AI Is Eating Our World | Fabian Westerheide | TEDxHeidelberg -

AI Is Eating Our World | Fabian Westerheide | TEDxHeidelberg

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Fabian’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.

Fabian has deep roots in the German and European digital ecosystem. After working at numerous tech-companies and starting and selling his own startup, he has turned his longtime passion Artificial Intelligence into an investment activity of his own.
As CEO of the family-owned Venture Capital firm Asgard, Fabian now invests in promising startups in the Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things sector. He is founder and organizer of the annual “Rise of AI” conference and serves as coordinator for Artificial Intelligence at the German Association of Startups.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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Fleisch Berg says:

why wasnt all this stuff online when I got out of school 7 years ago… when the internet was less than 1/5 the size of today 😀

dubistverrueckt says:

Well well, the speaker missed a point that he almost made himself: he made a point of calling it "narrow artifcial intelligence" to distinguish it from "true" AI. What he missed is precisely that AI will always be narrow. Humans will always have to be there to make it do useful things and to create ever more narrow AIs for newer, endless applications.

no pe says:

human arrogance will be the end of humanity, we are not nearly as great as we all seem to think we are

Mark Jacobson says:

when machines do all the things we don't like to do, we will become vegetables. Children today do not have to memorize their math tables, because the calculator does it for them. This effectively moves brain cells from inside our heads, into the calculator. What happens when machines do most of the hard work? People will atrophy into playdoh. It is the big challenges in life that make being human possible. when the machines do this for us, we won't exist anymore. we will have successfully devolved.

Mark Jacobson says:

computers cannot become intelligent because real intelligence relies on qualities like compassion, self-denial, and empathy. these things require a soul, which no machine has. humans are manufacturing AI because they want to be like God, all powerful. But the false life-imitating things that we create can never actually think or experience anything. All they do is process information and spit out the results. there is nothing intelligent about this. Calling machines "Artificially Intelligent" is a misunderstanding of "intelligent". Their answers to our problems will always fail because they are just a heap of rocks, albeit intricately manipulated rocks.

Chris Mise says:

It will work, for rich people.

Michael Legault says:

Dreamer. The intelligence is only artificial because we think we are smarter and we are organic. You have taught the child how to think and how to problem solve. Most American Universities don't do this anymore they promote based on politically correct practices. The machine is already proving to be more useful than most people. How long you think before the machine comes to this conclusion?

Nathan Dunning says:

Creating a false God to make our lives easy will certainly be a mistake.

V BA says:

Is the guy aware, though, that in spite of these very pretty ideals (I'm all for an unconditional basic income myself) technology is incredibly, INCREDIBLY polluting ? Is he also aware that having more money "to buy more things" is absolutely pointless ? It's the whole lie capitalism is built upon. It's the ecological destruction caused by the fast fashion. It's planned obsolescence. It's whole wars being started for ressources that are not necessary for our survival.
I wish these techies would sometimes come back to the real world and realize that sadly, their work doesn't exist in a vacuum.


As a retired engineer who automated machines & instruments for three decades, I find Fabian's talk too Utopian. In my early career, I designed mechanisms with electromechanical control circuits, pneumatic & fluidic logic & even all-mechanical servos; all of which could be started & stopped by human operators. With advances in technology, such automation increasingly included decision-making circuitry to accommodate various machine conditions to alter its sequence of actions, but a human operator could generally intervene to avoid mishaps. Certain failsafe logic could also automatically prevent damage or injury. Over time, the logic circuitry began to require expert, specialized knowledge of microcircuits & programming that I had to trust because the nuances of those levels of engineering were beyond my knowledge or adequate understanding. In effect, I lost control of the devices, and a team was required to attend to specialized engineering. No single player could any longer understand the full set of details well enough to control the whole automation process. Therein resides the risk of AI! Complexity is the issue now.
Robotics has become so sophisticated that many Robotics Engineers are required to have PhD's. My son has a degree in Mechatronics (mechanical & electronic engineering), and a doctorate in Computer Engineering; he's a Robotics Engineer. He's fascinated with the concept of AI, and we discuss it frequently. I've discussed AI with other engineers for decades, so have been considering the impact of it with concern that I share with my son. When an operator loses the power to override a system set on autopilot, unpredictable dangers can & will emerge. True AI can be defined as the condition of machines designing, creating & controlling themselves well enough to be indistinguishable from humans in their intelligence, autonomy and all forms of appearance. At some point, their intelligence will exceed ours because of the groundwork enabled by our advancing technology that can runaway under their control. We have a moral imperative to hobble automation enough to prevent such a runaway event! The big problem is that we won't likely know when we're cut out of the loop! We have to prepare for this ASAP, just to be safe. As shown here, technological knowledge is advancing exponentially with & without human intervention.
Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and (to a lesser degree) Bill Gates have similar concerns. Musk warns that AI must fall under the purview of a fairly large group of experts to avoid that power being expropriated by any individual or small group. The power of automation will threaten democracy otherwise. The touted efficiencies and convenience to eliminate workers with intelligent automation will be extremely tempting for some people to exploit for personal profit & power at the expense of most of us. Again, Robotics Engineers should maintain enough control to prevent such unbridled hegemony. I've recommended to my son that he should consider forming a tight union of AI developers to find ways to uniformly assure that such power cannot be usurped by unscrupulous, wealthy oligarchs bent on owning the means to exclude the rest of us from a precarious future. Musk, Hawking and Gates refer to the potentially treacherous advent of AI as 'The Singularity'.
The idealized world Fabian describes is possible only if we're very careful to fully appreciate & address the huge risks AI will pose. Those risks are ultimately human in nature. We, as a democratic society, need to discuss this thoroughly in the context of safely making an automated environment that we all can enjoy without any eugenic threat of our demise by man or machine! I know this sounds like science fiction, but the existential threat can become science reality if we aren't careful.

Onyx Stone says:

No job, no money. No money and all your spare time is broke, can't do squat time. You get to eat what ?

doug ridgway says:

Truth is exposed at the event in the rear view mirror

circusboy90210 says:

Working is a reason Heman beings were created .Working good people worth and value it is Ashley not a waste of a human's potential to do work

circusboy90210 says:

Self driving trucks can never happen because of various different variables that can Not be sensed by a machine .No machine could predict how much water is on the brake surface. And account for that No but she'd can account for the different size objects in the back of the truck and the way the shift And respond to different road conditions Other she cannot guess how much ahead of time to stop in case of icy conditions. Or want to stop driving. There are so many thanks the machine is simply not capable of

circusboy90210 says:

Bushies are horrible car drivers

circusboy90210 says:

Moore's Law is DEA D

91 BOI says:

Not surprised a 30+year old German man talking about enslaving something else because people worked out so well the first time… tech can help us yea but it should never become our backbone

molly clock says:

nothing exists,
until it is,

Ben Cobb says:

most of his data was wrong, but his point remains. AI is taking over, and we better get used to it.

Dan Jacob says:

I wonder how AI could help us in a nuclear winter?

Bob Rolander says:

What so many IT people misunderstand: AI is not intelligent at all! It lacks all features of intrinsic perception. It has no integrated information, no sense of self, not a shred of consciousness.

Qualia are the key. Without qualia, no concepts. Without concepts, no intelligence. As long as we cannnot quantify qualia, our computer programms will be hopelessly blind for the world that surrounds them. Data is just like a bunch of unrelated pixels for any computer. Not a portrait of anything of substance.

The National Razor says:

Over the last 40 years the 1% have absorbed almost ALL of the new wealth that has been created. They don't seem very anxious to share. So if we don't get passed this idiotic Protestant work ethic that says "if you don't work you don't eat" we're all going to be screwed. We've got an AI taking over our jobs. And an artificial life form (that never dies) called corporations controlling the world. Given the choice between a utopia and a dystopia conservatives will choose the dystopia every time. And capitalists are nearly all conservatives.

Iturts pee says:

Dey duck ur juuuuuuuuubsssss!

swampgremlin1 says:

AI has no soul there for we are done if we create it.

contrafax says:

"Because we want this." Which we?

Gary Smethurst says:

Everyone Hiya there is a lot of paranoia these days.

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