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  • Writer's pictureHubert Österle

Lifeengineering Workshop Leipzig

Publish Date: 05.07.2024

(Walter, 2024)

The workshop in Leipzig on 18 June 2024 dealt with the topic of "Lifeengineering". The aim of the life engineering workshop was to achieve a common language and motivation for this topic.

The first topic addressed was the development of AI. The development of artificial intelligence is unstoppable. Mustafa Suleyman is a good example of how quickly supposed admonishers of overly rapid developments in the field of AI can change their tune. After previous warnings, as CEO of Microsoft AI he is now driving the product CoPilot, Microsoft's AI. If we try to restrict AI with laws and regulations, we will end up being the ones who lose the global competition and adopt the rules of others.

Next, the topic of values and needs was addressed. Every action we take is based on our needs  (Fig. 1). In an affluent society, it is primarily about selection and selection needs. An example of this is singing in a choir. On the one hand, the need for appearance is represented here, the singer feels that he can do something better than others. As he is needed in the choir, this in turn also satisfies his need for power, and so on. Every action has an effect on several needs, both negative and positive.

(Fig. 1)

The goal is an AI that recognises our needs, which can be satisfied through actions. This can be done using sensors such as cameras etc. In this way, AI will recognise reality in the same way as humans or even better (e.g. radioactivity). Ultimately, we are talking here about a world model that is still many years away.

Bogdan Franczyk pointed out that instead of the all-encompassing world model, agent systems are more likely to emerge initially to solve specific tasks such as nutrition. One challenge, for example, is that short-term increases in needs, such as those caused by addictions, must be controlled in order to prevent over-satisfaction. Homeostasis ensures permanent learning, i.e. adaptation of needs, actions and knowledge. AI technology is currently barely capable of doing this.

Finally, the connection between values and needs was clarified. Values are merely abbreviations for needs. These are constantly evolving and are shaped by their environment. They are rules that were useful in the past and today sometimes become ideologies, religions, etc. Each value arises from specific needs that form the basis for human behaviour and interpersonal interactions.

The debates were sometimes heated, as not everyone agreed with the idea of measuring quality of life using AI. This was labelled as the objectification of feelings. The discussion about quality of life (QoL) showed that the path to artificial intelligence that measures quality of life is still challenging.

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A comment on Lars P. Reichelt

Privacy always sounds ethically superior, for most of us health is even more important. It is hard to understand the ongoing discussion.


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