By Bennett Oghifo
A major focus of the recently concluded Mercedes-Benz “Future Talk” was on the integration of artificial intelligence in the field of mobility and the interaction of humans and machines. The Future Talk is a dialogue format successfully established by Mercedes-Benz in 2013. By exchanging ideas with vanguards from various disciplines, the brand shares its visions and, as the inventor of the automobile, demonstrates its expertise in shaping a desirable, mobile future.
Speaking at the conference, Anke Kleinschmit, Head of Daimler Group Research stated, “Artificial intelligence is a key future topic for Mercedes-Benz, in-car and beyond, such as in the fields of mobility services or in development and production. Artificial intelligence has ceased to be science fiction and the progress in autonomous driving is an impressive proof of this. Likewise, AI already assists the development phase and production by providing intuitive access to global knowledge and knowhow – Always tailored to the individual needs, experiences and knowledge of the employee.”
In addition to the technical development and data security, a basic prerequisite for the sustained success of artificial intelligence in all application cases is the acceptance by society and consumers. “Artificial intelligence will only be successful on a long-term basis if we succeed in building up trust between man and machine”, says futurologist Alexander Mankowsky. “We must define the division of tasks between human and artificial intelligence.” A necessary prerequisite is also to be aware of what artificial intelligence is able to do and what it isn’t. Because ultimately it always needs human participation and is based on human development. But it can support to make and examine decisions and therefore reach optimal results in a shorter space of time. The philosophy of Mercedes-Benz is – always to put human being at the center of all activities.
Mercedes-Benz works with numerous renowned research institutions in the field of artificial intelligence. For years, Daimler has been expanding its network to universities with innovative instruments such as research camps, tech centers, shared professorships and industry fellowships and start-up incubators and accelerators. In addition, the company will become a new member of the “MIT CSAIL Alliance Program” in the near future. The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the leading institutes worldwide in the field of IT and AI with 50 research groups and around 1000 members of staff.
“Mercedes-Benz is rigorously advancing its research and development in different directions so as to continue to play a pioneering role in the automotive industry in the development and application of artificial intelligence. The new partnership with MIT enables us to benefit even more directly from the research results of a leading world institute and to network with the best brains”, Anke Kleinschmit emphasizes. “We aim to continue to play a leading role in shaping the future of mobility – with new mobility concepts, with cognitive cars and services which focus on people and make their daily lives easier and better.”
CEO/MD of Weststar Associates Limited, sole authorized general distributors of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria, Mirko Plath stated, “With each step, we are inching closer to full functional autonomous driving.
I believe in the years to come, Nigeria would partake in this great initiative as we are blessed with a large population and a bigger percentage of tech-savvy individuals who can contribute substantially to the application of artificial intelligence in the automobile industry. We hold our customers with high esteem, that’s why we update our staff and technicians with regular trainings at our state-of-the-art training center to ensure we give the best services the Mercedes-Benz brand represents.”
Already in the 1960s, researchers expected a major breakthrough in the development and application of artificial intelligence, but the human world still proved too complex for digital computers. However, due to the triumph of the internet, the mass of data that has become available with this and the huge increase in computing power of today’s computers, artificial intelligence is now entering people’s lives and also offers big opportunities and potential for the future of the automobile.