"We have to be able to take everyone on the journey."
Professor Andreas Kaplan is a Brain City Berlin ambassador and Rector of ESCP Europe Business School Berlin. The economist's research is into the impact of artificial intelligence. Currently, he is working asking how our society will change thanks to artificial intelligence. We spoke with him about the opportunities and risks of AI, humane digitalisation, and what higher education institutions can do in this context.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Kaplan
ESCP Europe Berlin
We need clever minds. And the more international and open the city is, the more bright minds come to work here. Berlin's made it happen.
Professor Kaplan, the development of the AI is progressing rapidly worldwide. What does this mean for our society?
The dangers are obvious: From unemployment in certain areas to the manipulation of elections and destabilisation of democracies. Such negative phenomena will certainly become even more pronounced with the increasing development of artificial intelligence. On the positive side, AI is already making life easier for us. It can also create jobs and do work for which increasingly fewer human resources are available. Take the care system, for example: in nursing homes and for at-home care, more and more robots are likely to be used in the future. One can, of course, claim that this will lead to even more isolation in old age. On the other hand, there is already age-related loneliness. To sum it up: it is basically about an ethical and responsible use of the technology.
Europe, including Germany, is lagging behind China and the USA in the development of AI. You even speak of a "Cold Tech War." What do you think needs to change?
Artificial intelligence needs data. In other words, states and regions that don't place as much value on privacy as we do here in Europe will have a competitive advantage. It is not without reason that China and the US are ahead of us in terms of AI. Don’t get me wrong. data protection is crucial. But in order to keep pace with development, it will be important to raise public awareness that data protection can limit innovation. If people become aware of this, it might be possible to address the issue of privacy differently than is currently the case. I also think that not every bike rental company needs to know where their customers are going. However, such anonymised data could be very helpful for the development of a city, i.e. the public sector.
"Human digitalisation:" does the world need to adapt to AI or does AI need to adapt to the world?
Artificial intelligence always adapts to the world. Because it, at least for the moment, is created by humans. It is about the requirements of the economy and society. We're currently trying to fill in gaps. However, innovation and progress are also bringing about change. Human digitalisation means that the state and some self-governing companies will deliberately regulate development during transitional phases. This will give population groups that are initially in a worse position due to digitalisation and the associated change the opportunity to adapt.
Can you give an example?
Take Uber. In Germany, Uber can't operate like it can in other countries, because the local taxi drivers have been protected by law. And that's a good thing. This gives the market the opportunity to adapt to progress during a transitional period. But it also has to be understood as a transitional period and not as a permanent blockade. In the near future, however, there will be neither Uber nor taxi drivers, but instead self-driving cars. Legislators should already think about what will happen then. However, such a perspective is often still lacking in politics. The question is: how do we as a society manage to accommodate or motivate those who will lose their jobs as a result of digitalisation? Whether an Uber or a taxi driver, we must bring them on this journey. In other words, ways need to be found where less qualified people will not be left out in the future.
What should students have in order to prepare for the digital future?
Interdisciplinary education is very important today. Our students will have to adapt and rethink their career several times. They will have to be extremely adaptable and flexible. The more basic vocabulary from different areas that our graduates master, the easier it will be for them to take control of their professional lives in the future. Lifelong learning is the keyword here. In addition, every student, no matter what subject they're in, should have taken at least one course in coding. They don't necessarily need to be able to program afterwards. But when they're working with a machine later, it will be good for them to understand in principle how it works. In addition, an entrepreneurial readiness to take risks will be an advantage. Such thinking can be promoted at the universities. For example, by conveying that failures can also be helpful for long-term entrepreneurial success.
What else can universities do in this context?
They can integrate appropriate courses into the curriculum. This includes courses on the ethical implementation of artificial intelligence. I also think it will be important to motivate and encourage more women to go into this field. So far, women have not become very involved in AI-related occupations, although a qualified workforce is urgently needed. There is still a lot of potential here. Another important point: universities not only educate Europeans, but also students from other regions of the world where issues such as privacy and human rights are not as highly valued and supported as they are here. An appropriately designed curriculum could advance humane digitalisation.
Are there concrete examples of such courses at ESCP Europe in Berlin?
We are on the right track. We already have courses on AI and ethics in some of our programmes. Even programming courses already exist in several of our degree programmes. We specifically promote women in our female leadership courses as well as in our community events. All in all, ESCP Europe in Berlin specialises in digitalisation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. So much is going on here. But, of course, one can always do more.
To what extent are you working with business to address digitalisation?
For us as an international business school, the exchange between theory and practice is very important. For example, for our master's programme in strategy and digital business, we have been able to bring international management consultancy Bain & Company on board as a strategic partner. Last year, Bain opened one of the world's two digital discovery hubs at Potsdamer Platz. The company collaborates with us on content, providing lecturers on artificial intelligence, and our students gain direct insight into the kinds of projects being worked on at the digital discovery hub. To name yet another current research example: we recently founded our European Center for Digital Competitiveness at ESCP Europe Berlin under the direction of Professor Meissner. We are supported by co-initiator and tech investor Klaus Hommels, who is no stranger to the start-up scene. The centre's goal is to move Europe forward in digitalisation. In addition, we want to use the centre to promote responsible use of technology.
Why is Berlin a good location for you?
Berlin is a fantastic location! First of all, the very close connection between business and science makes the city special. There are great academic institutions in Berlin. That business and science work hand in hand here is a very good basis. Berlin also attracts many creative minds and is therefore far above the international average. This is a great advantage of Berlin: we need clever minds. And the more international and open the city is, the more bright minds come to work here. Berlin's made it happen. In addition, living here is still more affordable than competing cities in Europe like London and Paris.
If you could make a wish for anything related to the development of AI, what would it be?
I would like to see all the groups and sections of society in society take part in its development. I would like to see human beings always be at the centre of the digital transformation. And also that we approach the topic with a positive attitude. Entrepreneurship means: one should take chances and get out there and try something. You just have to take a positive attitude and say: we're going to create something great! (vdo)
Insights Transfer – Stories © Stefan SchostokInsights Transfer – StoriesA guest article from Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Selin Arikoglu, Professor of child and youth welfare at the Catholic University of Applied Social…→
Giving a scientific voice to the relatives of prisoners
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories © Berlin PartnerFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesWith a new image film Brain City Berlin starts the year 2023. Our Brain City Ambassadors are the protagonists of the video.→
“We are Brain City Berlin”
Insights Transfer – Stories © HWR Berlin/ Franziska IhleInsights Transfer – StoriesWith the project “KlinKe”, Prof. Dr. Silke Bustamante and her colleague Prof. Dr. Andrea Pelzeter at the HWR Berlin are researching which of the…→
On the way to becoming a climate-neutral hospital
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories © Transfer WeekFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesFrom 21 to 25 November, scientists can once again discuss future-oriented topics on a practical level together with companies from Berlin and…→
Providing impulses for cooperation: Transfer Week 2022
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories © Falling Walls FoundationFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesAn interview with Christine Brummer, director of Berlin Science Week.→
Opening up science for dialogue with society
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories Image: Shutterstock © optimarcFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesFrom November 21 to 25, Transfer Week 2022 Berlin Brandenburg will once again feature many exciting events aimed at intensifying the lively exchange…→
Transfer Week 2022
Insights Transfer – Stories Shutterstock © Monster ZtudioInsights Transfer – StoriesWith the help of Artificial Intelligence, the research project “news-polygraph”, anchored in the Brain City Berlin, aims to identify manipulated media…→
“news-polygraph”: Funding by the BMBF
Insights Transfer – Stories © Felix NoakInsights Transfer – StoriesBrain City interview with Dr. phil. Thorsten Philipp, Advisor Transdisciplinary Teaching in the Office of the Vice Presidents of TU Berlin.→
“Everybody knows something”
Insights Transfer – Stories @ Ernestine von der Osten-SackenInsights Transfer – StoriesListening to sounds like the bat: On "Sound Walk" with Hannes Hoelzl, sound artist and lecturer for Generative Arts/Computational Arts at the UdK…→
Seeing with the Ears
Transfer – Stories Image: Shutterstock © Yurchanka SiarheiTransfer – StoriesThe Berlin AI Competence Centre BIFOLD will receive 22 million Euro annually in the future from the Federal government and the State of Berlin.→
Millions in Funding for AI Research in Berlin
Transfer – Stories Falling Walls Foundation © Judith SchalanskyTransfer – StoriesFrom November 1st through the 10th, the scientific world comes together again in Brain City Berlin. Scientific institutions or organisations can still…→
“Dare to know”: Berlin Science Week 2022
Transfer – Stories EUREF AG©Gasometertour.deTransfer – StoriesOn the site of the EUREF-Campus in Berlin-Schoeneberg the transfer of knowledge works particularly impressively.→
Hands-on Energy Transition
Transfer – Stories © SCC Events/Norbert WilhelmiTransfer – StoriesInterview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Gabriele Mielke, Vice President of the VICTORIA | International University of Applied Sciences and also…→
"Major Events Affect Life in the City on Different Levels”
Transfer – Stories Photo: Ernestine von der Osten-Sacken (vdo)Transfer – StoriesThe Charlottenburg Innovation Centre CHIC hosts around 50 start-ups. Situated at Brain City Berlin’s “Zukunftsort” Campus Charlottenburg, the CHIC…→
CHIC - Business Incubator at a "Zukunftsort’"
Transfer – Stories Photo: Mall Anders/Matthew CrabbeTransfer – Stories“Mall Anders” is an open learning laboratory which was launched by the FU Berlin, HU Berlin, TU Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in a…→
Science in a Shopping Centre
Transfer – Stories BHT/Martin GaschTransfer – StoriesInterview: Brain City Ambassador Dr-Ing. Ivo Boblan, Professor of the Humanoid Robotics Study Programme at the Berliner Hochschule für Technik, and…→
“Robots Can Save us a Great Deal of Work”
Transfer – Stories (Left to right) Prof. Christian Matzdorf, Police commissioner Turgay Akkaya, Stefan Graf Finck von Finckenstein, Photo: HWR Berlin / Sylke SchumannTransfer – StoriesPolice commissioner Turgay Akkaya has developed an anti-stalking app as part of his Bachelor’s project at the HWR Berlin. At the beginning of January…→
A Preventive App Against Stalking
Transfer – Stories (From left to right) Steffen Terberl/FU Berlin; Prof. Dr. Hannes Rothe/ICN Business School, photo: Ernestine von der Osten-SackenTransfer – StoriesIn the BioTech sector, the Berlin region is not making full use of its innovation potential. This is the conclusion of the “Deep Tech Futures Report…→
“BioTech does not get up and running on its own”
Transfer – Stories Photo: Christina Lüdtke (private source)Transfer – StoriesFour universities, one network: The network “Science & Startups” groups the start-up services of the universities united in the Berlin University…→
Wide-ranging Support for University Start-ups
Transfer – Stories Photo: privateTransfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Anna Klippstein, professor of finance and Eliyahu Mätzschker, student at Touro College Berlin.→
The Pandemic and its Impact on the Capital Market
Transfer – Stories Credit: André BakkerTransfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr Anabel Ternès von Hattburg, Professor for International Business Administration at the SRH…→
Getting on Board with Digitality
Transfer – Stories Swen Hutter (Foto: David Ausserhofer), Gesine Höltmann (Foto: Martina Sander)Transfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Gesine Höltmann, research assistant and Swen Hutter, Deputy Director at the Centre for Civil Society Research.→
Polarisation and Cohesion in the Corona Crisis: a Look at Civil Society
Transfer – Stories Foto: "Lucid Dream", Elena Kunau and Mariya YordanovaTransfer – StoriesARTIFICIAL REALITY – VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE is the name of an exhibition that can be seen from 8 to 12 September as part of Ars Electronica Garden…→
Interaction via Emotion
Transfer – Stories Credit: Peter Himsel/Campus Berlin-Buch GmbHTransfer – StoriesThe Campus Berlin-Buch in the north of Brain City Berlin has grown to become one of Europe’s largest business and research centres for life sciences.→
A Vibrant Healthcare Network
Transfer – Stories Credit: Markus KrutzikTransfer – StoriesDr. Markus Krutzik, Head of the Joint Lab Integrated Quantum Sensors (IQS), on the "Wissenschaft trifft Wirtschaft" (Science Meets Business") event…→
"I am Fascinated by the Possibilities of Quantum Sensors"
Transfer – Stories Foto: ESCP Business School BerlinTransfer – StoriesWhat to do when distance is suddenly the order of the day? A guest contribution by Dr. René Mauer, Professor of Entrepreneurship und Innovation at…→
Using Whiteboards to Combat Digital Fatigue
Transfer – Stories Credit: Alexander Rentsch/HTW BerlinTransfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Florian Koch of HTW Berlin brings together science, business and civil society in his research.→
“Increasing Urbanisation also Creates Opportunities”
Transfer – Stories Credit: Rudolf GrillborzerTransfer – StoriesGuest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr.-Ing. Onur Günlü, Technische Universität Berlin.→
Exploring the "ultimate limits"
Transfer – Stories Credt: Startup Incubator BerlinTransfer – StoriesThe Startup Incubator Berlin at the Berlin School of Economics and Law is particularly successful in supporting founder teams – as proved by the fact…→
“We Bring Ideas to Market”
Transfer – Stories Credit: Mimi Thian on UnsolashTransfer – StoriesGuest Contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Petyo Budakov, University of Europe for Applied Sciences.→
“Proudly presenting Brain City Berlin in 2020”
Transfer – Stories Susanne Plaumann (private)Transfer – StoriesInterview with Brain City Ambassador Susanne Plaumann M.A., Central women's representative at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin.→
“Careers are now easier to plan for women scientists”
Transfer – Stories Adi Goldstein auf UnsplashTransfer – StoriesStadtManufaktur Berlin conceptually unites research projects of the TU Berlin under a single roof. The long-term goal of this “open laboratory…→
Science in Dialogue with the City
Transfer – Stories Falk WeißTransfer – StoriesThe knowledge portal “humboldts17” presents current research on the subject of sustainability and welcomes open dialogue with the general public. The…→
17 Goals for the Future
Transfer – Stories Foto: Olga Makarova privatTransfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Olga Makarova reflects on being a microbiologist during the pandemic, and the urgent need for microbiology literacy in society.→
Guest Contribution: COVID-19 and microbiology literacy
Transfer – Stories HIIGTransfer – StoriesBrain City-Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Research Director at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).→
“A sustainable goal of our work is to make clear what the technology can actually do”
Transfer – Stories HTW BerlinTransfer – StoriesAn interview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Kai Reinhardt. On October 28, he will be speaking at the second SpreeTalk at HTW University of…→
“The pandemic has been a catalyst for digitalization”
Transfer – Stories dentalXr.aiTransfer – StoriesdentalXrai is the first dental start-up to be spun off the Charité. It was launched via the accelerator of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). We…→
Artificial intelligence in the fight against tooth decay
Transfer – Stories Anna Raysyan (private)Transfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Anna Raysyan has been living in Berlin for 3,5 years now. She is a PhD student at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und…→
Guest Contribution: “Berlin likes the bold!”
Transfer – Stories ©Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und TechnologieTransfer – StoriesMany top-class researchers and scientists are being attracted to Brain City Berlin every year. The Dual Career Network Berlin helps partners of…→
Dual Career Network Berlin: getting a good start in Berlin
Transfer – Stories ©Matthias PicketTransfer – StoriesDr. Anne Schreiter, Managing Director of the German Scholars Organization (GSO), reveals in the Brain City interview what alternative career…→
"Science is not just about research"
Transfer – Stories © Pocky Lee on UnsplashTransfer – StoriesMatches in front of empty stadiums, virtual marathons, and many postponed events. Brain City Ambassador Professor Gabriele Mielke is tracking the…→
"Now is the time for innovators"
Transfer – Stories © AW Creative on UnsplashTransfer – StoriesJuggling a degree course or teaching with the extra burden of the care of children or other family members is not an easy task. Both students and…→
From “Zoo School” to “Maternity Protection”: family-friendly universities
Transfer – Stories © HTW Berlin / Nikolas FahlbuschTransfer – StoriesTeaching is currently only taking place online. Guest author Dr Dorothee Haffner, professor for Museology at HTW Berlin - University of Applied…→
Guest contribution: "Online teaching is more engaging than I thought"
Transfer – Stories Franziska SattlerTransfer – StoriesIn the interview: Brain City ambassador Franziska Sattler on her series of events "Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft" (Talking Science over Coffee) at…→
"Science needs the trust of society"
Transfer – Stories Fotocredit: Ortner & Ortner / SiemensTransfer – StoriesSiemensstadt 2.0 is a place of the future. The Berlin Senate has approved 9.9 million euros for the first research project "Electrical Drive…→
Siemensstadt 2.0: Research and industry closely linked
Transfer – Stories ©Credit Silke Oßwald/FMPTransfer – StoriesBrain City interview: Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor of…→
In the balancing act between detail and overall concept
Transfer – Stories © hj barraza/UnsplashTransfer – StoriesOur guest author Dr Barbara Schäuble is Professor for Diversity-Conscious Approaches in the Theory and Practice of Social Work at ASH Berlin and a…→
Guest contribution: A sudden change of course - classes moved online
Transfer – Stories ©DexLeChemTransfer – StoriesLaunching a start-up while at university? Sonja Jost's success shows the way. Together with three fellow students, she founded DexLeChem after…→
"Bringing new knowledge to the market is very important to us"
Transfer – Stories ©Ivar Veermäe / Centre for EntrepreneurshipTransfer – StoriesBrain City Berlin is the German capital of start-ups. Many young companies have successfully been founded through Berlin and Brandenburg based…→
"Society in particular benefits from high-tech start-ups" - university survey enters its third round
Transfer – Stories ©BIH|Thomas RafalzykTransfer – StoriesAt the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) the main focus is on "translational research" - the transfer of findings from the research lab into clinical…→
“There are now many great female scientists, achieving great things”
Transfer – Stories ©fotografixx - istockphoto.comTransfer – StoriesIn the digital age learning behaviour changes profoundly. It is student-centered and technology rich. As a member of the Erasmus+ funded project…→
Exploring the future of learning
Transfer – Stories © Brain City BerlinTransfer – StoriesResearch results quickly and easily accessible online: The Open Access movement is campaigning for a paradigm shift in the field of publications and…→
Open Access: free knowledge for everyone
Transfer – Stories Gudrun Piechotta-HenzeTransfer – StoriesIn time for the 2020/21 winter semester, ASH, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, is launching the first bachelor's degree to…→
"We have to completely rethink nursing!" | 27.09.2019
Transfer – Stories ©Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Matthias HeydeTransfer – StoriesThe courses offered by the HUWISU Summer University are varied and exciting, the target group is international: students from abroad who come to…→
When Berlin becomes one large seminar room ... | 15.08.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesThe literary scholar Dr. Betiel Wasihun was traveling for science. After stops in Heidelberg, Yale, and Oxford, it brought her to Berlin two years…→
“Berlin is a perfect location. Especially if you don’t want to pursue just a single avenue of scientific work.” | 12.08.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Berlin University Alliance/Matthias HeydeTransfer – StoriesTogether we are stronger. And also more successful. As the "Berlin University Alliance," the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität…→
Congratulations: The “Berlin University Alliance“ receives funding of the Excellence Strategy |19.07.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] David Ausserhofer/IGBTransfer – StoriesBerlin is one of the most water-rich cities in Germany. But climate change does not stop at the Havel, Spree or Wannsee either. Dr. Michael Hupfer is…→
"We're trying to take a look into the future." | 04.07.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Helena Lopes / UnsplashTransfer – StoriesSend a digital lollipop or delicate fragrance notes via email or let the wind virtually blow against your face - research makes it possible. Learn…→
Experiencing the digital world with all senses | 18.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] HZB/M. SetzpfandtTransfer – StoriesIn these times of fake news and pseudo-scientific publications, many people find it difficult to distinguish legitimate from dubious content. Only 54%…→
"Science needs to make us curious" | 11.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Tim LandgrafTransfer – StoriesBrain City Berlin is considered one of the leading locations in Germany working on artificial intelligence. About 30% of all German AI companies are…→
Fish, bees, and self-driving cars | 07.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesScience and cultural heritage, freely accessible to everyone at any time on the Internet: The Open Access movement is promoting a paradigm shift in…→
Knowledge for All - Open Access in Berlin | 28.03.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Thomas Rosenthal - Museum für Naturkunde BerlinTransfer – Stories660 million euros in 10 years: The Natural History Museum Berlin - Museum für Naturkunde Berlin receives financial support for the further development…→
Future of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin | 14.01.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesSpace exploration is experiencing a revolution thanks to commercialization by such companies as Elon Musk's SpaceX. But did you know that more facets…→
From Berlin to the moon: the space industry is booming in Berlin | 03.09.2018