Satellites with artificial intelligence will reinforce security

Last year, Mexican businessman Ariel Picker put the first satellite into orbit that will offer video surveillance services. It was the first time Mexico entered a recent global phenomenon called the "satellite constellation," which involves technological innovation in the use of small satellites capable of capturing images and interpreting them with artificial intelligence.

According to the Oxford Insights study, Mexico ranks 22nd out of 35 countries that are truly prepared for AI adoption and Mexican citizens recognize the potential in social applications in sectors such as health and education, areas that, if they improve their processes, would help up to 80 percent of Mexicans with lower incomes. Image: Pixabay
According to the Oxford Insights study, Mexico ranks 22nd out of 35 countries that are truly prepared for AI adoption and Mexican citizens recognize the potential in social applications in sectors such as health and education, areas that, if they improve their processes, would help up to 80 percent of Mexicans with lower incomes. Image: Pixabay

That is why Picker, Seguritech's CEO, is participating in the SmallSat Symposium 2020, in Silicon Valley, California, an event that brings together the leading companies in the satellite and space industry such as Space X, Airbus, Virgin Orbit, Ariane Rocket Map, among others. During this week, the symposium will present the main projections that we have in the area of the so-called SmallSat for the next 10 years.

"This participation is part of a permanent research and development program with which we are committed to continuing having the main competition and innovation tools," said Ariel Picker about the event in California.

Presentations are addressing topics such as the state of the small satellite industry; licensing requirements and regulatory policies; financial considerations; and Earth observation, cloud services, data processing, and analysis. In addition, forward-looking areas will be discussed from different perspectives: academia, business, government, and the military sector.

Seguritech's projections for the next few years include sending a constellation of satellites into space to contribute to security strategies. Satellite video surveillance, said Ariel Picker, will be a key strategy to combat this problem in Mexico. A low orbit satellite would provide, he says, the possibility of monitoring large areas in the country.

The satellite in question is approximately one meter in size and is equipped with technology that allows it to capture photos and videos of one and a half minutes in high definition. It will rotate around the Earth between 15 and 18 times a day at an altitude of approximately 400 kilometers (249 miles).

What is SmallSat? 

SmallSat is a new technology that makes satellites less bulky and therefore easier to operate and to launch into orbit. With this technology, countries will be able to connect even the most remote places on the planet to the Internet without the need for cables, which mainly benefits the poorest regions.

The systems that incorporate these satellites are also capable of acting during natural disasters; to predict them, or even to connect rescue operations of personnel or machines on the ground when no other communication is possible.

There is also a potential military use. Colonel Dennis Bythewood, executive officer for space development at the Missile and Space System Center, said the United States is considering using hundreds of satellites to detect potential threats to U.S. soil or its allies. In fact, the U.S. Air Force is already investing millions of dollars in advancing this technology.

With artificial intelligence, large amounts of data from high-resolution satellite images will be interpreted for governments to make decisions. Objects can be tracked to provide surveillance of cars, trains or ships. With this capability, a security agency could even count every vehicle or facility within a hostile camp, such as an organized crime camp.


A study conducted by the consulting firm DuckerFrontier and commissioned by Microsoft Latin America, in a simulation of maximum adoption of Artificial Intelligence technology in the next 10 years, reveals that Mexico could increase its GDP growth rate from current projections of 2.4% average annual growth until 2030, to levels ranging from 4.6% to 6.4%.

This momentum could be accompanied by an increase in productivity and demand for more skilled workers. According to this scheme, the business services industry would be the most benefited, with 9.4 million new jobs or the equivalent of new working hours (109% of additional jobs in 2030).

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, pointed out that technology can be a force multiplier that helps generate solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our world today.

In terms of professions, highly qualified jobs could increase by 67% over the next decade. In six of the seven largest sectors that were analyzed (Public Sector, Business Services, Commerce, Hospitality and Tourism, Construction, Manufacturing, Mining, Agriculture and Utilities), demand for highly skilled jobs could increase, where business services would require 8.9 million additional highly skilled workers (221% more jobs or the equivalent in working hours); manufacturing, 1.8 million (92%); and construction, 1 million (157%).

Some of the benefits of implementing AI in the country are that there will be better jobs, greater growth, and better profits. The jobs that will emerge from this technology are freelance car coaches, new generation architects, facial recreation specialist and data analyst of the Internet of things.

However, the challenges that the Mexican market will have to face are some points such as ensuring access to quality education for all, training all workers and ensuring access to cutting-edge technologies by all companies.

"The ethical issues surrounding AI technologies are of great importance and deserve careful reflection, and we are committed to doing our part to contribute to a broad and informed the discussion. We will need to build capacity for countries to act and collaborate more nimbly in solving these problems on a recurring basis. That's the only way to make sure that machines respond to people," he said.

To define whether Mexico can achieve this additional annual growth by developing AI and maximizing the cascade of effects, DuckerFrontier developed the so-called AI Readiness Index, which is a measure that crosses the AI Development and Dissemination variables, and unites all factors related to implementation and its conditions (e.g., related policies, innovation environment, technology ecosystem and cybersecurity, human capital) with another equally important axis, called IA Benefit Sharing.

Here, the likelihood of a country experiencing social benefits is detailed, while mitigating inequalities, labor crises, economic hardship, and analyzing governance and coalition building to incorporate innovation.

According to the AI Readiness Index, Mexico is in a strong position to accelerate the adoption of AI and to meet human capital needs. However, it also runs the risk of not making these benefits equitable for all of society because of its relatively weaker position with respect to its ability to guarantee equal access to higher education and new technologies for all population groups, regardless of income, gender or location.

Although Mexico has the opportunity to improve in the area of Participation of IA benefits, its position in the area of development and diffusion of AI among Latin American countries indicates that it is the second country best prepared to face the impact of AI on the economy.

Training for Artificial Intelligence

As industries are transformed by technology, so too is the workforce impacted. The disruptive potential of AI demands a mindset that is favorable to adaptability. Since change begins primarily within organizations, training employees with new skills should become an overall priority in every business.

As part of their commitment to democratize IA, Microsoft in partnership with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), recently inaugurated an AI laboratory within the facilities of the educational institution, to create an educational space where students can learn about the basics of AI, including automatic problem solving, programming, automatic learning, systems management, cybernetics, neural networks, among others.

The firm has programs aimed at students and teachers for the development of skills and preparation for future jobs, as well as for professionals who want to take courses to train and strengthen their knowledge in technology.

Services and applications in the Cloud or Artificial Intelligence, today are part of all processes, transforming the way how links and work are generated, amplifying our abilities to perform tasks, exploiting to the maximum our own capabilities. Artificial Intelligence has come to transform the economy on a massive scale and Mexico is on the right track.

AI transforms every industry around the world, and the healthcare sector, one of the most people-focused industries, relies on technology to help mitigate the rising cost of healthcare and create better outcomes for patients.

In Mexico, the emerging and innovative Code 46 initiative improves health care services through the creation of a biobank, which offers patients access to information about their genetic code, helping the medical and scientific community to develop personalized and more efficient treatments through Azure and Microsoft Genomic (IA).

By Mexicanist