Following up on our coverage of TECH OPEN AIR (TOA), which took place in early July at the Funkhaus Berlin, we sat together with one of TOA’s inspiring speakers, Moojan Asghari (https://www.linkedin.com/in/moojanasghari). Passionate about the impact of AI on our lives, France-based Moojan leads the Women in AI (a non-profit organization aiming to empower women in the field of artificial intelligence). Moojan frequently ranks among the Top 10 Pioneering Women in AI and Machine Learning. As you can imagine, artificial intelligence stood at the art of our brief chat.

FIWARE Foundation: One could argue that sci-fiction movies tend to focus a bit too much on fiction and by default, too little on science. So, what does the future look like in your head (with AI in mind, obviously)?

Moojan: First of all, I’m a big fan of sci-fi. I believe they push our boundaries forward and allow us to dream the impossible. From my point of view, in 50 years time, there will be so many improbable things happening that I can’t even imagine. But there are a few things I’m sure we will have. For example, by then, we will already be sending people to the Moon and to Mars, most likely. Commercial space travel would be a usual thing.

 

Discovery robots would have reached many other planets and some new exo galaxies. There won’t be any human-driven cars, at least in cities. Passenger drones with renewable energy will be a common way of transportation, probably running on AI and self-driving. Surgeries will not longer be performed by surgeons. Schools will be turned into personalized educational systems, in which you will have teachers and robots working together. Everyone will have a digital ID and facial recognition will be a reality in all airports and security places. Everyone will have smart glasses, instead of phones or lenses, to analyze the surrounding. LinkedIn will probably have been replaced by facial recognition, already implemented on glasses, so you would recognize and remember everyone you meet. Learning AI would be like dealing with PowerPoint or a calculator. Would be something that everyone would be using and many would be born with. Household robots will be the new toy.

FIWARE Foundation: Impressive, I’ll hold you to your word. Let me ask you this: AI is truly changing almost every industry, transforming the way that we work, play, engage, communicate with one another. The dialogue around AI is growing and has entered the social, economic and political arena. So please enlighten our readers on what the impacts of AI on fields such as health care, education, the environment, poverty, decision-making are.

Moojan: Every day, we see a new application of AI solving a problem. But I think that, in order to have an efficient and maybe accelerated advancement, we need to join forces and bring all minds together. I think humans simply are not good enough to govern. I think a futuristic government, for instance, would be an intelligent base on a decentralized system to decide what is good for the world, planet, individuals and give us the power or manage our world better. One worry will be weaponized AI. Which is already happening. Robots instead of soldiers. Data piracy and all the intelligent robot hacks to disable a countries defense and national system. This can potentially cause a world war. I think we can use the same technology to avoid and block that and enforce regulations on that basis, as well as providing equal access to AI. Some good examples of AI in environment is satellite image recognition, which aims to find out over 80% of the plastics that mankind has dumped into the oceans. Some companies have started working on that, and I believe AI is, and will be, a tremendous efficient tool to help us better protect our planet.

FIWARE Foundation: To wrap things up, at FIWARE Foundation we support and promote open source technologies and the way it can really unleash the full potential smart industries across the board. What’s your take on open source technologies? Can it really be a positive driver in fostering the development of innovative smart solutions?

Moojan: Yes definitely. I’m a big fan of open source. I believe that technologies like AI and IoT can be more powerful if everyone can contribute to them, and that is possible only if they are open source. This also democratises the access to data and knowledge for a mass population and avoids any discrimination over these technologies.

Very well put Moojan, thank you. If you want to know more about artificial intelligence and many more topics related to digital, smart technologies and what the future will look like (perhaps Moojan’s take on the future will come true sooner than we think), then join our FIWARE Global Summit in Berlin, to take place on October 23 & 24, 2019, at the CityCube Berlin. See you there!