Why do I work in A.I.?

I believe that good algorithms can make better decisions than humans. I have an undying, relentless optimism that even the hardest societal problems can be tackled by applying technology and Artificial Intelligence. I’m a fanatic - even cult-like - techno-optimist.

I believe A.I. beats humans at many, many tasks and on many different criteria#

A well-developed algorithm is more fair than any person, as we can explicitly control for bias instead of being driven by unconscious bias.

A.I. models can take into account vast amounts of data, many more than one puny little human brain could ever remember or systematically analyze. That’s why AI models make better decisions.

Automation means faster results. And automation means workers that never get tired, never make mistakes and are always consistent.

I want to live in a world augmented by A.I. technology#

I believe that we can use A.I. models to improve individuals, companies and society as a whole.


The end goal of everything we do as a society should be to empower individuals. Efficient companies and better policy decisions are only a means to the end goal of empowering people.

Besides those indirect effects, Artificial Intelligence also improves the lives of people in a direct way. Some selected examples include:

  • As companies improve productivity and efficiency, the total economic output and resources will grow, benefitting all. That means more spare time to fill in as we please. I look forward to a future where a workweek is maybe only 3 or 4 days long instead of 5. This would leave more time for spending with family and friends, doing sports, self-realization, knowledge gathering and learning, gaming or even just watching TV.
  • More efficient Netflix, Goodreads, and Spotify means more personalized entertainment.
  • Faster access to knowledge from intelligent search engines and personalized learning trajectories leads to more self-realization.
  • Vast medical improvements make people physically and mentally healthier. I want to grow old.
  • A.I. assistants already help unlock creativity through writing assistants, generative visual art, and automated music tutoring


Major technological innovations have always led to disruptions in the short term but a healthier economy in the long term. Artificial Intelligence will be no different. The goal of using A.I. in companies is to

  • automate the boring stuff like data entry
  • allow corporates and enterprises to make better micro and macro decisions by using data
  • be efficient e.g. by using forecasting, finding slippage, fraud, …
  • enable new products with better UX


Besides the benefits of empowering individuals and companies, A.I. can play a role in tackling societal problems directly. For example

  • Tackling climate change by using Machine Learning, see this paper for an introduction,
  • Automatic hate speech detection
  • Reducing systemic bias by controlling the algorithms

What about the dangers of A.I.?#

Bad use by state actors, unfair discrimination, criminals, …

Any powerful technology can be used for good or bad. The internet has been used by drug dealers and pedophiles, and electricity has been used by governments to execute people. Even water - we could say that’s a natural technology - has been used to torture people.

I strongly believe the net benefits of A.I. will be positive and outweigh the negative uses. I’d even posit that to make sure these positive effects are realized, it is the mission of people like myself to use A.I. for good.

Runaway intelligence and A.I. turning us all into paper clips

Will A.I. kill us all? I don’t think so.

I recommend playing the Paperclips game and forming your own opinion.

Read more#

Writing a personal mission statement is incredibly useful to keep your efforts pointed to your own “north star”. If you are unsure about what you want to do in life, and where to spend time, I recommend the following resources