Are children scared of the future? Will artificial intelligence send off everyone to retirement? What will the office of the future be like? These are the questions that were answered in the joint event of the Science Park Offices and AmCham, hosted by the showroom of the renewed office building.
Future is an extreme, yet flexible thing, which we mainly think about along the lines of popular culture. We used to be scared of Frankenstein, then UFO’s were threatening the future during the cold war, and in the 80’s, the creature turning against humanity was reborn in the form of the Terminator. Nowadays, we are scared of not only armed robots but also our tasks being taken over by an algorithm running in a remote computer room.
András Kánai, future researcher, when talking about the transformation of the offices, presented a much more positive scenario than the ones mentioned above. Workplaces nowadays need to adjust to the different expectations of different generations, the shortening of time an employee spends at an employer and the challenges of automation. They need to set up a space, where different generations and genders, and people from different cultural backgrounds and statuses, can work together while being assisted by lifeless colleagues, robots and algorithms. Change is inevitable. “In the nineties, when mobile phones were introduced, Matáv (Hungarian Telecommunications Company) used an advertisement saying that you need a fixed line phone for serious conversations. Nowadays, we do not think like that,” said András Kánai.
The average student of Makerspace.hu workshop does not even know what a fixed line phone is. The founder of the workshop, which is full of 3D printers, laser cutters and other computer controlled equipment, Péter Fuchs talked about the fears children, that is the future alpha generation of employees, have. According to the expert, one of the lessons of the smart city planning workshop with the participation of children was that there is no such thing as a not-so-green smart city. “Children plan bio-solutions, green roofs, public parks in every scenario. They really take care of the future,” said Péter Fuchs.
The last lecturer was Levente Szabados, artificial intelligence researcher, who talked about the opportunities in technology and also the silliness of very smart systems, different from that of humans. Nowadays, algorithms can rewrite human speech better than native speakers. However, it is enough to enter a pattern into the picture, which cannot be recognized by the human eye, but which cause the image recognition algorithms, which have been functioning perfectly so far, to perceive objects or creatures in a totally different way. “Working with artificial intelligence systems will be something like working with a colleague, who came from a different culture,” said Szabados.
Beside the unique speeches, foods were also evoking the future at the event. In the molecular bar, those who stayed for a short discussion after the lectures could taste mouth-watering gels and small portions of food compositions. Visitors could walk around and get to know the newly finished showroom situated on the top floor of the ever renewing Science Park Offices, which, with its harmonious design and beautiful Danube view, was a venue worthy for the event.
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