Video-Interview with Charles-Edouard Bouée

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A conversation about the role of science fiction in developing realistic scenarios for the future and why we should blend and augment the human brain with machines.

Charles-Edouard Bouée, Senior Advisor at Roland Berger.

What’s your biggest fear regarding Digitization and AI?

My biggest fear is that Artificial Intelligence is being used as a weapon, because it is a very powerful weapon and we might see some usage that we don’t want to see.

But there are also positive aspects so what’s your biggest hope?

My biggest hope is that we move from Artificial Intelligence – AI - to HAI, which is ‘Human Augmented Intelligence’. That we blend and augment the human brain with machines.

How can we prevent that machines will take the power over us?

I think that if we have a lazy attitude, a more like laid-back, the machines will take over because we will not be focused on what type of world we want to build. If we harvest the machines and harvest them, and do the Human Augmented Intelligence then we will be the master of the machines.

You once said that the race for AI is still open so there is a chance for Europe and there is a chance for China. What do you mean?

I think China is putting massive amounts of money and resources on Artificial Intelligence, because they have a lot of data, they want to move very fast, and we see a lot of new companies in China that are providing very interesting products to the market. For Europe I’m quite optimistic. But we have to start the race, because we have no incumbent. We don’t have Google or Apple. We don’t have Baidu or Alibaba. And therefore it’s a better space for us to invest - as long as we get started.

What can we learn from China?

A couple of things. The first thing is that we need to have a long-term thinking. They have the five year plan, they have 30-years, 100-years cycle and we should do the same. The second thing we need to do is we need to invest in Science Fiction. We need to understand what the future will hold and then invest in the technology that will make the future. And that’s when come in governments and companies who are our clients.

Science Fiction is a source for realistic scenarios?

I mean we all need imagination. Imagination is coming from Sci-Fi, from the old authors like Arthur Clark or Asimov to the new ones in China and everywhere in the world. Then you have Hollywood producing into movies, you have the military and then you have the businesses. And I think this is the time horizon we have to work on. We have lost the Science Fiction that will help you up to project itself in the future.

Real-life scenarios: science fiction is more than just fiction.

More than just fiction

Charles-Edouard Bouée recommends Science Fiction novels as source for a realistic view into our future.