们是多么惊人的复杂。人工智能可以为工程界提供很多东西。人工智能目前和未来最令人兴奋的一些用途是在工程领域。

What is Artificial Intelligence?

什么是人工智能?

The term was first used at a conference at Dartmouth College in 1956. However, while artificial intelligence has long been considered and discussed in an abstract, theoretical sense, it is only in the last decade that we have begun to see it being used in consumer technology. It has now become so ubiquitous in our everyday lives that it is easy to forget what a complex demonstration of technological prowess and understanding artificial intelligence represents.

1956年,这个词首次出现在达特茅斯学院的一次会议上。然而,尽管人工智能长期以来一直被认为是抽象的、理论意义上的,但直到最近十年,我们才开始看到它在消费技术中的应用。它现在已经在我们的日常生活中无处不在,以至于我们很容易忘记科技实力和理解人工智能的复杂展示所代表的意义。

In answering the question of what artificial intelligence is, and what the term means today, we need to consider what constitutes intelligence. This is not as simple as many people assume it should be. For example, would you consider all animals to be intelligent? Or rather, to have intelligence?

在回答什么是人工智能,以及这个术语今天的含义的问题时,我们需要考虑什么构成了智能。这并不像许多人想象的那么简单。例如,你认为所有的动物都是聪明的吗?或者更确切地说,拥有智慧?

Some animals, such as cats, octopuses, and even dolphins, among others, demonstrate high levels of intelligence. When comparing two different animals, such as a mouse and a gorilla, there are a number of ways that scientists can measure their relative intelligence. But objectively defining and measuring intelligence is difficult.

一些动物,比如猫,章鱼,甚至海豚,以及其他动物,表现出高水平的智力。当比较两种不同的动物时,比如老鼠和大猩猩,科学家们有很多方法可以测量它们的相对智力。但是客观地定义和测量智力是困难的。

The AIs that are used in the engineering sector combine both software and hardware components. Think of the robots on a car assembly line and the software that controls them. They are in themselves quite impressive feats of engineering, but are they intelligent?

工程部门使用的人工智能结合了软件和硬件组件。想想汽车装配线上的机器人和控制它们的软件。它们本身就是令人印象深刻的工程壮举,但它们聪明吗?

You might be surprised to learn just how smart and sophisticate our uses of artificial intelligence in engineering are becoming. Smart production lines are definitely the future. But how exactly does artificial intelligence make such a big difference to the engineering sector?

你可能会惊讶地发现,我们在工程学中使用人工智能的方式变得多么聪明和复杂。智能生产线无疑是未来的趋势。但是人工智能到底是如何对工程领域产生如此大的影响的呢?

Manufacturing

制造业

The rise of artificial intelligence promises to allow us to develop machines capable of performing ever more complicated manufacturing, and even design, tasks. Machines that are capable of learning and improving without human intervention are the ultimate goal, and this would have significant, and far-reaching implications. Furthermore, in our pursuit of creating ever more powerful AIs, we are discovering information about how our own brains work and how we approach the learning process, both consciously and unconsciously.

人工智能的兴起使我们能够开发出能够执行更加复杂的制造甚至设计任务的机器。机器能够在没有人类干预的情况下进行学习和改进是最终目标,这将产生重大而深远的影响。此外,在我们追求创造更强大的人工智能的过程中,我们发现了关于我们自己的大脑如何工作以及我们如何处理学习过程的信息,无论是有意识的还是无意识的。

Many engineers fear that their jobs could soon be taken over by sufficiently advanced robots. As our manufacturing and design capabilities have continued to expand, we have been able to build machinery that is capable of replicating just about everything that a human can do on an assembly line. These fears are not unfounded then, as automation is continuing to take jobs away from people in a number of different areas.

许多工程师担心他们的工作很快就会被足够先进的机器人取代。随着我们的制造和设计能力不断扩大,我们已经能够制造出能够复制人类在流水线上所能做的一切的机器。这些担忧并非毫无根据,因为自动化正在继续从许多不同领域的人们手中夺走工作。

Things aren’t entirely bleak, however, a Stanford University study entitled ‘One Hundred Year Study of Artificial Intelligence, reported that there was no imminent threat to workers. The study argued that even if or when artificial intelligence does have a significant impact on jobs, this will be balanced by numerous other positive effects on society.

然而,事情并非完全令人沮丧,斯坦福大学一项名为人工智能百年研究的研究报告称,工人并没有面临迫在眉睫的威胁。这项研究认为,即使或当人工智能确实对就业产生重大影响时,这种影响也会被许多其他对社会的积极影响所抵消。

Perhaps the most prominent example of artificial intelligence being used in engineering is in the field of automobile manufacturing.

人工智能应用于工程领域最突出的例子或许是汽车制造领域。

The combination of software and hardware that has made its way on to the manufacturing line has grown progressively more sophisticated over the years. Initially, these robots were performing simple engineering tasks that involved relatively large components and movements. Today, they are capable of precision movements and of emulating the most intricate parts of the process.

软件和硬件的结合已经进入了生产线,这些年来已经变得越来越复杂。最初,这些机器人只是执行简单的工程任务,涉及相对较大的部件和运动。今天,他们能够精确地移动和模仿最复杂的过程。

Big Data

大数据

It would not be unreasonable to say that we are now living in an age of data. Data is a commodity unlike any other that the world has ever known. It is extremely valuable financially, but it can also be used directly in order to give a business a massive edge over the competition.

说我们现在生活在一个数据时代并非不合理。数据是一种与众不同的商品,这个世界从未知晓。它在经济上是非常有价值的,但是它也可以直接用来使企业在竞争中获得巨大的优势。

Artificial intelligence, especially in its most sophisticated implementations, relies heavily on large data sets and algorithmic learning.

人工智能,尤其是在其最复杂的实现中,严重依赖于大型数据集和算法学习。

One of the most exciting applications of artificial intelligence within the field of engineering is machine learning. Machine learning is dependent upon the constant generation and analysis of data. It is via this process, of extensively collecting data about performance and subsequently analyzing it, that an artificial intelligence is able to learn. If the program is equipped with the right algorithms to identify mistakes, and formulate solutions, then it can perform a process and continually refine it.

机器学习是人工智能在工程领域最令人兴奋的应用之一。机器学习依赖于数据的不断生成和分析。正是通过这个过程,广泛收集性能数据,然后进行分析,人工智能才能够学习。如果程序配备了正确的算法来识别错误,并制定解决方案,那么它就可以执行一个过程,并不断完善它。

For engineers who are working on large scale public projects, big data will be a staple of their work. Big data analysis can tell researchers, in unprecedented detail, where the flow of people in urban environments is at its densest. This, in turn, means that public infrastructure decisions can be based on objective scientific analyses.

对于从事大型公共项目的工程师来说,大数据将是他们工作的主要内容。大数据分析可以以前所未有的细节告诉研究人员,城市环境中的人流在哪里最密集。反过来,这意味着公共基础设施的决策可以基于客观的科学分析。

Also, within the context of engineering for public works, big data can be used to analyze how well certain solutions have performed when implemented elsewhere. Big data can also allow for an objective and detailed comparison of how similar the current environment is to ones where the solution has been used before. This is relatively simple when using big data analytics techniques, but would be a long and expensive process to complete otherwise.

此外,在公共工程的背景下,大数据可以用来分析某些解决方案在其他地方实施时表现如何。大数据还可以客观、详细地比较当前环境与以前使用过这种解决方案的环境的相似程度。这在使用大数据分析技术时相对简单,但是否则将是一个漫长而昂贵的过程。

Machine Learning

机器学习

One of the most significant technological concepts for the future of artificial intelligence-led engineering is machine learning. Machine learning is the study of exactly how machines learn. The ultimate goal of artificial intelligence isn't just to have machines that can learn, but to have machines that are capable of self-analysis. Such a machine could assess the efficiency of its learning methods and so refine its processes to a much greater degree.

机器学习是未来以人工智能为主导的工程最重要的技术概念之一。机器学习就是研究机器到底是如何学习的。人工智能的最终目标不仅仅是让机器能够学习,而是让机器能够自我分析。这样的机器可以评估其学习方法的效率,从而更大程度地改进其过程。

But what would the practical applications of machine learning look like? Well, imagine if every one of those robotic arms you see putting cars together contained a tiny camera. Each arm could then look over the work of the previous robots along the assembly line. If they identify an issue then they could formulate a solution.

但是机器学习的实际应用会是什么样的呢?想象一下,如果你看到的把汽车组装起来的机械手臂里都有一个微型摄像头。然后,每个机械臂都可以沿着装配线检查以前机器人的工作。如果他们识别出一个问题,那么他们就可以制定一个解决方案。

We already have the technology to accomplish the first part. We can take a high-resolution video of a half-assembled car and develop algorithms to identify whether there are any clear faults. We could then have the robots respond to the fault based on what they 'see'.

我们已经有了完成第一部分的技术。我们可以拍摄一个半组装的汽车的高分辨率视频,并开发算法来识别是否有任何明显的故障。然后我们可以让机器人根据他们看到的东西对故障做出反应。

Machine learning takes this process to the next level. With machine learning, the data collected by all of the robots involved in production can be pooled together. With a central artificial intelligence to control each one, it can learn which problems are most likely to appear. With machine learning, that central artificial intelligence would also be able to formulate solutions to problems, rather than simply following pre-defined routines.

机器学习将这个过程提升到了一个新的水平。通过机器学习,所有参与生产的机器人收集的数据可以汇集在一起。通过一个中央人工智能来控制每个问题,它可以知道哪些问题最有可能出现。有了机器学习,中央人工智能也能够制定问题的解决方案,而不是简单地遵循预定义的例程。

Natural Language Processing

自然语言处理

Natural language processing is a field of study dedicated to improving the ability of humans and machines to communicate. In particular, natural language processing aims to improve the sophistication with which machines can respond to the human voice. Like with machine learning, natural language processing makes heavy use of large data sets and algorithm-based learning.

自然语言处理是一个致力于提高人类和机器交流能力的研究领域。特别是,自然语言处理旨在提高机器对人类声音的反应的复杂程度。与机器学习一样,自然语言处理大量使用大数据集和基于算法的学习。

Think of the voice assistant in your smartphone. If you have owned a number of smartphones over the last decade or so, then you may well have noticed how much the accuracy with which they hear and transcribe our voices has improved. While your phone might be able to identify the words that you've said, this isn't the same as understanding.

想想你智能手机里的语音助手。如果你在过去十年左右拥有一些智能手机,那么你很可能已经注意到他们听到和转录我们声音的准确性有了多大的提高。虽然你的手机可以识别你所说的话,但这不等同于理解。

Right now, your phone looks for certain keywords that it understands and works out what you are asking it to do based on context. It then responds or performs an action, and sometimes vocalizes a response. Natural language processing aims to refine this process by allowing the machine to develop a deeper understanding of language. If this understanding is refined enough, then it will reach a point where the machine can deduce what someone wants when presented with an entirely new command or request.

现在,你的手机会根据上下文查找它能理解的特定关键词,然后计算出你要求它做什么。然后它回应或执行一个动作,有时候发出一个响应。自然语言处理旨在通过允许机器对语言进行更深入的理解来完善这一过程。如果这种理解足够精确,那么当机器接收到一个全新的命令或请求时,它就可以推断出某人想要什么。

In the Iron Man films, Tony Stark is able to have long conversations with his home assistant, an artificial intelligence called Jarvis. When Tony is designing his Iron Man suits he holds conversations with Jarvis, Jarvis is able to produce schematics according to specifications which Tony expresses, in usual conversational language. This seems like pure science fiction, yet this is exactly the direction that researchers hope to one day take the field in.

在《钢铁侠》系列电影中,托尼 · 斯塔克能够与他的家庭助理——一个名叫贾维斯的人工智能——进行长时间的交谈。当托尼设计他的钢铁侠服装时,他与贾维斯进行了交谈,贾维斯能够按照托尼用通常的会话语言表达的规范制作图表。这看起来像纯粹的科幻小说,然而这正是研究人员希望有朝一日进入这一领域的方向。

For example, if an engineer is trying to work out how to reinforce a particular feature in their design, wouldn't it be great if they could just ask their computer? Or in the case of an assembly line, imagine if a human overseer could give the robots feedback. They could ask the robots to perform their roles in a slightly different way, to make adjustments, or even to try new things and analyze the result.

例如,如果一个工程师正在试图找出如何在他们的设计中加强一个特定的功能,如果他们可以问问他们的计算机,这不是很好吗?或者在装配线的情况下,想象一下如果一个人类监督员可以给机器人反馈。他们可以要求机器人以稍微不同的方式执行他们的角色,做出调整,甚至尝试新事物并分析结果。

These applications are some way off, we still have much to learn about machine learning. However, in recent years we have already made some significant advances that few people could have predicted.

这些应用还有很长的路要走,我们还有很多关于机器学习的东西要学。然而,近年来我们已经取得了一些很少有人能够预料到的重大进展。

Image Processing

图像处理

You might be wondering what image processing could have to do with engineering? The connection might not immediately seem obvious, but this is another technology which is vital to implementing artificial intelligence to its full potential in the field of engineering.

你可能想知道图像处理和工程学有什么关系?这种联系可能不会立即显现出来,但这是另一种技术,它对于充分发挥人工智能在工程领域的潜力至关重要。

When humans see an object, it is because light is entering the eye and being converted into an electric signal. This signal is then carried to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain turns this electronic signal into an image, it is this image that we 'see'.

当人类看到一个物体时,那是因为光线进入眼睛并被转换成电信号。这个信号然后通过视神经传送到大脑。大脑把这个电子信号转换成一个图像,我们看到的就是这个图像。

Machines work in a very similar way. We can set up a camera in order to record an image, and we can display this image to a user. However, this is not the same as the machine understanding the image. With image processing algorithms, we can have machines analyze what they see and react accordingly. From an engineering perspective, this means we could have machines which are able to identify structural abnormalities and other issues that have identifiable visible signs.

机器的工作方式非常相似。我们可以设置一个摄像头来记录一个图像,然后我们可以将这个图像显示给用户。然而,这与机器理解图像是不一样的。通过图像处理算法,我们可以让机器分析它们看到的东西并做出相应的反应。从工程学的角度来看,这意味着我们可以拥有能够识别结构异常和其他具有可识别可见标志的问题的机器。

This kind of image processing technology could also make a significant difference to the workplace safety of engineers. There may often be visual clues indicating structural deficiencies and weaknesses that are not immediately obvious until the structure fails. By combining image processing with data input from other sensors, artificial intelligence can be used in a variety of contexts. For example, on both construction sites and the scenes of fires, structural integrity can become a concern. Having a more reliable way for engineers to assess integrity could save lives.

这种图像处理技术也可以对工程师的工作场所安全产生重大影响。通常可能有视觉线索表明结构缺陷和弱点,直到结构失效才立即显现出来。通过将图像处理和其他传感器输入的数据结合起来,人工智能可以在各种情况下使用。例如,在建筑工地和火灾现场,结构完整性可能成为一个问题。为工程师评估诚信提供一种更可靠的方法可以挽救生命。

Internet of Things

物联网

Many of you can probably still remember a time when being connected to other people meant being at home. Once you ventured outside, there was no 3G or 4G network in place for internet browsing. Eventually, very slow and expensive mobile internet came in the form of WAP.

你们中的许多人可能还记得有一段时间,与他人联系就意味着呆在家里。一旦你走出去,就没有3 g 或4 g 网络适合上网浏览。最终,又慢又贵的移动互联网以 WAP 的形式出现了。

Today, we are used to having vast amounts of data flying through the airwaves all around us. As smart devices become more common in our homes, we are also beginning to see the practical potential of being able to link devices together.

今天,我们已经习惯了大量的数据在我们周围的电波中飞来飞去。随着智能设备在我们家中越来越普遍,我们也开始看到将设备连接在一起的实际潜力。

The Internet of Things refers to a hypothetical network, which would connect everyday devices and things together, in the same way that the internet connects computers from around the world. Allowing the various devices in our lives to collect and share data would open up some exciting new possibilities.

物联网指的是一个假想的网络,它将日常设备和物品连接在一起,就像互联网连接世界各地的计算机一样。允许我们生活中的各种设备收集和分享数据将会开启一些令人兴奋的新的可能性。

As the Internet of Things gradually becomes a reality, it will increasingly become something that engineers consider during the design process. With the Internet of Things as a reality, the virtually endless number of ways that we can connect devices and have them work together will allow new and innovative solutions to many problems.

随着物联网逐渐成为现实,它将越来越成为工程师在设计过程中考虑的东西。随着物联网成为现实,我们可以将设备连接起来并让它们一起工作的方式几乎无穷无尽,这将为许多问题提供新的和创新的解决方案。

Jobs

乔布斯

No discussion of the impact that artificial intelligence is having on engineering would be complete without mentioning the impact of automation on jobs. In many places, there are widespread fears and anxieties surrounding automation. As machines begin to replace humans in certain jobs, there are worries that we will eventually have no need to hire people at all.

如果不提及自动化对工作的影响,那么关于人工智能对工程的影响的讨论就是不完整的。在许多地方,围绕着自动化存在着普遍的恐惧和焦虑。随着机器开始在某些工作中取代人类,人们担心我们最终根本不需要雇人。

It should be acknowledged that the threat to jobs is very real, and in some areas, it has a significant effect on communities. However, most researchers agree that the long-term benefits of automation outweigh the potential drawbacks.

应该承认,对就业的威胁是非常真实的,在某些地区,它对社区有重大影响。然而,大多数研究人员同意,自动化的长期好处大于潜在的缺点。

In the case of engineers specifically, artificial intelligence is opening some exciting new horizons for the field. These new opportunities should be embraced. It is important to realize that many of these advances will make a big difference to our ability to tackle the largest issues facing our civilization.

就工程师而言,人工智能正在为这个领域打开一些令人兴奋的新视野。我们应该抓住这些新的机遇。必须认识到,许多这些进步将对我们解决我们文明面临的最大问题的能力产生重大影响。

Al Affects Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Tech

影响区块链和加密货币技术

A fantastic illustration of how innovative use of AI can affect cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is the Magnus Collective. They comprise a decentralized network of AIs, including sensors, hardware, computers, robots, and human. It is a hybrid token, might be an evolution of the ICO concept.

人工智能的创新使用如何影响加密货币和区块链技术的一个梦幻般的例子是马格努斯集体。它们包括一个分散的人工智能网络,包括传感器、硬件、计算机、机器人和人。这是一个混合令牌,可能是 ICO 概念的演变。

Artificial intelligence has had an impact on just about every conceivable industry and sector, engineering is no exception. There are a number of different applications of artificial intelligence that are of considerable use to engineers. From allowing more intuitive and innovative interactions with software and machinery, to keeping a watchful eye over the work of engineers as well as other machines, artificial intelligence has many roles to play.

人工智能已经影响了几乎所有可以想到的行业和部门,工程也不例外。人工智能有许多不同的应用,对工程师有相当大的用处。从允许与软件和机器进行更直观和创新的交互,到密切关注工程师和其他机器的工作,人工智能可以发挥许多作用。

As our methods of collecting an analyzing large data sets become more refined, we are able to unlock the full potential of big data and algorithmic learning. We have always understood that both of these concepts can yield impressive results, but the transformative nature that they both have on engineering demonstrate that they are even more powerful than we once thought.

随着我们收集分析大数据集的方法变得更加精细,我们能够释放大数据和算法学习的全部潜力。我们一直都明白这两个概念都可以产生令人印象深刻的结果,但是它们在工程学上的变革性表明,它们比我们曾经想象的更加强大。

https://interestingengineering.com/how-artificial-intelligence-has-impacted-engineering


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