“Do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda, Star Wars
In this article of our theme on Everything Connected, we summarize our objectives based our initiative to engineer the systems necessary to meet human needs in a complex technological world. This will account for what we are embarking on – called the fifth industrial revolution (or Industry and Services 5.0).
Neuromorphic engineering is a field that focuses on the design and development of systems that mimic the structure and function of the human brain. It aims to create hardware and software systems that can process and analyze large amounts of data in a way that is efficient, fast, and adaptable.
One of the key goals of neuromorphic engineering is to use Big Data in conjunction with large, distributed cloud computing systems to create intelligent systems that can learn and adapt to changing environments and situations. These systems can be used to perform a wide range of tasks, including analyzing data, predicting outcomes, and making decisions.
In the context of the fifth industrial revolution, or Industry 5.0, neuromorphic engineering has the potential to revolutionize the way we produce, manage, move, market, maintain, and empower ourselves in a complex technological world. By enabling human-centric interactions and customized products and services, neuromorphic engineering can help us meet our needs in a more efficient and effective way.
Herewith, the needs for neuromorphic engineering (using Big Data in conjunction with very large, distributed cloud computing, coupled with analytics and intelligence) will merge with the physicality (mechanics and physics) of machines to make, manage, move, market, maintain, and empower us in ways not imagined enabling human-centric interactions and customized products and service.
We have progressed as a civilization by learning from nature and created science and mathematics to understand its functioning. In doing so we have tapped into Earth’s resources to mine, drill, cultivate and forage; built large metropolises, traversed the seas, learned to fly and enabled communications. Our consternations as peoples have also manifested as wars which have only intensified in magnitude with our technological prowess.
Today, as we plan our next iteration as a civilization, there is need to reflect on our checkered past – to glean the good from the bad, the possible from the improbable, the basics and the fundamentals. We need to understand the complexity of the systems that we are undertaking to build, so that as we progress, we account for the knowns and unknowns, and are mindful of its workings and the consequences. There is this push to escape from earth and its problems, but as carbon-based entities are we fit to live beyond our earthly confines? Can we build systems to do this that are purpose driven, safe and effective; and yet enable us to stay true to our cherished belief of freedom?
Imagining the future requires intense planning. In today’s world we need to link and intertwine heterogeneous systems, make them interoperable, aggregate data, and provide pertinent information at the right time and the right place with flexibility and ease of use. The events of 2020 and the COVID pandemic debacle taught us that we weren’t prepared and caught the world off guard. It has in no small measure changed the footprint of our step in our progress as a civilization. It has defined new knowns and created more unknowns. It has made the case for good and thorough planning ever so pertinent.
These are some of the emerging technologies facilitating Industry 4.0 that will be part of the synthetic ecosystem of Numorpho Cybernetic Systems (NUMO):
- Adaptive Engineering, Digital PLM, Digital Thread and Digital Twin – the aim here is to build a complete ecosystem for product design, development, and manufacturing, and tie it seamlessly to the marketing, sales, support, and service functions that is currently decoupled with the upstream processes.
- Smart (Additive, Subtractive and Discrete) Manufacturing – the intent here is to utilize new materials and enable manufacturing using a hybrid approach between 3D printing, traditional manufacturing and assembling externally procured parts based on feasibility, appropriateness, cost, and cycle time. The goal here is to expand on lean techniques, utilize latest technology and provide for mass manufacturing of customized products with inbuilt smart capabilities.
- 5G, IoT and Smart Devices – Connected Technologies will be utilized in conjunction with Big Data and Analytics to provide a concerted feedback, notification and processing automation for the flow and after-market tie to the product. This technology will be based on the conviction that each product has its own “life” that can be monitored at each stage until it reaches its end-of-life. Examples of this that are already in use are predictive maintenance of vehicles and how paper printers can order their own ink based on a subscription service.
- AR, VR and XR – As augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR – collectively mixed reality, or XR) technology and hardware continue to evolve and become more accessible, enterprises are expanding the range of use cases for XR across their organizations. What used to be seen as merely a marketing “gimmick” has evolved to impact the entire product lifecycle and customer experience now measurably. Here I plan to integrate with HoloLens and Magic Leap to deliver mixed and immersive experiences to customers and users of the systems that will be created.
- Existential Intelligence (EI) the Next AI – In several whitepapers the concept of the 5th order of cybernetics was developed to evolve the next generation of intelligence and mechanics that would have perception and be contextual. Called EI, this will be the basis for embedding smartness via tenets in philosophy and evolution to enable intelligent products make pragmatic decisions.
- Blockchain Distributed Ledger – Utilize this technology for internal management of master data via a private blockchain and seamlessly communicate with partners and services to prevent duplication and enable optimization, security, and immutability.
- Quantum Computing – Research into the workings of Quantum Computing to provide for a Neuromorphic basis for the computational needs for the next generation products and services being devised.
We plan to integrate the above technologies into a cohesive synthetic ecosystem defined by our four tenets to innovate, automate, integrate and enact that will enable imagining, building, and supporting the needs of the future. The goal is to merge engineering and technology together and provide a cybernetic fabric for the 4th Industrial Revolution and beyond, where products and services will be a coordinated mix of physical, digital and (even) biological processes.
In order to prepare for the future, we need to first understand it. The future is not a single event or outcome, but rather a series of possibilities that are constantly evolving. To plan for the future, we need to identify and assess the risks and opportunities that lie ahead. We also need to understand the trends and forces that are shaping our world. Once we have identified the risks and opportunities, we can begin to develop plans to address them. We can also use this information to help us make decisions about our personal lives, our businesses, and our communities.
- In Engineering, we work with known knowns to build products to cater to a specific utility. In doing so we have created tools – mechanical and virtual to enable us to use science and mathematics to better understand the behaviors of the objects by virtual simulation and facilitate us to build and automate its construction utilizing robots. We used to have a funny joke about mathematicians vs engineers when we were in undergrad: Given a problem to meet a girl who is on the other side of the road and the condition is that the traverse can be made only half a distance to the goal in each second, how many seconds would a mathematician or an engineer (not chickens, well that is a totally different matter) take to reach the girl? The mathematician would say that it is impossible, the engineers reply would be that he would be close enough very soon to do anything humanly possible! Talk about low tolerances (pun intended). But it is said of engineering that product development is never really done (prototype purgatory, anyone?) – and you have to shoot the engineer to deliver the product. Our concept of Adaptive Engineering will utilize parametric modeling, generative design, and axiomatic (rules-based) algorithmic engineering constructs to design and engineer the next generation products and services. Our memberships at the innovation center mHUB will help facilitate this.
- In Information Technology, it is all about capturing the knowns and accounting for the unknowns as we progress in the journey of Digital Transformation. Unlike engineering, there are infinite possibilities to achieve the desired outcome depending upon business strategies, integration techniques and creative front-end depictions. Our objectives for IT are to coordinate business processes, adaptive engineering, and data alongside with operational constructs to build a seamless IT-OT interlink that is robust, secure, scalable and sustainable. Our projects with MxD will help facilitate this.
- For Artificial Intelligence, we take known solutions to train a network so that it can solve more complex unknown problems that it encounters most times with success. Today’s AI (classified as Narrow AI) faces what is known as the brittleness issue in the sense that some of its failures will be catastrophic. There is also this notion of Superintelligence that people feel will encroach on our very sense of privacy by knowing all that we know (aka Big Brother, Orwellian World 1984) and also the Technological Singularity where machines would think human life unnecessary and obliterate and obviate us. In proposing an evolution to our current definition of Artificial Intelligence, we have created a concept for Existential Intelligence (EI), a tenet based on contextual perception, pragmatism and evolution classified as the 5th order of Cybernetics that we plan to expand further for actionable intelligence. We plan to use in all the products and services that will be created. EI will also account for unknowns by adapting to environmental conditions and reacting to untrained circumstances to solve new unknown problems.
- Bioinformatics develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data. Elon Musk’s Neuralink is defining a new way of Mind-Machine interactions. from being able to solve simple issues (why have a smart phone?) to complex medical conditions like enabling sight, sound, and speech, and helping people with paralysis. Utilizing such brain introspections and its analysis using Neuromorphic Engineering, Big Data techniques and Cloud based ubiquitous communications, we plan to build the next hardware and software-based mind-machine interfaces to enhance communication skills not only for the physically challenged but also to enable faster, real-time, and pertinent communication with the physical and digital worlds. Our Mantra M5 platform will facilitate this coordination for the next incarnation of digital, the Metaverse utilizing Nvidia’s Omniverse 3D orchestration platform and Web3.
- The next generation of Intelligent Computing will extend AI into areas that correspond to human cognition, such as analytic or critical thinking, interpretation and autonomous adaptation utilizing newer technologies like Quantum Computing and Genetic Programming. This is crucial to overcoming the so-called “brittleness” of AI solutions based on neural network training and inference, which depend on literal, deterministic views of events that lack context and commonsense understanding. Intelligent Computing must be able to address novel situations and abstraction to automate ordinary human activities. Our collaborations with the Argonne national Lab’s Chain Reaction Innovators will enable us to preclude such advances and be the first to utilize them in real world applications.
- Cybernetics has typically been defined as the interaction between mind and machine. With more and more intelligent machines coming to the foray driven by AI, there is need to understand the ramifications this next industrial revolution brings to properly coordinate the complexities that arise in coordinating thought and action, intelligence, and the act of performing the task so that unintended circumstances are obviated. Cybernetics is a wide-ranging field concerned with regulatory and purposive systems. One of the key objectives in cybernetics is to seek a coherent theory for explaining the mechanisms of both natural and machine (artificial) intelligence and their correspondence.
Our ambition is to leave a lasting impact on people by building a portfolio that is not only solely driven by standard measurable KPIs but also by empathy, usability, sensibility, passion, and purpose. These ROIs are immeasurable yet invaluable considerations to justify our existence and progression as a company. To this end we commit to assembling an awesome team of diverse individuals whose achievements and talents will enable us to achieve a hockey stick growth during our formative years and be a recognized world leader in 5 years. Our methodology will merge Strategic Intent with Design Thinking and Systems Engineering to put forth a curated novel approach to planning and defining multi-faceted products and services that are smart, functional, adaptable, and connected.
And Chicago will be the beginning of our journey. Here is a statement by Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect (1864-1912) “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.”
We will also learn as we go along this journey that the “big is not always beautiful.” We will have to dig deeper and get our hands dirty in the interstices of things to get things done. Talents and beauty need to be widely distributed and scattered around as much as they need to be in concentrated nodes. We are at a junction of history. We can either take what we already know and replicate it, or we can take that which we do now and push ourselves to transform it into something far better. We have the choice to either continue moving down the same road or forge a road that is in many ways unknown. The choice is ours.
The future is always evolving and changing, so it is important to continually reassess the risks and opportunities that are present. The best way to prepare for the future is to be flexible and adaptable, and to constantly seek new information and insights. Re-imagining the future in this new paradigm requires looking beyond artifact creation and invention, to engineering systems that are nimble, flexible, and adaptable to the changing needs of the customer and the world.
It is important to reflect on the past and learn from both the successes and the challenges of previous civilizations as we plan for the future. It is also important to consider the complexity of the systems we are building and to be mindful of the potential consequences of our actions.
As we look to the future, it is clear that we will need to build systems that are interoperable and able to aggregate and analyze large amounts of data in order to provide relevant information to users in a flexible and easy-to-use way. The events of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the importance of good planning and being prepared for unexpected challenges.
It is also important to consider the ethical and moral implications of our actions as we build systems and technologies for the future. We need to ensure that our systems are purpose-driven, safe, and effective, and that they are aligned with our values of freedom and respect for the rights of others. It is also important to consider the environmental impact of our actions and to build systems that are sustainable and that respect the natural world.
As we move forward, it will be important to engage in open and honest dialogue about the direction of our civilization and to work together to build a future that is inclusive, equitable, and sustainable for all.
NUMO’s products and solutions will further flatten the world to make it more connected with the redistribution of talents and beauty in this vast space of the earth and in the Universe. They will be constant reminders of who we are, where we came from and where we are going. They will keep in step with the progression of technology, our new understanding of the universe we live in and our self-introspection of who we are. They will also account for all our inalienable rights, be mindful of our place in history, of our position amongst the living and the particles that constitute our being.
NI+IN UCHIL Founder, CEO & Technical Evangelist