In this panel it was all about Artificial Intelligence, which is changing the world as we know it. From the internet of things to the big data revolution, AI and machine learning are revolutionizing almost every part of our lives. The FUTURE FORUM by BMW WELT brought together experts from right across the spectrum, representing academia, industry and activism. Our moderator Susannah Streeter, broadcaster and senior analyst for Hargreaves Lansdown, welcomed Professor Daniel Rückert, Alexander von Humboldt Professor for AI at Technical University of Munich, Alice Thwaite, Founder of Hattusia and the Echo Chamber Club, Kenza Ait Si Abbou, Senior Manager at Deutsche Telekom IT and Book Author, Josh Tobin Entrepreneur and engineer, who used to work for Open AI and Daniela Rittmeier, AI portfolio manager at BMW Group, to discuss what AI will mean for us as individuals and for industries across the globe and debate whether we should be wary or welcoming of these huge advances. The debate was about relevant questions „Will AI lead to mass unemployment?“, „What kinds of privacy concerns does AI throw up?“, „Are customers ready to be managed by machines?“, „Aren’t robots making jobs more human either than replacing humans?“, „Should there be an international convention on the use cases for AI?“ and finally “will AI enhance or endanger humanity?“.
If you want to get answers to these and many more thriving questions on AI, watch the recording of the whole event here.
Susannah Streeter is a leading broadcaster and financial commentator who has anchored flagship business news programmes on TV and radio and hosted major summits, conferences and events around the world.
Susannah is a hugely popular host and moderator, who has worked with governments, banks and other organisations, focusing on international business themes and challenges. Specialist topics include Business, the Environment, Digital Disruption, the Royal Air Force and Women in Business and the Armed Services. As a senior investment and markets analyst, commentator and former business journalist, Susannah is a knowledgeable and highly-skilled interviewer who has quizzed leading business figures, politicians, entrepreneurs and economists on radio and TV, over 17 years at the BBC, and at live events.
Susannah is a fluent French speaker. While hosting the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai, she interviewed former President Francois Hollande in French and she has moderated major conferences in France as well as bilingual events in her role as UK representative for NATO’s Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers. Prior to specialising in business news, Susannah was a regular face on BBC Breakfast, reporting live from across the UK. She also reported for the consumer affairs programme Working Lunch and the BBC Budget programme.
Between 1997 and 2007, Susannah served in the RAF Reserve, joining 7644 Squadron, a media operations unit, where she rose to the rank of Squadron Leader.
Kenza is Senior Manager for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at Deutsche Telekom IT. She was born in Morocco, studied Telecommunications Engineering in Spain. A Master in Project Management followed in Germany, then Chinese as a foreign language in China. She has a track record managing big projects, in Hardware and Software development, ICT outsourcing tenders, agile transformations, or rolling out new network architectures for Deutsche Telekom. In December 2018 Kenza was awarded with the Digital Female Leader Award in the category IT/Tech, and in April 2019 with the Engineer Power Women Award from Deutsche Messe, for her engagement and commitment for more Diversity in the IT and AI world. In August 2020 Kenza published her first Book „Keine Panik, ist nur Technik“ (in German for now), where she explains artificial intelligence to the public and pleads for more diversity in AI development.
Daniela Rittmeier is the AI Portfolio Manager of the BMW Group. Based on the BMW Strategy Number One she set-up the initial AI network. Supported by an interdisciplinary team she derived the Artificial Intelligence Strategy and AI roadmap.
Today Daniela is part of the “Project AI”, which is the BMW Group’s centre of excellence and ensures rapid connectivity, knowledge transfer and technology scaling. She is responsible for the “D³ Portfolio”, that provides transparency on the use of technologies making Data-Driven Decisions [hence the name D³]. It comprises over 400 use cases at present, more than 50 of which have already been made available for regular operation.
Daniela has more than 15 years’ experience of initiating, developing and realizing transformation projects and is fascinated about shaping the future and reaching innovative, sustainable solutions.
Daniel Rückert is Alexander von Humboldt Professor for AI at Technical University of Munich. He is also Professor of Visual Information Processing in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. With the aid, amongst others, of artificial neural networks, Daniel Rückert has crucially improved the quality of medical imaging – because humans are immediately able to perceive movement and place it in an overall context whilst machines still have to learn to piece together objects and movements, differentiate them from their environment and then classify them. To this end, they have to be fed the relevant algorithms and vast amounts of data. One of Daniel Rückert’s achievements is to “teach” neural networks to produce a three-dimensional image of the brain and to recognise tumours and lesions. He has also developed a procedure that accelerates MRI image reconstruction of unborn babies without interfering with the image. At the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the aims are to drive the implementation of Rückert’s imaging techniques and establish an interdisciplinary research focus in medical imaging. As the head of a new Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare and Medicine, Rückert will pool the work of various research laboratories in the medical, natural science and engineering faculties as well as TUM's university hospitals.
Alice Thwaite is a professional tech philosopher and ethicist. She is the founder of the tech ethics campus, community and consultancy, Hattusia. She is also the founder of the Echo Chamber Club, a philosophical institute dedicated to understanding what makes information environments democratic in an Information Age.
Josh is a researcher working at the intersection of machine learning and robotics. His research focuses on applying deep reinforcement learning, generative models, and synthetic data to problems in robotic perception and control. Additionally, he co-organizes a machine learning training program for engineers to learn about production-ready deep learning called Full Stack Deep Learning. He did his PhD in Computer Science at UC Berkeley advised by Pieter Abbeel and was a research scientist at OpenAI for 3 years during his PhD. He has also been a management consultant at McKinsey and an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund.