It has been pleasure being guest author for the DIGIPRAKTIKER, Finanz Colloquium Heidelberg.
What role does the human factor play in times of exponential technological progress?
Author: Jochen Werne, Director Business Development, Product Management, Treasury and Payment Services at Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG
The only constant in history was, is and remains change. Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1450 was a milestone on the timeline of human development. Today we still take note of this invention, which was considered an innovation at that time, but we have long lived surrounded by smartphones and cloud applications, in which we can store the most private information and retrieve it from anywhere in the world. Today’s change is being driven by a veritable digital revolution.
Digital change already has fundamental consequences for individuals and their lifestyles, but it is developing its full potential when it comes to interacting with our social environment. In times of smart robotics and maturing systems in relation to artificial intelligence, the question arises again and again what role humans play on the stage of these technologies. Is he …
For the opening keynote of our ec4u virtual conference Digital Thoughts on May 23rd, Jochen Werne, Director Marketing & Authorised Officer at Bankhaus August Lenz, talked about opening up to the digital transformation. It turns out, what we associate with technology and what it actually offers are often two completely different things.
„Companies and people need to participate actively in the transformation. We need to move. It’s impossible to be a passive participant in the transformation.“
The working group focuses on human-centred design of the future working world and on human-machine interaction issues (HMI). At the same time the working group serves as the interface between HMI and the area of Manufacturing and Industrie 4.0.
It’s an inspiring honour being member of this body of experts.
This paper was prepared by the Working Group Work/Qualification, Human-Machine Interaction of the Learning Systems Platform. As one of a total of seven working groups, it investigates the potentials and challenges arising from the use of artificial intelligence in the world of work and life. The focus is on questions of transformation and the development of humane working conditions. It also examines the requirements and options for qualification and lifelong learning, as well as starting points for shaping human-machine interaction and the division of labour between humans and technology.
The Working Group is lead by:
Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André, Universität Augsburg Prof. Dr.-Ing. Prof. e. h. Wilhelm Bauer, Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO und Universität Stuttgart
Members of the Working Group are:
Prof. Dr. Lars Adolph, Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin (BAuA)Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan C. Aurich, TU Kaiserslautern Vanessa Barth, IG Metall Klaus Bauer, TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH + Co. KGNadine Bender, KUKA Deutschland GmbH Prof. Dr. Angelika Bullinger-Hoffmann, TU Chemnitz Prof. Dr.-Ing. Barbara Deml, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Andreas Dengel, TU Kaiserslautern und Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI) GmbH Dr. Jan-Henning Fabian, ABB AG Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin, Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence, TU München Prof. Dr. Michael Heister, Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB) Dr. Norbert Huchler, Institut für Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung e.V. (ISF-München)Dr. Nadine Müller, Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di) Dr. Rahild Neuburger, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Prof. Dr.-Ing. Annika Raatz, Leibniz Universität Hannover Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Roßmann, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule AachenProf. Dr. Christoph M. Schmidt, RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung und Ruhr-Universität Bochum Prof. Dr. Jochen Steil, TU Braunschweig Andrea Stich, Infineon Technologies AG Oliver Suchy, Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB) Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sascha Stowasser, Institut für angewandte Arbeitswissenschaft (ifaa) Dr. Hans-Jörg Vögel, BMW Group Dr. Bernd Welz, SAP SE Jochen Werne, Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG
The Working Group is supported by:
Dr. Chi-Tai Dang, Universität Augsburg Dr. Andreas Heindl, Geschäftsstelle der Plattform Lernende Systeme Dr.-Ing. Matthias Peissner, Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAODr. Anke Soemer, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
First published in German at LinkedIn Pulse on July 20, 2019. Please find article and sources in this link. Publication in English language pleas find below
On the role of cash in a modern society between technological progress and freedom
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, one of the most important writers of the 19th century, impressively describes in his works the great existential and spiritual conflicts in which mankind was caught at the dawn of modernity. Not only his observations during the turbulent times of the upheaval of the Russian Empire in the 19th century, but also his personal experiences are an essential part of his work.
At the age of 28 and at the beginning of a promising career as a writer, Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years in a Siberian prison camp. The reason for this was his participation in meetings of the Petraschwezen, an intellectual circle that spoke out against tsarist despotism and serfdom. In his novel, “The House of the Dead”, which also describes Dostoyevsky’s own experiences in Siberian captivity, he formulates the sentence that was later much quoted: “Money is coined liberty”. The sentence describes the vital relevance of the possibility of a free exchange of goods in an unfree environment – and this through coined cash money.
More than 150 years have passed since the first publication of the work. Europe needed to go through the age of Enlightenment, the experiences of two world wars and a long cold war to become a peaceful and very liberal place for its citizens. A place which is putting the dignity and freedom of the individual first.
The freedom in our payment options has also multiplied thanks to technological progress. It is part of our everydays life to pay the morning croissant at the bakery, the new monthly ticket for the subway or even the use of public toilets – even without cash. Technological progress, the smartphone revolution and also our user behaviour made this evolution in payments possible. “Digital payments” have become part of our progressive society. However, the aspect of not having money physically tangible sometimes entails interesting and also unwanted aspects.
Society in upheaval
Like Dostoevsky, we also live in a time of extreme social, economic and political upheaval. An age in which exponential technology developments, industries and business models are changing radically and countries competing for dominance in areas such as artificial intelligence. It is a time when transformation is the new normality and an agile corporate culture is the key to success. In these times, for many it became clear that, “Everything that can be digitized will be digitized.” And thus the question inevitably arises whether this also applies to the first “Instant Payment” solution humans invented, one of the earliest and most sustainable achievements of civilization – cash.
Germans love affair with cash
If we look at Germany, cash is still one of the most popular payment methods and – culturally speaking – will probably remain for quite some time to come. According to a survey by the Bundesbank, 88 percent of German citizens continue to regard cash as their preferred means of payment. This cultural imprint can certainly also be traced back to modern history and the personal experiences of the Germans with their money. Beginning with the traumatic experience of hyperinflation during the Great Depression of 1923 and the resulting deep-rooted German understanding of the importance of a central bank independent from politics.
A painful experience, which states even today – like Venezuela – live through again and again and whose causes are often identical. In Reinhard and Rogoff’s bestseller book “This time is different”, this phenomenon is brilliantly explained using an analysis of 800 years of international economic history.
The positive image of (cash) money in Germany was impressively advanced after the end of the 2nd World War. From the currency reform of 1948 and the beginning of the economic miracle with 40 D-Mark, which every German was allowed to hold physically in his hands, to the 100 D-Mark welcome money at the reunification in 1989. These personal experiences paired with a consistently brillant independent work by the German Bundesbank – which always gave the population the feeling of having a strong, stable and secure own currency – are all German experiences, which were literally “obvious” and shaped the cultural reference of the country and its citizens.
The current freedom of our payment options is certainly good, as long as we consumers are free to decide which means of payment we pay with. Discussions about a possible restriction of citizens’ freedom of choice, for example through the abolition of cash, regularly call on intellectuals to take a warning position. The poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger, for example, has the following opinion on the subject of “restriction”: “Those who abolish cash abolish freedom”. Also former Deutsche Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele said at a conference in 2015: “Abolishing cash would hurt consumer sovereignty — the free choice of citizens about their payment instruments“ and “Government agencies do not have the right to tell citizens how they should pay.”
Having “physical power of disposal” over money, i.e. holding the banknote in one’s hands, immediately establishes a much stronger relationship for the value of something than a number on a display. More than ten years ago, the US scientists Raghubir and Srivastava in their essay for the “Journal if Experimental Psychology: Applied” described that the degree of abstraction often poses a problem when it comes to means of payment. They found a correlation between the indebtedness of individuals and the use of credit cards.
In Germany, the trend towards digital payment became apparent for the first time last year. In this period consumers in the stationary retail sector spent more money on checking and credit cards than in cash, as the trade research institute EHI recently announced.
However, this does not mean that customers will soon only pay by card or smartphone, the experts emphasized at the same time. Three-quarters of all retail purchases continue to be settled in cash. When it comes to the highly sensitive issue of “money”, many consumers continue to find it difficult to trust the comprehensive healing promises of an omnipresent digital world.
In order to ensure that cash and book money continue to be equally available, the players involved in the cash cycle, such as CIT companies like Prosegur, ATM operators like IC-Cash, banks like Bankhaus August Lenz et al., are working concentrated to make the provision of cash at all locations even more efficient and cost-effective. Both the providers of cash solutions and those of digital solutions experiment therefore with the latest blockchain and AI technologies to reach the before mentioned goals.
Technological vulnerability and fall-back option
Especially in extreme scenarios, such as catastrophes or other failures of a digital infrastructure due to cyberattacks, natural events or simply technical failure, it becomes clear how cash – by its very nature – proves to be actually the most robust payment method. Ultimately, it is not tied to electricity, digital infrastructures, passwords or other technical features – it is simply available. An interesting recent anecdote occurred in Sweden, which is one of the most advanced countries in cashless payment. A country where even the traditional church collection is now equipped with a card reader. At the Bråvalla music festival 2014, for example, the memory chips on the admission tickets went on strike. Thousands of thirsty fans sat on dry land and had to write out promissory notes for their drinks by hand. An experience that can be observed again and again when paying at the checkout, when the magnetic stripe of a card or simply the card reader does not work and the views of the people standing around in the queue are impatiently looking at the payer and trying to catch a glimpse of the name on the card of the supposedly non-solvent unlucky fellow.
Data Protection Best Practice
In an interview with Rheinische Post in February 2017, Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Association of Consumer Groups (Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen), said “Cash is data protection in practice”. He added: “Unbarred figures leave traces of data that can be used commercially to create a consumer profile. This data may be illegally “fished” by third parties.” Now Müller points to nothing new here and opponents of cash, use the argumentation to underline that the supposed anonymity of cash can be used for illegal business and transactions and that the suppression of cash stands above the protection of privacy. But since the first publication of the interview, the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the recently imposed $5 billion fine against Facebook for the Cambridge Analytica scandal and similar events, the sensitivity of the European population with regard to data protection and privacy has grown substantially.
In the closing sentence of his speech at the Cash Symposium 2018 of the Deutsche Bundesbank, the former judge of the German Federal Constitutional Court, Prof. Dr. Udo Di Fabio, underlined the probably most important point in the current discussion about cash. He said that in principle it is “not to be underestimated” that every citizen has the souvereignity of the free disposal of his money – of his personal “exchangeable assets”. He further added that this is particularly true when “financial privacy” is considered legally imperative. In other words, a society whose entire assets would be managed in digital form only, could also exercise only limited individual control over its money and would have to ask itself, “whether the state would be entitled via its central bank to carry out a controlled devaluation through negative interest rates, accounting discounts or fees on credit balances”. Prof. Di Fabio further points out that this would then not only be a property encroachment, but as a result possibly also the imposition of a special levy, which is permitted in the German legal system only under narrow conditions.
For young Fjodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky the conversion to book money in the Siberian prison would have meant the withdrawal of his individual sovereignity over money, so that he would not have had any more the fortune of using cash for the exchange of goods and other things. He describes the quintessence of this situation as follows: The suffering of prisoners who don’t have money is 10 times greater.
Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the intellectual serious discussions about cash and civil liberty rights would delight Dostoyevsky, with his experiences in an unfree society.
Our open and liberal society is characterised by the fact that we have and continue the discussion about “Coined Liberty 2.0” at this level.
Also in the second part of our interview we do not go directly into the technical aspects of the introduction of artificial intelligence.
Based on the question “How do you get all this under one roof?” we get a look at Jochen’s personal insights and points of view and at how each individual can counter the increasing autonomisation and the change of the working world and society through algorithms with a corresponding attitude.
Jochen Werne is full-time Director & Authorized Officer for Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG of the Mediolanum Banking Group and is responsible for Business Development, Marketing, Product Management, Treasury & B2B Payment Services. In addition, he is involved in the development of non-profit organizations and a member of the Learning Systems Platform of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The initiative www.wegofive.net addresses the question of how a unit of man and machine can be created in the working world of tomorrow and how algorithms can be seamlessly integrated into the organization in order to supplement the capabilities of employees.
As an independent interim manager, profile and team coach, Sascha Adam supports people, decision-makers and companies in actively shaping digital change.
More at www.wegofive.net/mission/about or www.sascha-adam.net.
Many thanks to the coast by east Hamburg in the Hafencity Hamburg for the permission to film here. A very recommendable location with obliging service, extraordinary menu and good drinks. Apropos, the background noises also give you the feeling of sitting directly with us 😉
Ein Banker mit einer (KI-)Mission / Teil 2: “Das neue Jetzt – Jeder kann etwas bewegen”
Auch in dem zweiten Teil unseres Interviews gehen wir nicht direkt auf die technischen Aspekte der Einführung von künstlicher Intelligenz ein. Ausgehend von der Frage “Wie bekommst Du das alles unter einen Hut?” bekommen wir einen Blick auf die persönlichen Erkenntnisse und Sichtweisen von Jochen und darauf wie jeder Einzelne mit einer entsprechenden Haltung der zunehmenden Autonomisierung und dem Wandel der Arbeitswelt und der Gesellschaft durch Algorithmen begegnen kann.
Jochen Werne ist hauptberuflich Director & Authorized Officer für das Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG der Mediolanum Banking Group und verantwortet dort die Bereiche Business Development, Marketing, Product Management, Treasury & B2B Payment Services. Darüberhinaus ist er am Aufbau gemeinnütziger Organisationen beteiligt und Mitglied der Plattform Lernende Systeme des Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. Die Initiative www.wegofive.net geht der Frage nach wie in der Arbeitswelt von morgen eine Einheit aus Mensch & Maschine geschaffen werden kann und sich Algorithmen nahtlos in die Organisation integrieren, um die Fähigkeiten der Mitarbeiter zu ergänzen.
Sascha Adam unterstützt als selbstständiger Interimsmanager, Profile- und Team-Coach Menschen, Entscheider und Unternehmen dabei den digitalen Wandel aktiv zu gestalten.
Mehr unter www.wegofive.net/mission/about oder www.sascha-adam.net
Ganz herzlichen Dank an das coast by east Hamburg in der Hafencity Hamburg für die Genehmigung hier filmen zu dürfen. Eine sehr zu empfehlende Location mit zuvorkommender Bedienung, außergewöhnlicher Speisekarte und guten Drinks. Apropos, die Hintergrundgeräusche geben einem auch gleich das Gefühl direkt bei uns zu sitzen 😉
Artificial intelligence is the new buzz word of the financial industry, says Jochen Werne. In view of the rapid pace of technological development it is becoming a source of hope for the banks – and rightly so, writes the author. After all, banks have an enormous amount of data at their disposal. Despite all the digitalisation and areas of application of AI, Werne sees the chance for a renaissance of consulting as a link between people and the technical world. Red. Bank und Markt
German: Künstliche Intelligenz ist das neue Buzz-Wort der Finanzbranche, sagt Jochen Werne. Angesichts der rasanten technologischen Entwicklung wird sie zum Hoffnungsträger für die Banken – zu Recht, meint der Autor. Schließlich verfügen Banken über einen enormen Datenschatz. Trotz aller Digitalisierung und Einsatzbereiche von KI sieht Werne jedoch die Chance auf eine Renaissance der Beratung als Bindeglied zwischen Mensch und technisierter Welt. Red.
What role does humans play in times of exponential technological developments and how does this influence our society?
Author: Jochen Werne / first published May 2019 @LinkedInPulse
Siri or Alexa? Who can offer us more help in our daily life? Who provides the better answers and leads the more eloquent conversation? A legitimate question, because both Smart Devices are now so technically mature that it is difficult to make a simple distinction. Alexa was only launched in November 2014 in the USA and at the end of October 2016 in Germany.
Our world is changing from analogue to digital. While the invention of the printing press in 1450 by Gutenberg was a true milestone on the timeline of human development, we now live surrounded by smartphones and cloud applications in which we can store, share and retrieve even the most private information from anywhere in the world. Smart support is omnipresent: Siri accompanies us through everyday life in the form of Apple products and Alexa awaits us – Amazon powered – with a familiar voice when we get home. The intelligent speech assistance systems are only one of many modern applications of Machine & Deep Learning technologies and are therefore more broadly defined by artificial intelligence. With the extremely dynamic and rapid development of smart robotics and learning systems, some people are asking themselves what role humans will play on the stage of these technologies in the future.
The emerging technological possibilities, like all technological achievements in the past, have an impact on our daily personal lives, but their potential unfolds when we consider this impact in a scaled way and when it comes to our society as a whole. The Tübingen professor of media science, Bernhard Pörksen, even speaks of the fact that we have long since been able to be described as a “digital society” – this change took place in an extremely short time and without us being prepared for it. As a result, we would first have to learn competences to understand our actions in this new digital world and also to learn how to deal with the resulting effects. The learning of these skills takes place at different speeds in the case of digitisation issues, even against a demographic background. In contrast to the digital natives of the 21st century, some parts of our population with fewer points of contact with digital media find it more difficult to deal with the challenges of new technological standards and to adapt to the changed conditions in the service sector. The efficiency of the technical possibilities that permeate all areas of our lives is impressive, but it is crucial for success in the service sector not to ignore one factor: human empathy.
An example of this is the financial sector. Your own money is an issue that most people are most personally concerned about. However, plagued by fears of loss, personal biases and an extremely complex oversupply of investment alternatives, many investors seek personal support that goes beyond enumerating facts. We are talking about human support and empathic accompaniment, which machines (so far) have not been able to provide. A service that ideally covers not only the technical aspects of financial consulting, but also the behavioural finance aspects.
Undoubtedly there are already developments like Google Assist, in which attempts are made to incorporate empathic components into the developments, but the ability of the machines to simulate emotions and accordingly cause emotional reactions in humans (still) reaches its limits.
The upcoming technological developments will help us to solve many hitherto unsolvable problems in e.g. medicine, in environments hostile to humans or in a World Food Programme in a relatively short time. But as always with new technologies, it is also important to limit the abusive possibilities of use and to educate population that have little contact with modern instruments and technologies, because otherwise there is the danger of creating a feeling of inequality, which in turn can lead in extreme cases to a division of society. The desired progress would thus be reversed into its opposite: a step backwards based on a lack of communication at the micro and macro levels.
“It will certainly be our task in the future to ensure that developments in technological progress, artificial intelligence and the role of man go hand in hand. To advance optimizations through technology and digitization, as well as a parallel enlightenment of the individual with regard to his uniqueness in relation to technological development, as well as his social responsibility in this context.”
The following comparison should simplify the problem between strengths and limitations of automated systems: In 2012 an autopilot would probably not have let the Costa Concordia collide with a rock – the reason was human, emotionally driven behaviour. But an autopilot could not have landed an Airbus 320 on the Hudson River in 2009 either. This required human experience and spontaneous creativity. Something that our brain can do, but that still allows the technical possibilities of AI to reach hard limits for the foreseeable future.
It remains to be said that smart devices like Alexa and Siri provide valuable support and even provide entertainment with the increasingly mature question-and-answer game. We can ask the digital companions anything. We also get – within the scope of technical possibilities – a cheeky answer. But we have to deal with the extent to which these answers provide us with what we expect, also on an emotional basis. Because our expectations often go beyond a technical answer.
On May 23, ec4u will present innovations and trends for the customer experience and innovative applications for marketing, sales and service together with customers, experts and opinion formers and address the challenges of digital leadership in the midst of (agile) transformation:
How, for example, AI and other innovations can support marketing, sales and service both on the customer side and internally.
How executives can deal with digital change in order to grow with their company.
What communication, organization and culture in agile transformation can and must look like to provide a stable foundation for your business.