You're in Paris. You are not a French speaker. The menu arrives at the restaurant. You don't recognise many dishes.
You point your Huawei P30 Pro at the menu. Suddenly what was in French is now in English on your screen. You order the lamb.
Later, you visit the Eiffel Tower. You point your phone at the icon and trigger the travel assistant. Up comes information on the tower, its history and significant facts.
At dinner, you are a bit worried you overdid it at lunch. So you decide to take it easy calorie-wise at dinner. You point your phone at your food – it measures volume and the calorific intake and flashes that information on screen.
These are just small examples of how artificial intelligence (AI) is used by the new Huawei P30 Pro smartphone – and how AI will become a more common (and commonly used and accepted) part not just of our phones, but life in general.
AI is the central nervous system connecting your fingers to your shopping targets. Al mimics the cognitive functions of a human – such as the ability to learn, reason and solve problems. It becomes smarter over time as a bank of knowledge is built up through tracking behaviours, data input, speech or facial recognition.
The most obvious sign of this in the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro is photography – the area where this release breaks new ground. It's been called the first time mobile phone technology has truly transcended into studio-class photography and videography.
The big advance is in zoom, particularly for the top-of-the-range P30 Pro. Zoom has often been a weakness in mobile phone cameras, with most unable to magnify significantly without distortion. The P30 Pro has a 5x optical zoom, a 10x hybrid zoom and a 50x digital zoom, the most powerful yet seen - and photographs seen at the recent launch in Paris show back up the claims of new levels of clarity with the "periscope" system.
So zoomed shots keep their edges sharp, retain their colours and don't blur out as regular smartphones do.
But that's not the end of it – AI helps optimise your photo-taking skill. If, for example, you are taking a shot which includes the sky, the AI inherent in the P30 will boost the colour saturation, making the blue seem even more blue. Don't want that? Want the natural look of the sky at that moment? Just turn off the optimisation.
AI zoom and AI object recognition ensure the camera is aware of what to focus on when taking photos. The recognition capability is the result of Huawei's extensive training, teaching the processor to identify objects and distinguish one thing from another. It meant putting millions upon millions of images through the AI, a long and extremely laborious process – but great for phone camera users.
A new stabilisation algorithm steadies the camera both for stills and video. Another big feature of the P30 and P30 Pro is its low-light function, where darkness doesn't prevent photos appearing almost as if they were taken during the day, with colours remaining steadfast.
AI, of course, is not without controversy; there are fears the data it captures could be hacked and/or used maliciously. However, Lu says Huawei is basing its development of AI on principles which seek to protect user data and ensure security; they are using an open platform to encourage developers around the world to add new AI-powered apps.
"It's possible to find negatives in any new technology," he says, "but we will not be using anyone's personal data when a camera is trained on them.'
The key, he says, is that technology like AI should be secure and transparent, user privacy and rights should be protected and AI should facilitate development of social equality and welfare – like the use of AI to help deaf kids read a book by focusing the phone on a page (many deaf children find it difficult to read) which then screens the sign language explanation of what is written in the book.
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