3DExperience World 2023: When AI crawls out of the Internet

AI has crawled out of the Internet because of digital transformation and it’s now dominated the physical activity of sailing, Will Roper Junior, an American physicist observed during his talk at 3DExperience World 2023 in Nashville.

One America’s Cup sailing team from New Zealand underwent digital transformation from a technology and engineering perspective, to try gain an edge over other sailing teams. In essence, the NZ team thought that DX can change the paradigm for how quickly one could learn, which would have impact upon how design and training could be done better.

“What this team did was really interesting. They used their visual thread to train AI to sail.”

Will described this as kind of an impossible mission, because “sailing is a physical entity and we cannot turn it into a closed form set of equations, it has way too many variables, it is non-linear in many instances…..” and the list goes on for this physicist as he described the near-impossibility of the NZ team teaching AI to sail in a physical world.

The power of simulation

But, in a synthetic world, this is possible because different scenarios would be thrown at it a little faster than in real-time. And in this way it began to sail better than humans.

Then the AI started to do different interesting things. It was able to “design boats exploiting physics it did not know about in academic literature, and was unexploited in sailing.”

Where else can we see this?

Self-driving vehicles to date, are the hardest real world problem for AI to tackle. There are regulatory and legal challenges associated with training AI to drive. As such industrial applications are far simpler, Will observed.

Nothing is stopping AI from going into other industries, and Will sees controlled environments like in aviation, or mining, or oil and gas, as being conducive for use and training of AI.