AI Institute's Steve Skiena Part of LIA Panel


The breakfast meeting hosted by the Long Island Association featured participants from Hauppauge-based ULC Robotics, Brookhaven Lab, and Hofstra and Stony Brook universities.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already beginning to infiltrate Long Islanders' lives, from delivering cute cat videos on the web to inspecting joints on the 30-megawatt Deepwater Wind turbine installation off Block Island, experts said Tuesday.

Speaking at a Long Island Association event in Melville, Ali Asmari, a program manager at Hauppauge-based ULC Robotics Inc., said that the five turbine towers of the Deepwater Wind installation require frequent inspection for defects.

His company's drones have taken about 2,000 pictures of welds and other structural features. Asmari said that volume of photos would take humans about 60 hours to process, while a machine learning system needed only about a half-hour.

The 90-person company also is developing systems using drones and cameras mounted on a van to map and inspect utility poles.

Panelists at the LIA event said the terms "machine learning" and "artificial intelligence" are used interchangeably, but are different.

Kerstin Kleese van Dam, director of the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven National Laboratory, said machine learning lets computers learn from data, while artificial intelligence lets computers learn from data and make decisions based on what they've learned.

"What we're trying to do is take inspiration from how humans make decisions," she said.


Reprinted from Newsday, February 5, 2019