Here are two articles discussing the scope of artificial intelligence (AI)and its dependence not only on data input, but the prowess of those who write the underlying code and their interpretation of what the machine or algorithm is suppose to achieve.
Most people assume Silicon Valley and recently I have heard programmers in China are unbeatable when it comes to applications and advances in AI, but Chris Boos, CEO of Arago and one of Germany’s pioneers in AI reminds us of the advantages century old engineering and other sources of human expertise have over those technology centers due to the skills of the experts and in-house data files starting with their brains.
Here is a link to Wired.com’s assessment of the situation (still needing considerable human activity as a source for intelligence):
Chris Boos (AI) and ABB team up!
A Rough Translation of Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung 11.February 2018 NR. 6, page 30
“We are smarter than Robots“ by Bettina Weiguny / Chris Boos, Germany’s Artificial Intelligence Pioneer, connects with the Old Economy and swears on the Human Brain.”
“When a start-up grows up, it eventually comes to the point where it touches traditional industry. Arago CEO, Chris Boos, Germany’s pioneer in Artificial Intelligence (AI), has reached this status and is now allied with the traditional Swiss company ABB, not through a mutual participation, but through joint projects. ‘We are breaking the bridge from the AI into the physical’, ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, a native Swabian, happily supports.
“Everyone talks about clever robots and intelligent computers, which will soon control factories and optimize work in industrial plants. Zurich-based ABB and Arago, headquartered in Frankfurt, want to make headway. The smart machines that hover over the unlikely pair should learn from experience as man does. ‘Our engineers know exactly what temperatures they should not touch the plastic because it could break,'” explains Spiesshofer. The robots benefit from the knowledge of the mechanics, as Arago boss Boos adds: ‘Through experience, the machines learn to predict errors, bottlenecks or anticipate impending failures, to weigh decisions and find solutions.’ This is, according to the AI expert, what intelligent machines do best, ‘much better than a human’.
“The fuel his programs need for this is vast amounts of data, which he will also be sourcing from Zurich in the future: ‘ABB supplies us with its accumulated knowledge over decades’.
“The cooperation with the plant manufacturer is new territory for Arago. The AI company already has large banks such as UBS as customers whose automated IT operations are managed by Arago. Now Boos Europe’s expertise reaches good old industry, the centuries of mature engineering, which is in the corporations. ‘This gigantic wealth of experience tops the internet giants in Silicon Valley – the data is hard, very strenuous to collect, we have it.’
“This is a trump card that Europeans could play out in the upheaval that Boos describes in the most memorable tones: ‘Humanity stands at a turning point, as it did over a hundred years ago, when the car replaced the horse.” Then as now, it is important to be fast. “Within just ten years, the horse had disappeared from the streets, and since then the world has not slowed down.’
“Nevertheless, he warns against exaggerated expectations for AI on the one hand and unfounded fears on the other. Just a few days ago, the IT association Bitkom had just sounded the alarm: In Germany alone, digitization and AI would eliminate about 3.4 million jobs by 2022, because robots or algorithms will replace them. Especially banks and insurance companies as well as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are affected by the upheavals.
“‘Robots do not destroy jobs’; Boos replies to all people who see the worst to come. On the contrary: ‘Countries with high robot expertise/penetration, such as Japan, Korea and Germany, have the highest productivity.’ In principle, the smart devices are ‘no more than the answers on McKinsey’.
“A time in which the machines can catch up with the human brain or even take over power is not in Boos’ imagination. ‘Even the smartest machine understands nothing.’ She lacks the instincts, gut feeling, creativity and above all the language. ‘Language is much better than the best code,’ says the programmer. ‘Language is magic.'”
When looking at the turmoil last week on the stock markets around the world, there is a desperate search for fundamental reasons when it could simply be a result of flawed trader positioning creating an exaggerated response in the underlying vehicle (volatility) which triggered runs on other securities due to their algorithm response. Take a look at the link below intertwining bubble indicators with reason for a continuous rally, published January 18 after a first tweak at profit taking earlier that week. A follow up is coming!