Most of us associate superpowers with comics and movies. But artificial intelligence and augmented reality make a lot of things possible these days. However, the decisive factor will be who uses the progress for himself.
“What is Batman’s superpower? Money. ”A standard joke in the comic world. Otherwise, almost all superheroes have very special, superhuman powers.
What we know from comics and their film adaptations is becoming reality – thanks to augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI). We see more, we know more, we can do more. We develop superpowers thanks to technology. The necessary small change provided – as with Batman and Iron Man. Only real.
Five superpowers mastered by artificial intelligence
Let’s take a quick look at what artificial intelligence can already do today.
1. X-Ray look
Superman has the ability to see through walls.
We can already use a digital twin to look inside machines or devices. The digital twin is a digital 3D copy of a machine, for example. We put these virtually over the original. Then we can look inside with an AR headset .
However, there is already an application that can recognize people through walls – solely based on the distortion of the WiFi signal.
2. Reading lips
An artificial intelligence recently hit the best lip readers in the world . It is now conceivable to eavesdrop on a person without having to hear him. And that even works over many meters, because machines have long had better eyes than people.
3. Measure vital functions without physical contact
A recently introduced AI can only measure human blood pressure with the help of a camera signal. We also know this from superheroes who recognize from a distance that someone is lying, for example, because blood pressure or heartbeat suddenly changes.
4. Night vision
Artificial intelligence has learned to brighten dark camera images so that previously invisible objects become visible again. With the right computing power in the background, this is of course also possible in real time.
5. Find people
In the X-Men films, Dr. Xavier’s ability to locate people across the planet using the Cerebro machine. In reality, the dark side of power has already caught up with fiction – without the “good” Professor X and Cerebro as the heart and engine.
A smart camera network spanning China enables authorities to track down one person among billions of others across the country in minutes.
Most of these examples are not yet available for augmented reality data glasses, but only run on high-performance computer systems. However, it won’t be long before they also work on the go or we can call them up in real time via 5G on the glasses.
This is where the real superpowers arise: Augmented Reality means bringing information from the computer into the real world. Through the connection with Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, we have previously had options that were previously considered impossible through data glasses.
The three building blocks of superpowers
1. Artificial intelligence
Roughly speaking: Through machine vision, computers can see, through natural language processing they understand us, through machine learning we train them and through deep learning they learn independently.
2. Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality expands our visually perceived world. Special glasses lay a layer with additional information about our field of vision.
It’s like the perspective in the Iron Man helmet. This additional information is directly related to physical space and can be changed by gestures or voice commands.
3. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things enables us to control and monitor machines or things that could previously only be operated with buttons on site using a network.
With augmented reality, we can now transfer virtual actions to the real world and, for example, impose real light bulbs with virtual arrows.
Beware of super villains
With great power comes great responsibility, of course. Not only Spider-Man knows that, but every comic reader. Every superhero has his arch enemy. And this nemesis often has a tragic case behind it that has brought him to the dark side.
Now he is using his technical or superhuman abilities for evil. This can be applied almost one to one to our superpowers thanks to augmented reality.
What can save lives on the one hand enables deep encroachments on privacy on the other hand. This has to be discussed intensively elsewhere. Because in reality, the good doesn’t necessarily win in the end. Unfortunately, this only applies to comics.