We control devices by speech recognition, algorithms support us in Internet research, and navigation systems guide us to our destination: artificial intelligence (AI) has long been part of our everyday lives. However, as with many technological innovations, not everything always works according to plan in the field of AI as well. Sometimes, a self-learning system produces results that do not necessarily meet expectations. Some of the most amusing AI stories are compiled on the website of the “Science Year 2019” under the motto “Nobody would ever have come up with that!”
Attached to a weather balloon, a video camera climbs to a height of 34 kilometres into the stratosphere. The balloon bursts and the camera, as well as the other measuring equipment, sink back to earth attached to parachute. This spectacular video of the advanced physics course of Heinrich-Böll-Gymnasium, a grammar school in Troisdorf, almost wouldn’t have come to be: balloon and equipment – on loan from Jülich atmospheric researcher Christian Rolf – disappeared without trace after landing. Only after a few days did the repentant thief secretly deposit the camera and measuring equipment in the schoolyard of the grammar school.
– Speaking of: weather balloon –
You always wanted to know how fast you were going on the elevator? The “phyphox” app developed at RWTH Aachen University makes it possible. It turns your own smartphone into a richly equipped experimental kit. “phyphox” harnesses the phone’s sensors for this purpose and uses the data obtained for physical experiments. For example, the functionality of a sonar can be understood, the acceleration of gravity can be measured or the fall velocity can be determined. A website for the app offers further experimental ideas, explanatory videos and instructions. Physics the smart way.
Photos: Heinrich-Böll-Gymnasium Troisdorf, Maksim M/shutterstock.com, Nadya_Art/shutterstock.com