"Everything that civilisation has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools that AI may provide, but the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone's list. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last." STEPHEN HAWKING, 2014
Even though the basis of modern day Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been laid during the 1950s, the increase in the availability of vast amounts of data has enabled researchers to give a variety of capabilities to machines which were long thought to belong exclusively to the human realm. This has recently led to ground-breaking developments on the field of processing natural language, visual information, recognizing patterns and decision making in areas such as the defense industry, manufacturing, healthcare, mobility or customer service. Companies are able to use AI for predictive maintenance, replace tedious jobs with collaborative and context-aware robots, and improve customer services with interactive online systems, thereby saving billions of Dollars and creating numerous new high-paying jobs in the IT-, tech- and service industry.
AI undoubtedly holds great economic potential for the whole world and it is poised to unleash the next wave of digital disruption. Real-life benefits are already materializing for a few early-adopting firms, making it more urgent than ever for others to accelerate their digital transformation efforts.
Nonetheless, the rapid developments in AI also bring with it a lot of controversy. Ethical concerns are raised in relation with surveillance of citizens and whether it is inclusive enough. AI can also be manipulated in many ways for illegal activities by hackers, who can then use it for gathering personal information and use it in the most scary ways imaginable against users. Many also fear that a large portion of manufacturing and back-office jobs will get lost due to AI replacing them. At least 30% of activities in 62% of German occupations can be automated a study by the McKinsey Global Institute found in 2017.
The recent developments in AI offer a great occasion for Canada and Germany to engage in a meaningful conversation on what can be done to fully take advantage of these new opportunities and how to surpass the challenges that come with these developments.
Please join us at our conference in Toronto, where experts from Germany and Canada will discuss the newest developments in AI. More information to come!