How AI Cameras Are Enabling the AI Economy

Published on December 7, 2021

A decade ago, touchscreen and 3G technologies enabled the smartphone revolution, transforming the way we work, live, and play. Whereas feature phones were limited to text and voice, Apple and Google smartphones enabled the app economy – a mobile app to perform every task.

Today, AI and 5G technologies are enabling a camera revolution and transforming our cities, industries, and transportation. Whereas CCTV cameras were limited to recording and playing video, AI cameras understand and perform actions based on their environment. And just as smartphones enabled the app economy, AI cameras are enabling the AI economy – an AI model to automate every task.

What is AI?

AI, or artificial intelligence, is the field of computer science that develops systems to understand the environment around them and perform specific actions. These systems, called AI models, analyze large sets of data to identify patterns, make decisions, and perform actions. Popular AI models include those used for face recognition, reading, and self-driving.

The Rise of AI

While the study of AI began in England during the 1940s and 1950s, its widespread use and deployment began after the smartphone revolution thanks to the proliferation of:

  • Large data sets to train AI models. Thanks to the app economy, each person now creates about 2 MB of data every second.  Using large sets of data in a process called “training” an AI model improves the precision of its pattern identification, decisions, and actions.
  • Chips to run AI models. In recent years, chipmakers have designed chips – called AI accelerators or AI chips – optimized for AI models and their large data sets. AI chips have become so efficient that they’re now designed into cameras, phones, and many other devices. This ubiquitous deployment of AI chips is known as Edge AI.  Edge AI cameras, phones, and other devices can now be programmed with AI models to automate everyday tasks.

The AI Economy

Among others, the AI economy is transforming our cities, manufacturing, and transportation systems:

  • In smart cities, AI cameras are used to operate buildings, public services, and roads to better serve the population, and to enable city managers and planners with trusted data for better decisions.
  • In manufacturing systems, AI is used for predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and quality assurance.
  • In transportation systems, AI cameras are used to navigate autonomous vehicles, manage traffic, and combat distracted and complacent driving.

The Players

The AI economy includes chip makers, device manufacturers, model developers, and software platforms:

  • Chip makers: Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm
  • Device Manufacturers: Axis, Bosch, Sony
  • Model developers: Brodmann17, Edgetensor, General Magic, Jungo
  • Software platforms: Smarter AI

What’s Next?

The AI economy will drive economic growth, job creation, and new opportunities, creating 2 billion AI cameras, $720 billion annual value, and 1.4 million jobs by 2026, supported by a growing number of AI models and developers to automate use cases across industries.


Chris Piche is a contributor to Grit Daily News and a Canadian computer scientist and technology entrepreneur. Piche is an expert in computer vision, P2P, and scalable video technologies, having created services including AT&T TV, BBM Video, Poly Video, and STUN/TURN/ICE. Piche has been awarded Best of Internet World, Canada’s Top Young Leader, and Top 40 under 40.

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