Bayreuth Future Research identifies Education, Governance and Trust as the Essentials
Numerous new inventions and political developments change the world. The Bayreuth Colloquium on ‘The World 2029’ analysed a broad range of trends and concluded three key areas where our societies need to act now: Education, governance and trust. The conclusion: “There is still time to take our destiny in our hands.”
How might our world look like in 10 years, given the spread of artificial intelligence and many other developments, and where do we need to act? This question was tackled by scientists and executives from governments, NGOs and business from Germany, Korea and Africa in the future colloquium of the University of Bayreuth and the F/L Think Tank eG in Bayreuth on February 15th, 2019.
As input for an exciting discussion, inspirational remarks from senior experts and 135 observations, trends and scenarios were provided. 26 participants identified the most likely ones, and those potentially being a ‘game changer’ for the world development. The topics covered many areas like digital transformation, the future role of autonomous machines and the development of our societies.
During the colloquium, ten game changers for the World in 2029 were identified. The seven most important trends which are likely to happen and change our world – although not always recognized in the public debate – are:
• New technologies spread fast in business and daily life, including 5G-enabled total connectivity, virtual factories, quantum computing power, autonomous traffic and logistics.
• Data protection and verification is becoming very difficult or extremely expensive. Countermeasures include protected isolated subsystems for critical data, and AI-enabled early warning system for fake news.
• The Chinese societal model confronts the Western democracies, and the US-Chinese relationship seriously affects global governance.
• Lethal autonomous weapon systems, including unmanned moving landmines, drones and ships, fundamentally change security and war.
• Medicine using a broad range of new technics like AI cancer diagnosis, 3D-printing of human tissue, employment of symbiotic microbiota, and genome correction provide new therapeutic options.
• Longevity could accelerate faster than anticipated by demographers, and will then require a broad range of changes throughout our societies.
• Global warming, reduction in biodiversity, deepening of the societal divide and further global sustainability challenges deteriorate at an alarming pace.
The most important meta-topics affect our societies beyond single inventions or policy decisions. During an intense discourse, the Bayreuth colloquium identified three where actions of our societies are strongly recommended:
• Education has to be reorganized on a very extensive scale. Gaming, education and digital interaction will merge, AI will enter schools, universities and professional training, and AI education becomes a major policy target.
• International governance for AI is needed, because AI spreads into politically sensitive areas and might even develop a potential for autonomous “superintelligence”.
• Trust is an important but underestimated factor of the organization of human societies. It is unclear how trust can be established when algorithms, robots or AI are built into the systems and structures of our daily life.
Professor Stefan Leible, president of the University of Bayreuth and participant at the colloquium, emphasized: “The education at our universities will change significantly during the next decade. It will be vital to combine new learning methods and new insight with the proven concept of excellent academic teachers.”
Professor Volker Deville, head of the F/L Think Tank in Munich and organizer of the colloquium, added: “We want to employ inventions like artificial intelligence to our benefit. At the same time, we must ensure adequate risk management and governance to control the significant downsides of new technologies.”
Phyllis M. Gilch
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The University of Bayreuth at a glance
Founded in 1975, the University of Bayreuth is currently one of Germany's most successful young universities. In the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings, it is ranked 30th among the 250 best young universities in the world. Interdisciplinary research and teaching is the main feature of the university's 154 degree programmes offered by seven faculties covering the natural sciences, engineering, law, economics, languages, literature, and cultural studies. The University of Bayreuth has around 13,500 students, roughly 1,250 academic staff members, 239 professors, and around 950 non-academic staff members. It is the largest employer in the region. (Information as of 21.12.2018)
Prof. Dr. Volker Deville
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