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When machines talk like humans.

January 24, 2019

Before the weXelerate Accelerator Program ended last week for batch 3,  we were happy to welcome Wolfgang Dreyer from Oracle as well as Andreas Rath from the startup Ondewo for a Tech Breakfast on January 16. The two speakers were talking about high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI)

Both fields of work are more present in our everyday life than we might think. According to Wolfgang Dreyer, Senior Principal Product Manager for Automotive, Aerospace, Oil&Gas at Oracle, “there is no segment without AI in everyday life.” People are often unaware that AI can for instance be found in the security sector with credit card fraud or facial recognition at airports. But you also come across this technology in many other fields such as financial services, the health-care sector, the car industry or in smart city projects. As a massive amount of data is needed to get AI working, HPC is the perfect match. Think about weather-forecasts, for instance. Today predictions are that precise that meteorologists can narrow down what the weather will be like to an area of 2 kilometers. This helps a lot in the communication and organisation in case of catastrophes. HPC provides again the technological basis to handle a huge amount of data in a short time. Another field that is profiting from both HPC and AI is the car industry. Imagine a time when cars will drive automatically, their routes being controlled by cameras and sensors. All signs are recognized automatically and speeds and behavior adjusted automatically to the situation.

However, the most important thing for an acceptance of technologies such as AI is a balance between data security and usability.  Wolfgang Dreyer mentioned that “Cloud technology with their already applied – enterprise ready – security concepts are perfect for startup companies as their applications match the needs for their future customers from security standpoint. Furthermore Cloud HPC helps startups with the “pay-per-use” model to get access to state of the art compute resources without having an upfront investment.”

A possible future scenario for the startup Ondewo is that machines such as robots will interact with us as well as with one another in a human way. Conversations will come as natural from machines as from other human beings. The machines will be able to detect if you are looking for information or help and will act accordingly. Andreas Rath explained that “everyday objects get smarter every day. This means that AI will be present in everybody’s life sooner than later for instance in smart objects around the house.” He emphasised that AI is “closely linked to HPC as only this technology enables us to process huge amounts of data as needed for instance in AI projects”.