Biggest Breakthroughs in AI 2020

As chaotic and distorted as the year 2020 appeared to be, the tech world managed to record several wins with innovations that are sure to change the future of tech for good. 

With a tightly contested stage for more impactful and creative ideas – ranging from robotic cars/taxis to quantum computing -Artificial Intelligence is set to exponentially ease the human race’s continued existence. Many game-changers and stakeholders within this esoteric industry have made some exciting and significant breaks in AI in the year 2020.

Source: Image by Seanbatty from Pixabay

Some of these breakthroughs are listed here:

Deep Learning at scale

AI pioneer, professor, and maybe part-time prophet Geoff Hinton has accurately predicted a couple of AI breakthroughs in time past. Most of his seemingly unlikely and contrary ideas and prophecies eventually materialize and come to pass; one of these ideas is Deep Learning.

Deep Learning is a type of machine learning that takes its inspiration from the human brain’s function, known as the artificial neural network.

Infamous for its propagation, Hinton has hinted that he believes in an AI future where Deep Learning will be capable of fully mirroring all of the human intelligence as we know it. Extensive work on Deep Learning had begun in the ’80s but had suffered setbacks due to a lack of relevant sustaining material such as collating material power and sufficient data. 

Again, thanks to innovative tech, this is old news as breakthroughs have been made, enabling a confident projection of the mind-blowing ability to use Deep Learning to replicate human reasoning and neural activity accurately.


Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing encapsulates the tech concept, which uses quantum mechanics elements to provide computation to fix specific issues. In 2020, this developing trend made tangible progress, especially with welcoming solutions like Jiuzhang’s computer dominating the quantum space. 

This is particularly great news for the AI world given the benefits quantum computers have compared to regular, good old ‘super’ computers. Case in point – quantum computers can easily power a lot of promised AI applications. Also, quantum computing offers a realistic, human effect which is most likely unachievable with regular non-binary computing.

Automated Cars

The year 2020 gave birth to the breakthrough of automated cars and taxis, engineered by top tech companies. This development implied transportation without a physically present driver or safety officer on board. Before this time, this technology had already been introduced and subtly popularised, but it was not until 2020 before companies released these cars to the public for proper test driving. In China, the Go Robotaxi service was launched, making its producers Baidu one of the first to do it on such a large scale. In a relative development, companies like Elon’s Tesla also incorporated this technology into some of their latest releases.


AI Chips

As AI applications have seen increased demand, AI hardware production has also seen a sharp increase. For example, Nvidia’s Ampere AI chips caused quite a stir during its announcement during the first quarter of 2020. Its main goal is to convince AI shops to opt for an AI chip capable of training and inference. 

By pushing this narrative from an economic standpoint, it only makes sense that Nvidia’s Ampere AI chips might become the new path to tread.

This is a welcome development for companies that invest in the production of data services for commercial purposes. Of course, this means a lower expenditure for these companies and faster operation on all production levels.

Natural language processing

In the year 2020, significant progress was made in AI production with high natural language system processing levels. Before then, voice chats were already a trend, with chatbots and consumer technology like Siri personalized to engage consumers.

However, these language processing systems were inaccurate most of the time due to the gap in comprehending and interpreting certain aspects of Human speech, especially the emotional aspects. Hence, results were not very accurate when the delivered commands had multiple underlying interpretations. 

The year 2020 produced a breakthrough in that area as several natural language processors progressed with their translation of these emotional and very human aspects of natural language.

It is even predicted that some of these natural language models will aid in delivering precise and ‘to the point’ results, which in turn translate to better sales for the companies involved and even better experiences for the consumers and customers.

Vaccine Development

Source: Image by torstensimon from Pixabay

As is common knowledge, 2020 ushered in the global pandemic that would claim many lives, shake economies, and subject the world to unprecedented changes. But, unfortunately, the virus would have claimed more lives than it did, save for the timely intervention of AI models used to aid research on the coronavirus, which was then used to produce vaccines that would combat the spread of the virus and aid the development of a lasting cure.

Large amounts of data in a typical virus’ makeup naturally slow down the inquiry and testing process. However, relevant AI can sift through the haystack and deliver the information on which virus components can produce results, revolutionizing the future of medicine and technology.


Mass Surveillance Tech

Another milestone achieved in the AI world is the development of the use of AI in the field of mass surveillance. There was increased demand and considerably increased supply of facial recognition tech, which raised many eyebrows for mostly moral reasons like the possibility of an erosion of privacy rights and the likely possibility of the misuse of this volatile information by not so well-meaning users. 

There are also speculations that the biometric data used were generated mainly from users’ social media details without their explicit permission. On the upside, mass surveillance tech launched in 2020 will assist in fighting crime by tracing criminal activity, making accessibility and eventual apprehension of the culprits an easier task to perform for law enforcement agencies.

As more innovative ideas are born, AI will be all the more relevant in the future of tech. AI promises to effect the much desired positive change and progress in medicine/health, data generation, beneficial algorithms, and solution-providing technology.

By working tirelessly to make the world a better and less stressful place for its inhabitants, AI is on its way to becoming a mundane aspect of human existence.


Finally, I want to share with you these links suitable for the matter:

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