Will technology conquer the world

Today's changes have a new driver that played a subordinate role a few years ago: artificial intelligence. The question of how this will affect the future world can be summed up in a single sentence:

Machines get their own consciousness.

This technological change will change and affect our entire world. And I would like to summarize this in five theses:

  1. The age of the digital universe is only just beginning: Each of us and everything will be intelligently networked with one another.
  2. There are no restrictions: intelligent AI systems are used in all Penetrate areas of this world. The age of machines with their own consciousness begins.
  3. Under these framework conditions, a new type of person emerges with a completely new understanding of relationships between people and machines. The age of the global-regional Homo Zappia begins.
  4. This new type of interaction between digital shadows and intelligent agents, humans and machines, marks the beginning of the age of hybrid intelligence.
  5. In order to master and design this dimension of digital transformation, design principles suitable for turbulence are required. Agility, mindfulness and trust are required.

A historical comparison

Johannes Gutenberg began to deal with the subject of book printing in 1450. It only took him 10 years to go from a so-called reliquary mirror to mass book printing, and another 10 years later the whole of Europe was littered with printing houses. At the time of 1450 there was nothing. There was neither paper printing nor rotary printing presses. The movable letter was not yet known. And only 10 years of development must have been a real innovation shock for the time.

Only 10 years of development must have been a real innovation shock for the time.

What were Gutenberg's success factors? He was a person who lived against the zeitgeist. He was a real thick-headed man and he put an incredible amount of capital into hand to achieve his goals. He also risked a lot in the process: he pledged almost all of his own life insurance policies, for example. The idea was more important to him than his own profit. And finally, Gutenberg was in love with scaling. He was a real production engineer. He also knew how to invent the basic innovation - the reproducible letter - and how to make it usable for his own purposes - mass letterpress printing. The tragic - and that should be a warning to us: his own hometown Mainz was destroyed 20 years later by a war in which mass printed leaflets were used for the first time.

The age of the digital universe

Today we are facing a similarly fundamental disruptive innovation: Everything and everyone is networked with one another. The development in this direction has been underway for a long time, but with the introduction of human-independent intelligence into these networked systems, we are entering a new dimension. The objects and objects of daily life, but also the vehicles and buildings, are given their own awareness on the basis of huge so-called “Big Data Lakes”. A new dimension is that we are surrounded by digital agents, digital twins and digital shadows. It starts with the smartphones of the future, which will become intelligent “personal agents”.

A new dimension is that we are surrounded by digital agents, digital twins and digital shadows. It starts with the smartphones of the future, which will become intelligent “personal agents”.

But there will also be many agents around us who are closely related to our personal life. For example, we are just in front of the interactive media center in our own house, which takes care of the refrigerator, controls the entire energy supply and reminds us of breakfast. The thinking bumper of the car, on the other hand, is a little further away. But it is also foreseeable that we will be able to build intelligence into polymer materials which, for example, can lead to the bumper noticing when a pedestrian is nearby and assuming soft material properties. Implanted cardiovascular pumps are also no longer a dream of the future. Likewise, clothes with computers built into them will become normal. We may even have a requirement that our children wear smart clothing on their way to school. There could also be cooperative building structures in which people communicate intensively with one another: virtually open structures between the rental apartments. For this purpose, the TU Chemnitz is experimenting with 200 older people in a large so-called prefabricated building in Leipzig, among other things with the aim of developing a kind of “driver's license 4.0” that enables us to deal appropriately with the “4.0 environment” that surrounds us.

The age of the machines with their own consciousness

Artificial intelligence has no limits and will conquer all areas of the world. The age of conscious machines begins now. But first of all: what is the core of artificial intelligence? Why does that mean that all areas are really influenced by it today? And why is so-called “deep learning” - which is nothing more than feedback neural networks - the decisive breakthrough tool for artificial intelligence, even though the theory behind it was invented over 30 years ago?

The decisive reason is the data availability due to the extreme networking and the digital infrastructures, which are the prerequisites for the feedback neural networks to be able to develop effectively. The combination of speed in handling vast amounts of data, a relatively simple learning algorithm and very few necessary "a priori" knowledge describes the core of the performance of modern artificial intelligence.

Products will act as super agents in the future.

I would like to show you an example of the “intelligent shoe” that is given an identity when it is ordered. He knows who he is and he also knows who his customer is. He knows what the customer wants from him, whether he should, for example, monitor the customer's parameters. And he also knows how his condition and his path will be: He will have to work his way through the production facilities, in which there is no longer a classic central control. The production and transport units are of course in a symbiosis with their intelligent agents who negotiate with the intelligent shoes. All of this could be done “democratically” according to the political principle of the separation and entanglement of powers, a method for which there is already an initial application for textile automatic weaving machines.

When the intelligent shoe is then completed in this way, an automatic transport container will take over everything else in the near future. Such fully automatic trucks are nothing new - we drove over 5,000 km fully automatically in flowing traffic on German motorways as early as 2009 with a consortium from RWTH Aachen University and industrial partners as part of the KONVOI project.

Let's be clear: products will act as super agents in the future. They plan their production and transport themselves. They have requirements for other agents, for example a production facility, and they negotiate resources with other agents - on the road or in production.

Age of the global-regional Homo Zappiens

A new type of person is emerging with a completely new understanding of relationships between people and machines. What will be new about Homo Zappiens? He can multitask right from the start. He can think non-linearly. To put it a bit exaggerated: The six-year-old child can do 20 things in parallel today, but not one thing for five minutes. And that's not bad.

All these developments have already led to a new type of human being in the last few decades, whom the Dutch scientist Win Veen calls Homo Zappiens. A new type of person is emerging with a completely new understanding of relationships between people and machines. Win Veen first put forward these thoughts in 2006 - at the time they still seemed a bit visionary, but they struck me “like lightning”.

It is already commonplace that we have new forms of networking and that daily routines are organized over great distances, sometimes around the world. It has also become normal for us to be in virtual working and living environments that are distributed around the world. But what will be new about Homo Zappiens? He can multitask right from the start. He can think non-linearly. To put it a little exaggerated: The six-year-old child can do 20 things in parallel today, but not one thing for five minutes. And that's not bad, but good, because this generation has already adapted to the new conditions of information overload. It already has selection criteria and it is already highly parallel.

What needs to change is the educational process.

That is also what we as managers are radically confronted with. We're getting a different generation of people into our company. We have to offer something to this. She works differently and she wants to work differently because the old structures seem outdated to them. It is therefore inevitable that learning processes have to be designed completely differently. Learning through experience, through events, through joy will have to be the trend if the systems of universities and schools do not want to end in a dead end. Learning must continue to be fun. For example, the children and adolescents use various kinds of social media - in channels such as freekickerz, Gronkh, BibisBeautyPlace, LeFloid, Emrah, Mr Wissen2go or, above all, TheSimpleClub. From the student's point of view, the latter is better than any textbook.

The change in the world of work will be much more serious.

Learning through experience, through events, through joy will have to be the trend. Learning must continue to be fun. From a student's point of view, this is better than any textbook.

With the systems of artificial intelligence, human work will be replaced or changed. This applies to white-collar jobs as well as highly skilled work. IBM Watson AI computers can already take over certain areas of controlling. Decentralized platforms will be massively introduced and will also take over administrative tasks. This development will have an enormous rationalization effect - not to mention the autonomous systems in the air and on the road.

But the fully automatic car will not “just” drive fully automatically. For example, it will be the central digital twin for mobile care workers and, in swarm intelligence, with its colleague vehicles, will take over the entire disposition, documentation, traffic jam monitoring, route optimization, etc. The nurse can then simply get into the vehicle and use Skype, for example, to start a conversation with the next patient they visit. In this case, the vehicle becomes part of our everyday life as a social robot.

The age of hybrid intelligence

In summary, one can say that the human-machine interaction 4.0 creates a completely new dimension of cooperation between humans and intelligent objects. The age of hybrid intelligence between humans, machines and the respective digital shadows has begun.

The social robot is becoming part of our everyday life.

The time of man's domination over the objects he created is coming to an end. Of course, human-to-human interaction will continue to be of fundamental importance in the future - perhaps even greater than it is today. There will be no way around it. For example, more and more often we sit down much too late to talk to each other about the important things. And it is certainly one of the greatest "uncultures" of the last 20 years that one believes that one can manage person-to-person interaction via e-mails. Rather, one should ban some e-mail traffic and force people to meet them face to face - or at least via Skype - in order to resolve a dispute objects created for him comes to an end. There will be an increasing "partnership at eye level". [/ Sidequote]

The human-machine interaction will also remain on the different levels, whether on the screen or with the digital agent of the machine or the real machine does not matter. But there will have to be an increasing “partnership on an equal footing”. The idea of ​​the “supremacy” of humans over machines is no longer relevant.

Machine-to-machine communication, which runs without people, will increase rapidly, precisely because every machine is interspersed with its digital agents. For example, the weaving machine mentioned above contains around 200 software agents and no more PLC controls. These agents even have the right to vote and choose “their” coordinators or speakers. This is where digital shadow structures emerge, with which one can interact, but which independently form something like a kind of "shadow economy" of machine-to-machine communication.

In the long term, all technical objects in the real world will become intelligent

This is the real "lightning bolt" that has struck: In the long term, all technical objects in the real world will become intelligent and develop self-confidence and self-perception. There will be a lifelong learning process of these objects.

The digital shadows, the “digital skin” will become a dominant part of technology and human identity, both in communication between machines and machines, between humans and humans and between machines and humans. The result is a “dynamic of digital shadows” that runs in parallel and can increasingly develop a high level of intelligence.

This is the real "lightning bolt" that has struck: In the long term, all technical objects in the real world will become intelligent and develop self-confidence and self-perception. There will be a lifelong learning process for these objects, which learn from one another with their technical partners, but also with people. Driving schools for technical objects will also become a matter of course. This ubiquitous and unobtrusive interaction between the digital shadows of technology and people will dominate all aspects of communication.

This has enormous effects on the digital system landscape with the dimensions that intelligence is everywhere, that the physical and digital world is coupled and that we need new types of infrastructures.

Success factors in human action: agility, trust and mindfulness

Let me make a final remark: What are the success factors for such a sustainable digital transformation that takes place under the dominant factor of artificial intelligence? In our experience of consulting with P3 OSTO, agility, trust and mindfulness are the key success factors under these turbulent conditions. In my opinion, each factor is absolutely necessary for the success of this change - they are "knockout factors". If one of these three factors doesn't work out, the whole thing fails.

What are the success factors for such a sustainable digital transformation? Agility, Trust and Mindfulness. This is a huge construction site.

Agility does not only mean the application of Scrum or a method of software development, but also means that the entire structure of a company from product development to production, production changes, ramp-up processes to administrative structures is carried out according to the principles of agility become. This is a huge construction site where product development areas tend to be further than the rest of the company. And the central areas of administration, finance and controlling usually have a harder time, although they often need it more.

It also needs a culture of trust - vertically and horizontally between the departments. If you don't have this in your organization, forget about the whole transformation! You won't succeed.

And if you don't have mindfulness - if you don't ask yourself: what is actually happening here right now? What is happening culturally? What tensions do we have? - if you do not perceive this in its breadth and diversity, then you will not be successful either. Mindfulness is the art of perceiving the entire complexity and dynamics (dynaxity) and not suppressing it. Mindfulness is only an art if one has learned to endure these perceptions and not to fall into the reflex to approach something rashly.

Each of these three characteristics must be met with high quality for change to work. I take the liberty of recommending two books to you: “The Egofalle - 7 Ways to Ruin Your Business” (Renate Henning) and “The Art of Small Solutions - How People and Companies Cope with Complexity” (Klaus Henning).

May we all succeed in actively shaping the new world of hybrid intelligence between humans and artificial intelligence in a value-oriented manner before others do it irresponsibly.