Artificial intelligence could be stopped

Artificial intelligence

Every day, tons of food are thrown away at wholesalers around the world - even though they are still edible. "A tremendous waste," says Alexander Piutti and acts. With his start-up SPRK.global, he wants to put an end to food waste worldwide with the help of artificial intelligence. A mammoth task whose beginnings are accompanied by "plan b". When does the milk batch expire? How many tons of tomatoes rot every Thursday? Piutti collects such data from Berlin wholesalers. They need his AI to avoid surpluses or to give them to those in need in real time. Piutti has the rest processed for canteens and restaurants - before the food becomes inedible. He is convinced: "With AI we can ensure that at some point there is no waste at all in the production and trade of food."

But what about, for example, food packaging and other rubbish that some innocently throw away in the countryside? In Asia, Eastern Europe, but also in Germany, that is the challenge for Oliver Zielinski. The physicist from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence tracks down trash hidden in inaccessible areas with a drone and AI algorithms. In future, not only researchers should be able to do this, but all of us. "In 50 years we will have AI in our back pockets," said Zielinski. We can already use algorithms to find out how the garbage is made up. How many bottles or cups? What material? This is useful to properly recycle the garbage later, but also to identify the polluters and work out environmentally friendly solutions with them.

But the superhuman abilities of artificial intelligence are also frightening. This is particularly noticeable in road traffic. Autonomous driving is still viewed with skepticism in Germany. AI detects and brakes faster than anyone and could save the lives of so many of the almost 3,000 people who die in traffic every year. That is the vision of Christoph Stiller, who is researching at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology to help autonomous vehicles reach series production.

The fact is: everything that humans cannot do well, AI can do - and everything that humans cannot do well, AI cannot. So it's not about replacing emotions, interpersonal, art and culture with AI, but possibly even saving them with the help of algorithms. Yves Ubelmann shows that. The Frenchman travels all over the world with his camera and takes meticulous photos of cultural monuments that are threatened or even destroyed: Aleppo, Angkor Wat, but also Notre-Dame in Paris. Algorithms use these photos to calculate detailed 3-D models. Important blueprints to preserve these masterpieces for posterity.

These examples show how AI can improve life today and how humans and technology can work together in a meaningful way in the future.