#EconomyStories: Artificial Intelligence

An interview with Christian Thurau, CBDO Twenty Billion Neurons

Artificial intelligence is set to become a defining technology of the 21st century. In #EconomyStories, our co-founder and CBDO Christian Thurau shared his thoughts on how artificial intelligence is reshaping the world we live in, as well as our relationships with technology and each other:

#EconomyStories is a video series produced by Deutsche Bank that showcases people from the world of business. They speak about issues that are important because they are changing and developing society. Here is an excerpt from the interview we gave:


Our path from science to the business world

Our four founders have all conducted research on artificial intelligence, two of them held professorships, but at some time we reached a point when we said: “OK. The technology is now mature and there is considerable demand in the business world and we have the necessary know-how — it is only logical that we found a company and make artificial intelligence marketable.” And thus Twenty Billion Neurons came into being.

Machines are to perceive the world in the same manner as humans

One of the biggest challenges in the field of artificial intelligence is teaching machines the cognitive perception which we humans develop during our childhood. If we want to explain to a machine what a dog’s face looks like, for example, then we can propose a rule such as: fur, two eyes and two ears, but this is also true of many other animals. We need very many rules, therefore, to explain more complex situations. And it has proved to be the case that this functions better if we show a machine a very large number of examples of a dog and allow it to learn for itself. So that machines can also master complex tasks, we use gigantic data sets of video material to convey this knowledge worldwide.

We are already surrounded by artificial intelligence

We can already see many applications with artificial intelligence in our everyday life. Some of the apps on our smartphones already use it — for example Siri with speech recognition or the various services from Google. In industry we are also seeing the first concrete applications, but nevertheless when it comes to industrial automation we are still very much in the early stages; a lot will happen here in the next five years and companies will be able to drastically increase their productivity through the use of artificial intelligence. However, the fear that machines could replace people entirely is, in my opinion, science fiction. Although there will be more and more domains in which machines are more capable than humans, we can do all these things simultaneously and, at the same time, also have social competence and intuitive access to creativity.


You can find the full interview on the Deutsche Bank webpage.