Julia von Esmarch


AI Day: a retrospective

AI Day at the Deutsche Telekom Headquarters celebrated all things in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Stands featured smart products for visitors to experience live and up close. And not one, but two events provided an opportunity to discuss AI and ethics intensively with internal and external experts. The day revealed a high level of interest and need for information.

Claudia Nemat

Claudia Nemat, Board Member Deutsche Telekom AG, responsible for Technology and Innovation.

NimbRo doesn't get starstruck. The diminutive, humanoid, soccer-playing robot built by a team from the University of Bonn stays cool and collected, even when being handed a Bayern Munich jersey in person by Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology and Innovation. NimbRo won the RoboCup – the soccer world cup for robots – this year for the second time in a row. The robot was one of seven exhibits on display in the foyer yesterday to help make AI – a subject that still remains very abstract for many – more tangible. From fashion to art, school and sports to network build-out and the living room at home, the stands covered a broad spectrum of areas. 

The event, which got under way in the early afternoon, was put on for employees to mark the launch of the Group's internal AI guidelines. Some 70 guests attended the Telekom Design Gallery to talk to moderator and Head of the Design Gallery Stefan Kohn, Head of Compliance Manuela Mackert, Digital Product Manager for Artificial Intelligence at T-Mobile Austria Daniel Krüger, and Managing Director of Initiative D21 Lena-Sophie Müller. "Deutsche Telekom's AI guidelines are trendsetting in the industry," said Lena-Sophie Müller.

AI and ethics: Everything good, or what?

In the evening, a public panel discussion was held with the guiding theme "AI and ethics: Everything good, or what?" Some 300 guests came along to discuss the subject with Board Member Claudia Nemat, Prof. Christian Bauckhage from the University of Bonn, Senior Director of Corporate Research at Nuance Nils Lenke, and robot ethics expert Dr. Janina Loh from the University of Vienna. The discussion itself and the questions from the audience touched on a broad range of areas. For the audience, the underlying focus was on finding out what AI actually is, how security can be assured, and why Deutsche Telekom has introduced AI guidelines.

The panel participants all agreed on two key things: Ethics and morality are not static concepts and cannot be defined for all time. As Loh said: "There will be no solution because there is no problem. Discourse on AI and ethics is everlasting." 

With more than enough questions and topics to be addressed, the one-hour panel discussion could have gone on for much longer. Afterwards, many visitors used the opportunity for an informal get-together. It was clear that the focus of the initiative "We need to talk … about digital responsibility" is far from nearing an end.

Impressions of DTs AI Day

DT initiative for Digital Responsibiliy

The AI Day was organized by the Deutsche Telekom initiative for Digital Responsibility, which was set up in 2016 to take social responsibility and stimulate debate on the opportunities and risks inherent in digitalization.

Digital Responsibility

AI Guidelines

Deutsche Telekom defines its own policy for the use of artificial intelligence (AI).