Smartphone technology is always improving, with many fans keeping a close eye on rumours and speculation regarding what new features will be included on the next iteration of the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S device.
With this in mind, it should perhaps come as no surprise that many people working within the consumer electronics industry are actively considering new features that sound like they could come straight out of a Hollywood science fiction movie.
Telstra chief scientist Dr Hugh Bradlow suggested artificial intelligence is increasingly likely to become a core component of gadgets in the future, being incorporated into everything from smartphones and wearable technology, to connected appliances and Fitbits.
Speaking to News Australia, Dr Bradlow said the possibilities of this technology stretches to crime prevention and health benefits.
“You'll be sitting at your desk one day and an ambulance will come and take to the hospital because you're about to have a heart attack. The ambulance will just arrive,” he said.
Predicting and preventing crime, picking restaurants and ensuring travellers don't find themselves without a place to stay
Google is already emerging as a major advocate of smarter technology and the general pace of AI innovation is accelerating rapidly.
Dr Bradlow said all that is required in a heart-saving scenario is for the right information to be fed into the right computer.
“You could be wearing a Band-Aid that measures your heart rate and that information is transmitted to a data centre running an algorithm looking for anomalies,” he explained.
The possibility of artificial intelligence being used to prevent crime, while futuristic in scope, would be somewhat removed from its portrayal in the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report.
Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030, a study carried out by Stanford University, found that predictive policing – using computers to analyse crime information – could be used to enhance the ability of police forces to predict where crime is likely to take place and “actually remove or reduce human bias”.
Such technology is already in use in US cities like New York and Washington DC, but Dr Bradlow believes it could also have a place in smartphones.
For example, in the case of looking for a restaurant that is safe to walk to, data could be drawn from public sources such as weather and traffic, as well as crime data, aggregating these results of offer a choice.
“If I ask my phone, it might not make the most obvious choice, but it might say this is the safest restaurant and I'll make a booking.”
“I envisage a world in which you say, ‘Goodnight house,’ and the house locks the doors,” Dr Bradlow commented.