The number of stands, events and lectures at this year’s Viva Technology in Paris made a huge impression. Giants such as Airbus with their concept of a drone, L’Oreal with make-up robots, as well as 6000 startups from around the world have marked their presence here.
My attention turned to how much was said about artificial intelligence (AI) and how it has changed here in all cases, both in terms of vision, fears, challenges and its current use.
Fear of machines
We are afraid of what we do not know and what we cannot control. They talked about the fear of machinery rebellion, like from catastrophic science fiction movies. “I do not believe in these black scenarios,” said Yann LeCun, Chief AI Scientist, Facebook and Professor NYU. He talked about how much Facebook invests in the work on AI, repeatedly opening up new centers of research on artificial intelligence in the world and how long the road is ahead of us. LeCun added in his lecture that “For sure it will not be as soon as experts say, not even in 10 years. I think that AI does not seek to dominate over humanity, because there is no large correlation between intelligence and the desire for domination.”
During many lectures, presenters shared the advantages of artificial intelligence in the context of social benefit and solving many problems in the world, mainly medicine and education. An interesting vision on the presence of artificial intelligence in our lives was presented by David Kenny, SVP, IBM Watson & Cloud Platform at IBM. In his opinion, “humanity should be about fun and pleasures. All work will be done by AI. ” On the one hand, this is a tempting vision and many would have jumped into such a hedonistic lifestyle without hesitation, but the more pragmatic the warning lamp will light up and concern for work will appear. A job that, in addition to providing livelihoods, often in itself determines who we are, our affiliation and role in society. We are afraid of change.
We are afraid that we will lose our job. “AI will not leapfrog creativity and decision making nor replace humans, but it can optimize and automate,” said Christina Lu from Alibaba. “In the past, we recruited for specific positions, now we will look for a set of specific skills and characteristics, such as courage and creativity,” added Marc Pritchard from Procter & Gamble. This means that we must be prepared for changes in the area of our work, professions and competences of the future, especially young people who are just entering the labor market.
Eric Schmidt from Alphabet (formerly the head of Google) during the “The Machine Learning Revolution” discussion admitted that he disagrees with the black scenarios of taking over the power of machines over humanity, such as Elon Musk. In his opinion, AI makes everyone smarter, it can also be a solution to the problem of aging societies, increasing the skills and productivity of older people.
Part of the discussion was devoted to solutions supporting the idea of ”man on afterburners” – a super man who can do more, better and faster. Such support is even found in the recently presented innovative assistant Google, who arranges a visit to the hairdresser by conducting a conversation in such a way that it is hard to believe that he is not a human.
My attention was also drawn to the program “Avatar Bridging distance, time, and culture for all” announced by Xprize. And this is not a very interesting formula of a several-year competition, in which teams work on solving a specific problem of humanity. I was fascinated by the idea of an avatar, known for its film superproduction, which Xprize begins to implement. Amir Banifatemi talked about the possibility of transferring competences and skills between various places in the world, eg fire fighting skills or knowledge and medical experience in Africa, thanks to avatars.
The idea of a super employee is realized by Marcel, whose premiere took place during VivaTech. This is an intelligent voice assistant created by Publicis Groupe using AI and machine learning. Ultimately, it will connect all 80,000 employees of the group from around the world, enabling quick finding of specialists with specific competences and experience, ready to accept an invitation to work together on our project. Its possibilities are already impressive now, and this is just the beginning of this path, because Marcel will be further developed Publicis Groupe in the application Marcel will connect its employees and clients from around the world
The world of the future
From many lectures and discussions, there are 3 issues that have or will have a huge impact on our future and will probably redefine what our world will look like. First of all, you can not stop progress, and artificial intelligence will stay with us permanently. We have to break with catastrophic visions that do little to our development. Remember that in the not so distant past, we were afraid of electricity, cars, computers and telephones.
Second: creativity will remain the domain of people. The automatic generation of content is still at an early stage and the machines will not replace the human for many years. Of course, we have long dreamed of personalizing communication and experiences, but it cannot be done without human participation. It is difficult, however, to disagree with David Shing from Oath that we are dealing with personalization when its effect is better than the effort put into it. Technology gives us the possibility of “how” but still does not give content (“what”).
And thirdly: machine learning and a new competence that we will need – a coach of artificial intelligence. David Kenny from IBM said that diversity is important in AI: trainers should come from different corners of the world, be different gender, race and view. A slightly different look at machine learning was presented by Yann LeCun from Facebook. We do not know how to teach the machine yet. We have Alpha go, which with itself can play thousands of games with the goal to learn to win, but it is not applicable in real life. We can not teach a car to fall off a cliff a few times before learning how to ride. People learn to drive in about 20-30 hours, AI can not do it yet.
This article first appeared in Wirtualnemedia.
Author: Łukasz Zaleśny, strategy & innovation director at Blue 449