An Introduction to Know-Center: How Artificial Intelligence Will Change all Industries

With Wolfgang Kienreich, CBO of Know-Center Graz

I remember the days well, back in the 70s and 80s when Science Fiction writers were philosophizing about machines taking over the world and making the human race redundant.

Do you remember the 1984 movie Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Styrian Oak?

The narrative of the movie was a Robot traveling back in time to avoid the machines going extinct. Artificial Intelligence already has won the battle against the human race back in the future.

Terminator wasn‘t the only movie of this kind. Do you remember Knight Rider? As Michael Knight, David Hasselhoff was the only person able to communicate with his car correctly. A man‘s dream. I will never forget when Michael raised his arm, talked into his wristwatch, and a minute later, KITT - his car - stopped right in front of him.

Many books and movies were pondering the question -

what happens if computers become so smart that they equal human beings in their „mental“ abilities.

Gene Roddenberry discussed such ideas in Star Trek; George Lucas invented Star Wars to consider the future.

R2D2 and 3CPO were intelligent robots that helped the Jedi fighting against the Empire. Or the Borg, a species that combines humanoids with technology, or the Android Data in Star Trek the Next Generation.

In literature, writers like Isaac Asimov, Stanislaw Lem, or the writers who contributed to the Perry Rhodan Series similarly raised questions about how intelligent computers can become and how that will change society.

The 80s were a significant period, right before the biggest invention that changed the entire society. The internet started in 1993 when the CERN Institute decided to put the WorldWideWeb online for free—basically, licensing it to everybody. It was one of the most powerful enabling technology.

Flashforward to 2021, we now live in a world where indeed, those Science Fiction Narratives are reality. Well, at least partially. Cars are self-driving, Wristwatches are a means of communication and well, and robots already help human beings organize their lives. I am thinking about Alexa and Siri.

Artificial Intelligence Today

While writing this article to announce the Podcast recording with Wolfgang Kienreich, I was reading an article about the latest findings in Quantum Physics in which an AI called MELVIN helped coming up with a novel solution.

What is Fact, and what is still Fiction?

Do we already live in a sci-fi world, or is technology not as advanced as it looks in articles?

There are so many questions open around the topics of

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Big Data

  • Cyber Security

  • Data-Driven Business or

  • Knowledge Discovery

I thought, why not inviting someone from the field of AI to philosophize about AI taking over the world.

I am delighted that one of the world‘s best research institutes in this field started in Austria about 20 years ago in Graz. One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, where I began my research in „How Business will change now that the Internet exists.“ Which we called eBusiness.

Join the Conversation

Join me and Wolfgang Kienreich, CBO of Know-Center, in this conversation to get an update on what’s fact and what‘s still fiction in Artificial Intelligence.

Wolfgang Kienreich studied computer science in Graz and communication science in Vienna. He founded a startup specializing in visualization technologies and worked for Hyperwave Research. He has been working at the Know-Center in Graz since 2003 and headed, among other things, the research area of knowledge development and visualization. He has written over 60 scientific publications on these topics. As a director, he has been responsible for business strategies at the Know-Center since 2014.

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One problem in the digital world is: We cannot feel the interaction.

Prof. Sriram Subramanian is working on solutions for this problem. He has spun out Ultraleap from the University of Bristol. The company translates the research into products for the digital world.

In this episode, I will talk with Prof. Subramanian about real-life applications for his inventions, the importance of touch for well-being, and the potential for the life science industry.


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