Wednesday, January 3, 2018

K.I.T.T. The Fantasy VS The Technological Reality

Ever since I first dreamt of the idea of owning my very own K.I.T.T. replica I was always fascinated by the idea that one day everything that this car could do in the T.V. show Knight Rider would one day be possible. Sure there are many that would say; "You're a dreamer." especially way back in the early part of the 1980's. But I have always stuck by that belief that much of what we had seen in the Television serious would one day be a reality. Now here we are more than 30 years almost 40 years and the technology that has emerged over the last years has sure proven me right. We now have autonomous self driving cars, A.I. self controlled drones, A.I. robots.... the list is endless! The technology for all of those things I have just mentioned is improving at an alarming rate. Now I could spend a lot of time in this article eluding to and referencing numerous videos on You Tube alone that demonstrate the capabilities of many of these remarkable technologies, but that is not the main focus of this article, suffice it to say it REALLY is incredible and for those with a serous interest in such things I would urge you to look into some of those videos and articles on the very latest in A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) and learning machines for it is truly amazing to see what was once just a few short years ago considered to be the wildest of Science Fiction become a steadfast reality practically overnight.

But as I say ever since I even dreamt of having my very own K.I.T.T. I was in love with the idea of making K.I.T.T. as real as possible. Even with our Knight O.S. project we are barely scratching the surface. We are not using Real A.I. in it's truest form, we are simply using voice recognition that uses if statements to check various conditions, and a variety of sensor inputs to "mimic" as best we can K.I.T.T. from the T.V. show. now this is due to a number of reasons. The number one reason being that we feel K.I.T.T. MUST have William Daniels voice, without that it's just NOT K.I.T.T., many true Knight Rider fans will agree I'm sure although there are a few that are not that particular about it either way. I would NOT be one of them. So this being the number one reason all of our K.I.T.T. responses are simply audio clips from the TV show, many have been spliced and altered to help increase K.I.T.T.'s vocabulary somewhat, but a limited method to be sure. Now today there is a fast technology merging whereby you can simply take a minute to two minute sample of a persons voice and then you are able to make that voice say anything you want, including emotional in fluctuations and the lot! So our current method of how we are doing responses fro our K.I.T.T. could well be obsolete in the very near future.

But what about the many other amazing things we say K.I.T.T. do in the Television series? What about K.I.T.T.'s indestructible outer shell??? Yes this too is something that is being developed by MilitaryDefence industries. There is currently a application called Linex that is quite commonly used to line truck beds, and although it has a rough, pebbled sort of surface does tend to exhibit many of the abilities associated with K.I.T.T.'s "Molecular Bonded Shell," It will not be long before this is developed further and we will soon have a finish that can be applied like a paint that will be a shiny gloss black.
K.I.T.T.'s ability to auto darken his windows is now a reality, in fact the technology exists where you can not only auto darken the windows but actually display images inside of the glass or even project moving video images into the glass as well. So that is a technology that has even surpassed what we hoped for.
As I had mentioned earlier about self controlled A.I. drones and autonomous self driving cars, it is in fact totally possible today to have a self controlled A.I. controlled car capable of handling itself on the road actually better than it's human driver. If you have any doubts about that again I would urge you to look into the very latest in self controlled drone technology alone. There is a very good video on You Tube that demonstrates how this very small self controlled drone is able to avoid being snatched out of the air by a human being, completely self controlled by it's on board A.I. system, this little drone has facial recognition and many, many more remarkable features and is currently being used by the military for the elimination of Terrorist threats and even crowd control. This sort of A.I. is just tip of the proverbial Iceberg my friends.
And although I find some uses of such technology potentially frightening I can't help but to think of all of the good than can come from such technologies as well. If you imagine a world where cars are incredibly safe & intelligent where they can not only be your personal transport but serve as a companion I'm many ways just like the relationship Michael had with K.I.T.T. in the T.V. show. Such things are completely possible. Not too long ago I had seen another video on You Tube where a company is actually making A.I. sex dolls / robots, these robots are capable of remembering what their owners tell them and can interact with them on an almost Human level. With such technologies there are going to be "Miss Uses" of it to be sure, but I try to focus on the positive even though I am fully aware of what I like to call; "The Borg" or "Terminator" scenarios. Ultimately that I believe comes down to a Human decision, because it is by choice that we can have either K.I.T.T. who was programmed to protect Human life or Terminator which saw all humans as a threat. ??

But I hope within the scope of this article I have opened your eyes to the many wondrous advances in current A.I. technology that have come about that can now very easily make our dream as K.I.T.T. replicators to having a real life and fully functioning replica of that truly amazing car from a simple 1980's television show that was and still is loved by so many. The next generation beyond mine will have so much more to add to this hobby should it still exist in that time ?? I certainly like to think so.