April 15, 2024

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Technology with many opportunities and challenges

Technology with many opportunities and challenges

doctor. Tobias Thelen, Head of the Osnabrück Institute for Cognitive Sciences, will be a guest at VHS on Thursday 7 March as part of the WZ Lecture Series. This relates to the big topic of Artificial Intelligence, opportunities and risks.

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doctor. Thielen, please summarize: What is AI anyway?

doctor. Tobias ThelenThis is not an easy question. AI is often used as a marketing term, but in other fields it is difficult to distinguish from other digitalization phenomena. Ultimately, and frankly, AI is about computers taking on tasks previously thought to require humans. These include data handling, language, image and video recognition. You evaluate this data and draw statistical conclusions from it.

Artificial Intelligence has been a much-discussed term in research, philosophy, and literature for several decades. However, in the recent past, the topic has reached the general public. What is the deciding factor for you?

Tellin Science has already witnessed a number of breakthroughs in the fields of image recognition and language processing in 2014/2015. With the launch of ChatGPT in December 2022, AI has become a widespread public topic. That's when it became tangible and tangible to many people for the first time.

But there are also areas where AI technologies are being integrated where the user might not expect it at first glance, right?

TellinYes, there are use cases that were previously referred to as AI, such as the first chess computers 50 years ago. Other examples include filters in email programs or search engine algorithms that programs use to group and sort search results. The camera app on a cell phone already uses this technology to enhance photos or stabilize videos. These are basically all the AI ​​algorithms that people are used to and are no longer seen as something exotic.

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Artificial Intelligence has long been a part of everyday life and technology is changing rapidly. What other developments can we expect?

TellinChatGPT is just the tip of the iceberg so far. Basic language models and techniques can increasingly be automated. It's also becoming clear that what ChatGPT can do will migrate relatively quickly to all other types of software.

Technology is already touching many industries. To what extent will artificial intelligence change the world of work, in your view?

TellinTo some extent it has already happened. However, in the future, it will especially affect those who have a relationship with language. For example, some translation agencies actually use translation software as templates – not to get to the final product, but to get to the template more quickly. But lists that predict which professions will become extinct are fundamentally dubious. It is not at all possible to reasonably predict how software will be used and will have a long-term impact.

In many cities such as Wilhelmshaven, there are large sectors of the population who do not speak German as a mother tongue, or have even recently immigrated to escape. Can these translation software help make information and offers more accessible?

TellinIn any case. The matter should not be limited to translation into foreign languages ​​only. If we think about formal forms, for example, there are also many native speakers who are afraid to come into contact with them. If you use software to convert forms into dialogue form, they will look more understandable. There are many opportunities in this field, if the authorities can exploit them reasonably.

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Are there any pitfalls?

TellinArtificial intelligence deals with ambiguous instructions and undefined data. This means that mistakes can happen, especially when it comes to formal procedures. Acknowledging and avoiding these mistakes is not without its challenges.

Many programs can be accessed relatively free. Do you see a need to catch up when it comes to information and education about how it works?

TellinThere are many gaps in knowledge and new situations are always present, which also creates problems in communication. The question is how to transfer the necessary knowledge in order to use AI sensibly and productively. It can be a productivity gain if the user can categorize the suggestions and results. Another question is how to identify “fake news” and question sources. We are increasingly encountering AI software products that are not labeled as such.