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This was Thinkers Talk: Artificial Intelligence

One afternoon with the industry leaders

Oracle has invited to a 2050 Thinkers Club Future Talk with entrepreneur Mic Hirschbrich (Updatemi), work place expert Thomas Schmutzer (KPMG), quantum physicist Georg Gesek (Novarion) and big data expert Wolfgang Kienreich (Know Center) in the Viennese Herrengasse, to discuss how artificial intelligence will change our business and society.

“2050 will be the year when only 10 percent of work is done by human people. We will still live to experience that“, says Novarion founder and quantum physicist Georg Gesek. “And we’ll also see how a quantum computer says, ‚I am robot’.”


When the artificial learns from human stupidity

So must we fear the spirits we evoked? Today, AI is making the world dramatically safer: self-driving cars are already causing 90 percent fewer accidents than people driving. Even in medicine, the AI-assisted tumor recognition achieved terrific success. Robotic lawyers scour thousands of court sentences in a matter of seconds to detect similarities in the cases.

“The biggest threat is that the macines learn from our stupidity“, warns Mic Hirschbrich, Updatemi. As was the case in the US, for example, when algorithms based on existing judgments were to decide whether or not a prisoner should be resocialized: AI’s decision was racially motivated.


The biggest threat is that the machines learn from our stupidity.

Mic Hirschrbirc, updatemi

AI, who knows what she wants

The technological development of artificial intelligence is exponential. But when will it reach a complexity, at which machines begin to perceive their own status changes? If everything in the universe is constructed as information, then the dualism of mind and matter is suspended, says Gesek. With quantum computers, there are already proof of concepts in which unimaginably complex information systems can be built. „The only question will be, when are we dealing with a living being created by us?“ Then an I-consciousness would emerge, combined with the outside world, which means an awareness of „I am“.

The amount and quality of this meta-information would still be determined by humans. Stephan Hawking’s fear that artificial intelligence might be the worst thing that could ever happen to humanity, will probably not occur.

The quality of work will increase

„The quality of the work that remains to us, however, will increase,“ Hirschbrich is convinced. „We will see an extreme increase in production that will permeate all sectors and areas: call centers, civil servants, journalists, back office areas. This is where the actual structural upheavals take place. The socially relevant question is: who owns the IP, which benefit is donated and who benefits from the increase in productivity? My prediction: We will not get on with our right-to-left debates, but we need a tremendous amount of thinking about how most of us can benefit from this development. „

The great need for data analysts will need a „radical immigration of really good people respectively we need to prevent that our best graduates leave for Google & Co. „In Silicon Valley, it’s commonplace to participate employees in an employee participation plan (ESOP).


What companies need to prepare themselves for

Thomas Schmutzer, who has spent the last 10 years researching on labor and work through digitization, is convinced that AI will find its way into the corporate business through private use such as Alexa. „In the legal field AI is already working as well or even better as a lawyer, and by far cheaper. In HR, AI matches job postings with existing profiles. Marketing and sales can serve their customers better and more personalized. But you have to deal with leadership, organization and culture, which means how do you deal with the machine?“


Who owns AI?

AI simulates the brain by placing neurons on layers. Each neuron has an input signal, the output layer brings out the result. The system learns by means of pattern recognition. In the end, there is a probability that a shepherd dog is a shepherd dog and not a poodle.

For this type of AI, there are existing frameworks and interfaces which start-ups and tech companies can access. De facto, most of the present AI is developed by companies in the Silicon Valley and China, „who are terrific far ahead and who we are highly dependent on“, criticizes Hirschbrich. Unfortunately, very little basic research is conducted in Austria on AI technologies. Amazon by itself spends 23 billion USD on prediction modeling, Britain has earmarked 17 billion pounds on AI-related research; in Austria, the overall budget for research amounts to only 11 billion Euro.


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