Die Welt: Finally More Time to Think

In an interview (29.05.2017) with German daily Die Welt, Chris Boos talks about the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays and may play in future in society, economy and science.

Chris starts off by explaining the importance of teaching an intelligent machine how to play the strategy game “Civilisation” as it is a good training for general AI technologies and prepares them for their commercial use in industry. According to Chris Boos, currently AI systems are often trained for one specific purpose, but can be interconnected in order to form a “general AI” that can be deployed in any given situation. However, machines will never be able to develop an equivalent to neither human consciousness nor to a value system, quietens Chris Boos the objections of many that fear AI.
AI has the potential to transform the working world because it takes over routine processes, freeing up time for employees for more creative tasks. As time is the most valuable resource humans possess, Chris considers it his vision to create a better life for people thanks to AI. Business models and decades-old internal processes can finally be overhauled. And while the AI-transformation makes certain jobs redundant, it will create new and more fulfilling ones.

Relating to the phenomenon of fake news, Chris Boos sees opportunities for AI to do more to counter fake news. However, he cautions that AI is not the silver bullet in the fight against fake news, instead Chris Boos encourages “more thinking and fewer emotions”.

Among the reasons for the AI boom, the AI-expert mentions the increasing availability of computing power and data as well as Google’s attention-grabbing announcement “Artificial intelligence first”. This also stimulated the researchers in the field who may generally be divided into two camps: those who rely on machine learning and those concentrating on machine reasoning. The first approach is essentially based on the ability to learn, recognize patterns in unstructured data streams and to derive necessary actions from them, done by so-called neural networks. Reasoning, on the other hand, is about planning ahead and making rational decisions. Arago relies on both currents because Chris Boos is convinced both are necessary for an efficient AI-system – just like humans need two types of systems: “We need both fast, instinctive behavior and decisions that we carefully thought out”, explains Boos, citing Israeli psychologist Daniel Kahneman.

Finally Chris Boos cautions against the hype that everything is currently being labeled as “AI” as this could create fear among people. This, however, is more a marketing and not so much a technology problem.

Arago Redaktion 29. May 2017

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