Frank van Harmelen is a professor in Knowledge Representation & Reasoning at the Department of Artificial Intelligence at theFree University of Amsterdam and director of theHybrid Intelligence Centre. We talked to him about the latest developments in the field of cooperation between man and machine, i.e., between human and artificial intelligence. Why is it so crucial that humankind is at the center of such collaboration? And what does this collaboration look like in the future? “We have to let go of the idea that machine intelligence will eventually become like human intelligence. The two are very different, so we have to find out how these two can best strengthen each other.”
According to Van Harmelen, a lot of research on AI is still intended to devise an application to replace humans. “A self-propelled car? Then Uber’s drivers can all be sent off. A translation aid instead of an interpreter, complete medical image analysis to replace the radiologist. Sometimes it’s said out loud, and sometimes it’s not said, but it’s unspoken anyway. We are convinced that this is a fallacy because people reason very differently than computers; human intelligence is very different from artificial intelligence. You should not try to replace one for the other; it’s like trying to push a round pin into a square hole. We’d better make use of the differences by building teams. That’s why in the Hybrid Intelligence Center, we focus on hybrid teams of people and AI systems that together are better than each separately.”
That turn towards hybrid intelligence, away from the role of AI as automation, and towards AI as cooperation, is still relatively recent. There are new research centers at Stanford and MIT in Boston, and then there’s ours in the Netherlands, in which we play a global role. But that is all very recent. Another colleague of mine, Professor Koen Hindriks, has been conducting experiments for some time now to allow children in hospitals, for example, to play games with robots to experience less stress. These robots can answer questions or advise about eating or going to the toilet, all very important in such a situation. That’s a very concrete and successful example of hybrid intelligence.”
At EIU Paris, we believe that Artificial Intelligence is the very next step for the major industries. Automation and deep learning are tehe ways of tomorrow and sometimes, they already exist for a lot of corporations.
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Written by Elcke Vels
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