Adel Al-Saleh, CEO T-Systems

Coupling virtual and real worlds requires rules.

Adel Al-Saleh, Board Member Deutsche Telekom AG and CEO T-Systems

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Customer relationships without collaboration are a thing of the past – for example in terms of developing solutions that bring companies and customers closer together. Which can already be seen in some ways today: Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a pivotal role. According to IDC, 19.1 billion US dollars will be spent this year on exploring and simulating the human thought processes, so-called cognitive computing. This corresponds to an increase of more than 50 percent compared to the previous year. By 2021, that number will increase to 52 billion US dollars. And for good reasons.

“Coupling virtual and real worlds requires rules. And technologies that help to maintain them.”

Adel Al-Saleh, CEO, T-Systems

A study by the McKinsey Global Institute shows the effect this market will have on our economy and industry, as well as on our lives and work. According to the study, the sum of goods and services produced worldwide could increase by 1.2 percent per annum through AI alone. Sounds manageable, but is unsurpassed by anything that humanity has experienced so far in terms of impact. With the steam engine, which rang in a new industrial age worldwide with James Watt in the 18th century, it was 0.3 percent. With the internet, it was 0.6 percent for almost three decades. Each year.

Engineering and automation, mobility, cooperation, and the increasing agility of how we work consistently describe areas where exponentially progressive development without AI would be unthinkable. It plays a very central role in the creation of the digital twin. Only with AI can a digital twin simulate and predict the behavior and properties of products, machines, and equipment – an ability whose value can only be approximated today for the entire lifecycle of a product, process, or business model. And which thus becomes a business necessity.

But this coupling of the virtual and the real world needs rules: ethical standards, uncompromising data protection, and maximum integrity. It also requires technologies designed to help keep the rules in place. IT security technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT) applications, cloud services, big data, and services in industries such as the increasingly important healthcare sector. For a beneficial co-existence. Between us and our future machines.


Adel Al-Saleh

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