Artificial intelligence (AI) has quickly risen to the top of IT giant Microsoft’s scorecard. This year’s Microsoft Business Summit (#MBS19) in Frankfurt, Germany proved how important this key technology is to the organisation. Over three days, and under the motto “Shared Intelligence”, the focus was on connecting people and machines with AI in order to meet the challenges of digital transformation.

“Shared Intelligence stands for innovative solutions based on modern cloud technologies and Artificial Intelligence. But it also stands for a reorientation in thinking: no company, no administration and no country will be able to master the challenges of digital transformation on its own.”

Sabine Bendiek, Chairwoman of the Management Board, Microsoft Germany

#MBS19: The focus is on people

Contrary to its reputation of endangering jobs and replacing people with machines, digital transformation in reality has only one goal: to sustainably improve the lives of people all over the world. It is supported by AI, which enables people to interact with machines in ways we have never seen before. With digital transformation, the infinite creativity and imagination of people is essentially unlimited. This paves the way for innovation and progress, but also requires a critical examination of ethical issues.

Sharing knowledge and learning from each other

Shared intelligence is a key component of digital transformation. Using AI, it enables open communication between people and machines so that knowledge, data and information can be exchanged intelligently. Individual knowledge becomes shared knowledge. This allows both people and machines to learn from each other and enable each other to achieve more.

“We live in a time when the ability to share has become an important virtue. Nobody will be successful alone – neither at the micro level of a single organisation, nor at the macro level of an industry or an entire economy. We are driving this idea forward at the Microsoft Business Summit 2019, bringing our partners together with our customers so that together we can develop the best solutions”.

Gregor Bieler, General Manager of the One Commercial Partner Organisation, Microsoft Germany

Lifelong learning in the digital workplace

Human and Artificial Intelligence becomes Shared Intelligence. This opens the door to unprecedented levels of productivity and innovation. Shared intelligence is a continuous, constantly improving and always accessible flow of knowledge. People and machines learn from each other, and they learn continuously. This lifelong learning is only possible in a flexible, secure and networked digital workplace. Trustworthy computing in turn ensures the necessary data sovereignty within this connected world.

Workforce of the Future

These new technologies will change the leadership culture and require new IT skills that are not yet available in the job market today. With the “Workforce of the Future” initiative, Microsoft aims to close this knowledge gap by providing training and qualification opportunities for its employees, customers and partners. Shared intelligence is still in its infancy. The challenge now is to face AI impartially and see digital transformation as an opportunity to learn from one another.

“This requires above all the ability to cooperate, a lot of human intelligence and the will of everyone to invest sustainably in the proverbial ‘lifelong learning’. This is the corner stone for real ‘digital sovereignty’.”

Sabine Bendiek, Chairwoman of the Management Board, Microsoft Germany