From early disease detection to facial-recognition tech, here's how AI is integrated with everyday tools

NOV 19, 2021

  • Artificial intelligence is no longer limited to science fiction — it's in daily technology.
  • Because it's in everything from diagnostic solutions to facial recognition, you may already use AI.
  • The next frontier of AI will be intelligent robots that operate and learn independently.

Artificial intelligence, or the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, once existed only in science fiction novels and movies. But today, the technology is being integrated into more and more applications, influencing how we live our everyday lives.

For businesses, AI has become a real competitive advantage. Companies are increasingly looking at how AI will bring value to their operations and customers. In a recent study, 50% of 2,395 respondents reported that their companies had adopted AI in at least one of their business functions.

At the same time, AI is making inroads into our lives at all levels. Whether it's your smartphone autocorrecting spelling mistakes or the algorithm that decides what appears in social feeds, AI is doing the heavy lifting. And then there are the more visible applications of AI that are bringing greater convenience and efficiencies to our day-to-day interactions — chatbots, navigation tools, voice assistants, and more.

When it comes to technological innovation in the field of AI, Taiwan is punching well above its weight class, building on its reputation as a global hub for information and communications technology and semiconductor production. Below are three Taiwanese companies — all of which were celebrated recently at the 2021 Taiwan Excellence Awards — whose product innovations highlight how AI is already changing our lives for the better.

Disease detection in a matter of seconds

The need to access speedy and accurate medical diagnoses, often managed remotely, is a growing trend in healthcare that has been accelerated greatly by the pandemic. And thanks to the growing availability of AI-driven medical solutions, early disease detection is becoming a reality for a growing number of people around the world.

Over 400 million people worldwide have diabetes, and it is estimated that one-third of these patients will eventually progress to diabetic retinopathy (DR), a condition that damages the back of the eye and can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. This is due in part to screening rates of less than 50%, even in developed countries. However, because of AI-assisted diagnostic software, it may be possible for doctors and ophthalmologists to catch DR earlier and raise the standard of diabetes care.

This software is produced by Acer Medical and known as VeriSee DR. It provides support on clinical decisions by using AI to analyze images of a patient's retina and delivering a referral recommendation. The device takes just three seconds to determine whether the patient should be referred to an ophthalmologist for further care and has already obtained approvals from regulatory authorities in Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Thanks to the AI technology powering VeriSee DR, patients are able to stay on top of their health checks, while doctors and ophthalmologists benefit from a more efficient referral process.

How AI in facial recognition is enhancing security across industries

Facial-recognition technology works by matching a human face from a digital image or a video frame against a database of faces based on a set of algorithms. While the technology has existed for decades, developments in AI that allow instantaneous searches of these databases has greatly improved speed and accuracy.

Real-time AI-powered solutions are able to improve the precision of facial recognition to within a few points of 100% accuracy. Cyberlink, the Taiwanese tech company known for its innovations in multimedia software, has developed the FaceMe facial-recognition engine that incorporates its AI capabilities.

Powered by deep-learning algorithms, the engine claims a 99.73% accuracy level. Even when masks are worn, as has been common during the pandemic, FaceMe can still produce 98.5% accuracy rate.

Facial recognition is useful across a wide variety of sectors, such as retail, healthcare, and home security. The financial industry is a major growth sector as banks, insurance companies, and financial services look for solutions that will allow them to secure biometric verification and help combat cybercrime. Recently, FaceMe has been used in the fight against COVID-19, providing facial-recognition capabilities and temperature-scanning kiosks throughout Taiwan.

Independently learning robots powered by AI

Intelligent, self-aware robots might be the stuff of dystopian fiction, but AI-powered robotic technology is creating exciting possibilities.

Until very recently, most robots could be programmed to perform a series of tasks — for instance, the industrial robots we may encounter on a factory floor. These are known as nonintelligent robots. AI-controlled robots are far more capable: Thanks to their advanced software, they're able to perform more complex tasks and can even, in some cases, learn and improve independent of external commands.

Robots in the service industry are nothing new, but Ayuda, a service robot designed and manufactured in Taiwan by Syscom, goes beyond novelty value. Ayuda is capable of facial recognition, voice recognition, voice chat, video chat, QR-code reading, and even the detection of human forms.

And that's just the basics. Ayuda can also provide environment mapping and target navigation, which means it can build a virtual representation of its physical surroundings and use this to move around independently. Ayuda is even able to identify people not wearing masks and then request that they do so.

Acer Medical, Cyberlink, and Syscom were recently recognized by the Taiwan Excellence Awards. These awards have been held annually by the country's Ministry of Economic Affairs since 1993 to celebrate how technological innovation helps people live more rewarding lives. Each year, the Taiwan Excellence Awards select the most innovative products in Taiwan across four major categories: research and development, design, quality, and marketing. As well as recognizing domestic achievement, the awards serve as a benchmark for innovation and excellence in international markets.