AI, Artificial Ignorance – Harald Seiz on computer generated and machine based learning

Karatbars CEO and founder Harald Seiz sees himself as a proponent of new technologies and considers Artificial Intelligence an important step in the direction of making our everyday lives easier. From merchandise planning and control systems to specialized services such as legal or tax advice Artificial Intelligence is already influencing the decisions we make and in some cases is making our decision for us.

But are the algorithms totally independent from real-world criteria and the realities that surround us? Harald Seiz, for one, emphatically doesn’t think so. In his field of business finance and investment, Seiz points to the fact that the algorithms that underlie AI need to be changed, updated and adapted to current and ever-changing political and economic realities. He says that Artificial Intelligence can only be as good or effective as the algorithm that we feed it. Many people have the idea that because an intelligent system is self-learning, it can come to the right conclusion for all future tasks and problems and situations it might be confronted with. But that is not the case. As far as Harald Seiz is concerned, AI-systems need to be monitored by experts in their respective fields who make the necessary corrections when needed.

If one takes the current global pandemic as an example, internet giant Amazon couldn’t immediately react to an abrupt shift away from bestsellers such as cellphone cases or memory cards towards a sudden run on soaps and disinfectants. The algorithms had to be reprogrammed to help Amazon’s ERP-Systems adjust to the changing customer purchasing behavior. Considering the ever-changing law of supply and demand and taking into account that any ERP-System is only as good as a supplying manufacturer can actually produce and deliver the merchandise, the limits of Artificial Intelligence are revealed to a certain extent.

Artificial Intelligence shouldn’t make our business decisions for us

As an expert for gold and commodities, Harald Seiz reiterates that no Artificial Intelligence or related system could have advised or warned investors beforehand on how the precious metal would make the dramatic gains in value before the breakout of the pandemic. Once the Covid-19 virus was amongst us, we didn’t need Artificial Intelligence to tell us that the price of gold would start rising. We have more than enough case examples on how certain stock and commodities react in times of crisis. A couple of investment firms are offering their customers so-called “Robo-Advisors”, which help investors speculate in stocks and bonds. Their recommendations are also based on Artificial Intelligence and as long as the present patterns are valid, the system is fine. But woe to the investor should the underlying premises for the pattern change. Human intelligence will have to come in for the rescue.

Many AI-Experts and developers like Rajeev Sharma from the U.S. company “Pactera Edge” are happy that key systems in our economy and everyday lives are not run by Artificial Intelligence just yet. According to Sharma there is still a lot of testing to do and the systems have to be fed more information about historical and economic events such as the Great Depression or Black Monday in 1987 in order to help us make good decisions. And now Corona needs to be factored in.

Harald Seiz says he is very content, and in many ways even relieved, that his business consists of real people of flesh and blood making decisions and reacting to sudden changes in the market, in local or global economies. Harald Seiz is certain that machine learning and Artificial Intelligence will become better and more efficient over time and finds them fascinating in respect to their capabilities even now, but the human aspect and human intervention will play a significant part in improving these systems for a long time to come.