A Holistic View on AI: It’s Much More Than ChatGPT

Only a year ago, the global audience didn’t know as much about artificial intelligence as it does right now. Still, many aren’t quite sure what to think of it. 
With the world being so hyper-focused on ChatGPT, a more holistic view of AI is much needed; that was the premise of a conversation held by Quantic School of Business and Technology with Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Deggendorf Institute of Technology (Germany), Dr. Patrick Glauner.

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Illustration: MilicaM

ChatGPT has unlocked awareness of AI     

We live in a world where dozens of AI tools are being released every day. However, nothing seems to stir up attention as much as ChatGPT. 

With GPT-4 being released a day prior to this online conversation, Dr. Glauner shared his view on the newest version of ChatGPT: 

“GPT-4 is yet another model that seems to be more powerful than the previous models. It’s again a text-based model but in addition, you can now upload images as well. I also had a look into the technical report and it seems that they paid even more attention to not generating nonsense because there was obviously a lot of criticism on that note. It also seems to perform much better on university exams”, explained Dr. Glauner. 

However, he described it as a “black box” because there’s still no detailed insight into the data set they trained it on or the model size, so we cannot really know what’s behind it…..

Who is Prof. Patrick Glauner?
Dr. Glauner is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Deggendorf Institute of Technology (Germany) and Professor of Technology Management and Innovation at Woxsen University (India). In addition, he runs his own AI consulting firm, skyrocket.ai. He has been ranked by CDO Magazine among the worldwide academic data leaders. As an expert witness, he advised the parliaments of France, Germany, and Luxembourg. He held executive roles in industry, was a Fellow at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and spent a certain amount of time on a research visit at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). He studied at Imperial College London and has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Luxembourg.

Only a year ago, the global audience didn’t know as much about artificial intelligence as it does right now. Still, many aren’t quite sure what to think of it. 

“I feel like many people think that ChatGPT is the only AI around us, but there is so much more to think about. The truth is, everyone has been dealing with AI for many years now as an end user. For example, in your phone, you have a spam filter, you have voice recognition, object recognition, which are based on AI but people don’t notice that. AI is now omnipresent”, said Prof. Glauner. 

Europe is driven by skepticism, not optimism   

The way he sees it, Europe is not driven by optimism but by skepticism and concerns.  

“Something I’ve noticed in the last few years when I’ve talked to politicians is that they confuse two terms – algorithms and AI. Nonetheless, most algorithms have nothing to do with AI. A lot of people think that AI is just hype and that it will disappear, or that it will make everyone unemployed. These are some of the most common misconceptions”, said the interlocutor. 

Moreover, since he worked with the German military, he encountered a huge aversion towards artificial intelligence. 

“The top general who is in charge of digitalization told me that, whenever he talks to the members of parliament about AI in the military, the first thing they’re focused on are killer robots that will be out of control. That’s something they’re really scared of, so they don’t want to discuss it. They’re ignoring the benefits of AI”, said Dr. Glauner and added that AI in the military is so much more about automated analysis of satellite images, automated planning, predictive maintenance, etc. 

So, how does he consult these leading bodies to better understand the possibilities of AI? 

Simply said, he puts AI into context. 

“AI is another phase of the industrial revolution, which started more than 200 years ago with classic automation. But, ever since the beginning of industrial automation, the jobs market has kept changing a lot. What has happened is that prosperity has gone up and poverty has gone down. My hope is that AI will enable us to continue that journey,” he said. 

Humanity will always need humans 

According to Glauner, everyone should have at least some level of AI education to stay competitive, no matter what job they have. 

“Eventually, more and more of our work will get automated and it’s important to understand the change. We will still need humans, it’s not like we will all be replaced, but the job market will change in the sense that we will get more higher-level jobs and automate more of the lower-level work. You don’t have to be an expert in AI but, if you want to keep your job in the long run, you should at least know what AI is. Better sooner than later, otherwise you may be out of business”, he advised. 

He doesn’t deny that some jobs will disappear over time but that has already been happening for the past two centuries. 

“I don’t think AI will make everyone unemployed instantaneously. But your challenger, your competitor who uses AI will make you unemployed. If they use AI, they are more productive and they will put you out of business; not the actual AI alone, but people using AI,” he underlined. 

Professor recommended taking a look at some of the courses on Coursera or Udacity, which often come for free. That way, he said, “maybe you can be at the forefront of integrating AI in your sector.” 

If you’re interested in learning more about this conversation, it’s still available to watch on LinkedIn

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.