The symbiosis between humans and machines is our best hope for the future

The Partner at IBM Ventures Christoph Auer-Welsbach.

When we are looking towards the future, we usually think about Artificial Intelligence as something that will bring us autonomous vehicles, clean and safe environment and healthy and extended life. Everything we have envisioned is connected to the AI.

But most of us still don’t realize how this amazing technology will be able to change our lives for the better and connect us in a way we didn’t think was possible.

During Webit.Festival Europe the Partner at IBM Ventures Christoph Auer-Welsbach shared his experience in this emerging field and explained why AI in its essence is a converging technology and enabler of the full human potential.

“We now use AI in situations where we didn’t have any solution yet – where technology is not capable of achieving specific results. We are putting a lot of efforts, time and resources to get there. What we have proved already is that we can solve complex, but narrow problems”, he said.

The first demonstration of a machine that was capable of solving a complex problem was in 1997 when IBM’s Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in chess. Roughly 15 years later a team in IBM Research had the goal to understand natural human language. The public demonstration was to defeat a human at the show Jeopardy and this was accomplished.

Another thing that happened last year was Alpha Go from Google DeepMind defeating Lee Sedol in the boardgame Go and also succeeding to solve a very complex problem in a very narrow domain.

And just recently a team from Carnegie Mellon University succeeded in developing a smart machine that has defeated world class poker players in Texas Hold ‘Em because it can already understand and deal with incomplete information.

This all means that the future goes into the direction where AI will be used for negotiation processes, strategy development and even high level policy analytics.

“When you go to your car dealer in the future you may have a small application on your device that helps you negotiate the best possible deal”, Auer-Welsbach said.

The biggest issue before the AI today is understanding humans and language. The machines understand natural text as data, not as text. This is a problem, because they are missing the context, which is necessary in order to really make use of all the data.

In a recent attempt IBM broke industry record in conversation speech recognition by getting it down to 5.5%. This is important because the human error is at 5.1% which means that we are very close to understanding the natural human language from a machine perspective.

This new ability can be used to build transformative relationships between humans and machines.

The Partner at IBM Ventures Christoph Auer-Welsbach.

Christoph Auer-Welsbach predicts that there are 3 paradigms that are going to shape our communication with AI enabled computers in the near future.

The first is that enterprise applications and all the major IT organizations in the world will make use of any kind of conversation methodology, bot or automating systems, in the next couple of years. So our whole way of interacting with machines is going to change from input-driven to engagement and conversation-driven.

The second paradigm AI is pushing is mass individualization. Now we are living in a world where applications and solutions are built to satisfy the most common and homogenous group of people and reach them. The mass standardization we can see now is changing to mass personalization in a way that not only from a customer service view, but also from a product development and engagement point of view machines will be very much personalized on a person’s behavior, demand and attitude.

The third is that we are moving to the world of AI-enabled Convergence. It enables other technologies to flourish and get into the system contextual information and act proactively and not from a passive response point of view.

Artificial Intelligence is still in its infancy. That is why we need to be active and have the curiosity to understand what it is. It is important for every person on Earth to check the latest trends in this technology and understand how it could impact our personal and business life.

“The symbiosis between humans and machines is the most capable way of making use of technology and moving forward into the future. Because we can enhance each other’s capabilities. On the one hand we have human’s capabilities like compassion, intuition and value judgement and on the other we have the learning, discovery and fact checking that machines excel at”, the expert said.

You may watch Christoph Auer-Welsbach’s full lecture here:

If you want to keep up with the latest trend in the world of digital economy and technology, then Webit.Festival is the right place for you. Visit our website and book 2 of our Super Earlybird tickets for Webit.Festival Europe 2018 for just €100.

Feel the Webit vibe with some of the best photos from this year’s event!


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