Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality – Combining tech for other-worldly efficiency

Perhaps one of augmented reality’s (AR) biggest hurdles is that the tools we use to deliver these augmented visions of our real world largely cannot match the design philosophy, creativity, and ambition of the people developing them. Uses of augmented reality, while powerful is typically designed by the same people who design traditional apps, and mainly for mobile devices.

With the growth of artificial intelligence (AI), the notion of a creativity ceiling is becoming a thing of the past due to the hands-off generational capabilities of AI that largely outperforms human scope in combination with augmented reality technology. From battlefield based decisions using artificial intelligence and AR integration to streamlining communication via IBM’s new development to making the workplace an easier place to train in, the benefits of AR and AI are insurmountable.

IBM’s AI and AR foundation

With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated every day, data visualization techniques are more important than ever before. Recognizing this as a need in the technological landscape, IBM has begun to implement some unique methods involving AI and augmented reality. IBM's Watson SDK for Unity is a scalable AI service that allows developers to bolster their applications with the power of AI and artificial intelligence.

Unity is traditionally a platform for gaming developers but is starting to expand into immersive experiences in general. The Watson SDK is used in building AR avatars for users, which combines voice and augmented reality; in chatbots, moderation tools and virtual agents that are developing a new form of “hands-off” communication. In a sense, AR Avatars are infused with their sentience to manage and problem-solve for its users. This allows for a sandbox speech experience.

Battlefield based decisions

Artificial intelligence and augmented reality also aid soldiers with pivotal choices they make on the battlefield. An AR device equipped with an AI brain can map out millions of situations and scenarios and can choose courses of action with the highest success rate. Integrating this in helmet heads-up displays can be monumental for soldiers and orders they follow and can potentially save lives. While the combination of this technology is still being fine-tuned and tweaked, each system exists on its own already.

AR HUDs have an increasing presence in helmets and automobile windshields, and the US Army has implemented AI generated scenarios for training and real-time combat purposes.

Train smarter

Another huge element of AI and AR technology is its impact on education, learning, and skill acquisition.  Doctors are already working in simulated conditions to model what could potentially happen in the real world. Efficiency for these programs as well as less overhead needed in terms of the human resources required to run these programs is dampened with a competent AI system keeping everything in check, as well as expediting the learning process.

The more data points an AI can generate during these programs, the more it will learn over time and may offer valuable solutions to the medical field, which is integral to the health of our modern societies. AI can use augmented reality to pinpoint crucial decisions in real time. For example, a surgeon in training can use an AI for mock brain surgeries, and the AI can map out a projection using AR for visualization purposes. These are being implemented in operating rooms across the globe.


Artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality are arguably the two most robust industries moving forward in the modern world. Combining such powerful technology is a monumental task which can have grand successes or failures. The promise of these technologies in combination are limitless and can lead to the generation of content, solutions, and problems that future generations will have to learn how to manage. Augmented reality and AI offer the new world limitless potential.

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