Annual Reception of the German Confederation of Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises (BVMW)

by | 28.02.2019 | BUDS News

Prof. Dr. Mike Friedrichsen, the founding president of the Berlin University of Digital Sciences, was invited as a guest of honour to the annual reception of the German Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (BVMW) in Berlin on  February 18th. The reception was attended by more than 3500 guests comprising entrepreneurs, leading politicians and other high-ranking guests. Among these were and 60 ambassadors and 80 parliamentarians.

The BVMW is a politically independent association which caters for all commercial branches and professions, and represents the interests of small and medium-sized businesses in politics, with administrative authorities, with trade unions and with major companies. Medium-sized businesses – around 3.3 million individual enterprises in all – are the backbone and impulse of the German economy.

Together with BVMW-President Mario Ohoven, the president of BVMW and the BVMW-CEO Mr. Markus Jerger, our President talked about future cooperations regarding the association and the Berlin University of Digital Sciences.

Furthermore Mr. Friedrichsen discussed with Peter Altmeier, German Minister for economic affairs about digital competences as a key prerequisite for future-oriented development, especially in view of the international interdependence within the framework of globalisation and the resulting competitive pressure. Changing requirement profiles for existing professions offer opportunities for digitally qualified employees, combined with a constant need for further qualification. At the same time, employees without digital skills must continue their training in order not to lose touch.

Prof. Dr. Mike Friedrichsen dreams of being able to use robots in teaching in the coming years. First steps and work have already been completed. Over the last decades, robots have gradually conquered the world economy and industry and are increasingly finding their way into our private and professional lives. Robot designs are becoming more and more humane and intelligent. A trend that has a rather worrying effect on many people.

Good idea or bad idea?

While vacuum-cleaning robots at home or bomb-disarming robots are perceived by most people as useful and unthreatening, this perception changes with the latest robot developments. Prophetic robot operations as babysitters and sexual experiences with robots are often perceived as frightening. Robots are also feared as work colleagues. This is partly because they can replace human labor in many areas. On the other hand, communication in collaboration is associated with many uncertainties. In addition, there is the fear that technical intelligence will develop beyond that of human intelligence, which would entail risks for all human beings. According to robot expert Eliezer Yodkowsky, intelligent robots can even build other intelligent robots without human participation and take control of human infrastructures. The Terminator sends its greetings.

Both the idea of living without robots and the danger of losing human control over robot-based intelligence raise numerous questions about future development and handling of robots.

There are currently more than 1.2 million robots (as of 2008) in use in industry worldwide.

New and more intelligent robot models are being developed all the time, which will also be used as teaching robots, for example, in the healthcare system, in nursing care and even in education. The age of cooperation with robots has long since begun. The BUDS will contribute to the development in a number of research projects.

During a cosy get-together in the evening, Prof. Dr. Friedrichsen spoke with the members of the Bundestag Michael Theurer and Alexander Kulitz and the Dr. Manfred Jagiella, managing director of Endress+Hauser Conducta about digital transformation and the application from Artificial Intelligence in small and medium-sized enterprises.

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