German computer scientist Jürgen Schmidhuber is one of the world’s top experts on artificial intelligence. He’s excited about self-learning programs that imitate the human brain and expects a revolution in the financial world and beyond – even an upheaval in human history. He talked recently with Handelsblatt during a portfolio management conference in Frankfurt.
Professor Schmidhuber, has there been increased interest in your work?
Yes, an enormous increase. It’s the big companies – like Google, Facebook, Baidu, Apple or Microsoft – that are suddenly showing great interest in our algorithms, some of which are quite old, for machine learning to solve problems. These involve language processing, picture recognition, individualized advertising and information searches in big data pools.
How long have you been involved in research?
I have been working on artificial intelligence since 1985. Relevant algorithms, many of which were first developed in my laboratory, are more popular today than they used to be. Because in two decades, computers have become about 10,000 times more efficient by price unit.