Artificial Intelligence is Eating Our World

Fabian Westerheide’s TEDx Talk dived into the challenges and opportunities of a world in which intelligent machines and humans coexist together. Artificial intelligence is and will be integrated more into vital parts of human life. Not only human jobs will be replaced by machines. Artificial intelligence will also challenge human thinking, art, and culture. What comes after is the concept of Superintelligence and Singularity.

“I got my first computer in the age of eight and since then I’m hooked in the digital world. I was involved in over 30 companies as an entrepreneur and investor. I am influenced by science fiction like the Stargate TV series.

I discovered that the natural evolution of software is Artificial Intelligence. Someone said: “It could be the last invention we do as humankind”. And that’s why I would like to speak with you today about that Artificial Intelligence is eating our world and this is something we should be happy about.

Artificial Intelligence is not a new concept over the Romans, the Greeks, the Chinese. They had a concept of human-like machines. So it is through human history that we’re thinking about machines who could be more like us.

Today we understand machines who looked more like us who think like us, who see the world like us and also it got recently very popular in Hollywood again. If it’s the case and in massive and if they all speak currently about artificial intelligence and the reason is three factors came together in the last three years which are interesting to the world.

The first is increasing processing power and second data and the third is progress in machine learning.

We all know that computers used to be very very big and very slow and very stupid and they used to fill rooms like this.  Rooms like these were computers and they were just a smart calculator, just a calculator. But today, we all have a supercomputer in our pocket in our Smartphone. Thanks to more slow which is valid for the last 50 years, every 18 months computer is half the size, half the price, and double the speed.

So computers are getting faster from time to time, from year to year and this won’t stop.. It’s like your brain would get better.. Just imagine.. You would get smarter every 18 months what you could do with this.

Computers get better.. This is the first things.. They get smarter and faster.. The second is; We have more data.. More data means you have more process. And thanks to the internet 25 years ago, we produced every day more data than the day before. Whatever you do with your Smartphone, whatever you do offline, everything’s tracked, everything stored. Whatever we do everything especially digital we do, this is somewhere safe and stored on a server. That is why companies like Google, like Facebook they use these huge complex processing powers in combination with data to make sense of the world they have.

They use machine learning to use all these computers and data to make even their business models more you know to understand better what the customers due to make more money. Just imagine what this means. If computers are getting stronger, faster and you have more data to do it.

So machine learning is that you do not need to program everything. If you don’t use machine learning, you want to improve a computer or a pro computer program you have to write in the code, you run it, you test it, and then you have to write the code again. With machine learning, the machine is able to adapt itself and with the machine learning something the last year’s had a breakthrough which is really interesting and it’s called deep learning..

Deep learning, our neural nets, and layers mean it’s mimicking how the brain works. It’s easy words you have two points and when the machine is doing something right the path between two points is getting stronger. If the machine is doing something wrong, the path between two points is getting weaker and you can imagine it’s like you drive a car when you’re 18 you need to learn all these rules -to go to school, learn this rules, you have a driver license, in Germany you have to take 30 hours and more.. you learn this, and learn this until you get more experienced it. You don’t think anymore.. you have something like experience it’s like instinct and this is about machines. The more you run the machine, the better it gets.

These machines are in the step of being cognitive machines so the machines today using deep learning, they can gather data. They can run simulations with your mathematical complex models and then they proposed actions and today you don’t tell anymore what they have to do. They run their own actions to execute them, measure the results and then optimize them.

Fabian Westerheide

So I repeat this.. The machine’s optimized themselves and we don’t know anymore what’s happening inside..

Machines start trading stocks, machines drive cars, machines develop own encryption and we don’t know anymore how they do it. Within their certain frames, they decide on themselves. They improve on themselves and they do this simultaneously. Their companies out there who run the machine and then copy them eight times and within two days they have 16/20 and more different outcomes and versions. 

So what I want to say is come to the point, I call this the age of narrow artificial intelligence. It’s narrow artificial intelligence because these machines are very very intelligent, very good in their specific trained field. Training machines got cheaper and faster and easier than ever. The more processing power you happen, the more data you have, the easier it is to train a machine.

These machines today we used to train them we already have two day machine soon we have taught to train themselves so you don’t have to teach them that they have to learn they know how to learn themselves to give them a task and then solve it and then solve it in ways we can’t imagine ourselves they saw with different and faster and maybe more creative than we do.

Narrow artificial intelligence are there already we just don’t always see them. Google is using them to figure out what you will type in before you type it in.

Netflix is using narrow artificial intelligence to decide what you should watch before you thought about this. We all have artificial intelligence at home. That’s in your Smartphone or it is at Katana from Microsoft or Echo from Amazon. Well, it’s not smart for you but I know kids who speak with zero every day for a couple of hours but then this is whole communication. They don’t think about this or this is just a machine it’s stupid.

We all have seen this.. Self-driving cars; this is a form of narrow artificial intelligence to and there’s not only one solution Tesla’s solution BMWs working solutions even more than one version out of these. This is the future but this is real and it will come over to see it on the city’s and this will be there and will increase.

Their self-driving trucks based on artificial intelligence… This is real too… It’s proven just policies and legislation take way longer and we’ll see it on the road.

You can use artificial intelligence in almost every object. It’s like a layer you see it or you don’t see it. It is everywhere.. Wherever you have a computer you can put after artificial intelligence in there and they can do something for us

That means.. machines work, machines work for us. That’s why we invent them.  We invent them so they work for us..They work for us 24 hours a day 365 days a week a year. They don’t complain, they don’t want to raise, they don’t go on a strike and they got cheaper. The more you use them, they get more efficient, the more we use them.

We use machines to do the physical work we don’t like to do. We use machines to do the boring work we don’t like to do.

And we use machines to do the thinking work we honestly don’t like to do anymore.


And what is the benefit for us?  Well.. The benefit for us is we have more time to live. We only have an average life 4500 weeks so time is and we learned this today is very scarce..the most scared thing we have the only limited resources in our life

When the machines do the work for us, we have more time to live with more time for the important things in life which is family, which is friends, which is traveling with your wife, your husband, your kids.. which is reading a book, which is traveling the world.. It’s doing something for the community or starts a company where the machines do the work for us we have more time to be human.

However and this is the first people ask me what is about jobs and honestly I won’t tell you well this is you’re not going to end very easy..

Yes.. Machines are there and they are continuing to do the jobs for us because we want this that’s why we invent them.. Because they are supposed to do the things we don’t like to do. So there is the estimation that only in let’s say in German the next 20 years 5 to 10 million jobs will be replaced by machines. For the world, about hundreds of millions of jobs which could be replaced by machines robots and computers over the next decades.. Just think about sales agents, think about customer support, text drivers, cab drivers and so on..

This is just a small list compiled ask a couple of people with jobs could be replaced and there are a lot of jobs there. The good thing is it won’t replace you personal right away. It’s more than you will use artificial intelligence to do more out of your job. You use artificial intelligence and computers to leverage what you do today but in the long run, companies just hire fewer people. Because AI plus humans are enough then let’s say 20 or 30 humans did this before..

So Artificial Intelligence is just there and supporting you and bond replace you right away just on the long-term we need less people to have the same productivity and output. And it’s everywhere when you sit in front of the computer?  Yes AI will replace you.. If you’re working with people, AI is not there yet you’re on the safe side..

This is something we should not be afraid of what we need to discuss. This is something we need to be aware of. This will come and that’s why I’m here today. We need to speak about the system when we don’t have to work anymore. Yes, We need to speak up a system which is called the jobless future. I have this picture of a future we don’t have to work anymore we only at work because we want to. We only do the things which are a passion we only do the things which we have a drive for we get up in the morning it’s really want to do this and it doesn’t have to be for the money it can be for a deeper and higher meaning.. So we need to speak about the system how we can do this. I don’t have a solution.


There are things we can discuss like unconditional basic income and so for. But we need to figure this out as a society how we do this transition from a you-know-what presence where you have to work to survive to future where this is optional and where job is not necessary to have a good living and to be human.  

For the end, let’s look at a little bit back for the last hundred fifty years for the last half generations life got really really good for us humans.. I can say that we are living the greatest time of human history even we don’t see it..

Our average life expectancy doubled. Everyone is older than 30 here in this room. Yes, you can be happy to live today because only a hundred years ago you would be dead most likely.. We have more money in our pocket, our average income and wealth increased. And at the same time, we work less, we work half the time you used to work a hundred years ago average working time with 80 hours today work 35 to 40 hours an average. So, we live longer, we are healthier and with more money in our pocket can buy more things we work less for this.  This is the trend we have. This is the progress we had in the last hundred fifty years because we embrace technologies..

With every new thing which will come which can be Artificial Intelligence. AI is super intelligent, non-robotic which relative for we have challenges. It has challenges for you as a person for our system we’re living in four companies off our but it’s also opportunities and they would bring us a better life and more happy life. This is the future I’m fighting for.. This is the future I think we should all fight for and this is what I’m living for that will achieve it.”

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