The transformative impact of AI is often compared to that of the Industrial Revolution. AI has proven to be a revolutionary force, overhauling industries, and enhancing human capabilities. Its ability to process enormous volumes of data, make informed decisions, and perform tasks with unmatched efficiency has led to new levels of productivity.
In the technology sector, the notion of superhuman skills has evolved from science fiction to tangible reality. While this may be intimidating for some, it presents an incredible opportunity for innovation and progress. To advance in this direction, Germany needs to accelerate its AI development. Digital expert Sascha Lobo championed this call to action at OMR 2023 in Hamburg, and he was not alone.
“An AI jerk must go through Germany”, Lobo insisted on the conference stage of the festival. Numerous other conference speakers advocated for a swift digital transition. For instance, Jonas Andrulis, founder of Aleph Alpha, and Richard Socher, founder of You.com, emphasized on OMR.com the importance of AI, particularly generative AI, following the excitement around ChatGPT. Andrulis added as part of the OMR50-Ranking 2023, "I believe we need an independent AI company that's on par with those in the US and China."
“Have US digital companies peaked?”
Philipp Westermeyer, OMR-founder
The advent of superhuman skills will usher us into the age of efficiency, explained tech investor and advisor Philipp "Pip" Klöckner on the red stage of the OMR festival.
Large tech companies need to become more efficient, as their workforce growth over the last six years nearly matched their sales growth. Although salaries at Google and Meta continue to increase, employees are not generating more gross profit. Startups too must become increasingly efficient, as rising capital costs and less venture capital lead to austerity constraints.
Future of the platform
“AI is triggering a much-needed wave and could help solve the problems of a shortage of workers and the challenging pension situation in Germany”, stated Sven Schmidt, CMO of Machineseeker Group, on the conference stage of OMR. In his lecture about “the future of the platform Germany”, Schmidt stressed that, AI can increase people's productivity, but will trigger a structural change in the course of which salary structures will change massively.
Unlike two years ago, investors are now focused on profitability and the development of sustainable businesses rather than growth at any price, it was said unanimously on OMR-sidekick conference FinanceFWD. "Since 2022 there has been a completely different mindset," reported Jonas Tebbe, co-founder of Recap, a fintech from the credit sector. "No one talks about expansion and new products anymore."
Become ultimately profitable
Fast growth is still essential, noted Paul Morgenthaler, Managing Partner at CommerzVentures, but now it has to be cost-effective—a significant shift for both founders and investors. For example Christian Hecker, founder and CEO of Trade Republic, who shared his experiences in ensuring that every product and customer transaction is ultimately profitable.
Companies in the end customer business are particularly challenged, leading investors to be more cautious. Julia André, an investment professional at Index Ventures, still views fintechs as an attractive investment opportunity but anticipates more activity in the B2B sector in the near future.
Despite financial pressures and urgency, we still don't know exactly how the AI transformation will unfold. New markets, business models, and untapped potentials will emerge, but what will this highly efficient world look like?
Enhancing Efficiency in Industries
In the business world, AI has become an invaluable asset, augmenting human abilities and streamlining operations. In sectors such as healthcare, AI-powered diagnostic tools can analyze medical images, detect patterns, and assist doctors in making accurate diagnoses, exponentially improving efficiency and saving lives. Similarly, in manufacturing, AI-driven automation optimizes production lines, minimizing errors, and maximizing output, far surpassing human capabilities.
Superhuman skills bestowed by AI are not limited to industries and technology. Individuals, too, benefit from the efficiency enhancements offered by AI. Language translation apps equipped with AI algorithms allow us to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds, bridging language barriers with remarkable accuracy. AI-powered productivity tools assist us in managing complex tasks, organizing information, and boosting creativity, enabling us to achieve more in less time.
AI has also permeated our daily lives, enhancing our efficiency and transforming the way we interact with technology. Virtual personal assistants like Siri and Google Assistant have become our digital companions, effortlessly managing our schedules, providing information, and anticipating our needs. AI-powered recommendation systems personalize our online experiences, suggesting movies, music, and products tailored to our preferences, saving us valuable time and effort.
Fueling Innovation and Growth
Investments serve as the catalysts for economic transformation. By allocating resources to research and development, infrastructure, and emerging industries, we foster innovation and drive economic growth. Encouraging public and private investments in areas such as renewable energy, digital infrastructure, and sustainable technologies helps to create a solid foundation for a transformed economy. Investments provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, attract new businesses, and create jobs, thereby boosting productivity and competitiveness.
Embracing Change and Overcoming Challenges
Transforming our economy requires courage—the willingness to challenge the status quo, embrace change, and overcome obstacles. It demands the ability to adapt to disruptive technologies, reimagine business models, and navigate uncertain terrain. Encouraging a mindset of innovation, risk-taking, and entrepreneurial spirit enables individuals, businesses, and policymakers to proactively embrace and drive transformation. Courageous leadership and a supportive ecosystem that celebrates creativity, diversity, and resilience are essential to overcome resistance and build a sustainable future.
Collaboration for Success
To achieve a successful transformation, collaboration is vital. Governments, businesses, educational institutions, and communities must work hand in hand to align their efforts and resources. Public-private partnerships can foster innovation, leverage expertise, and accelerate the implementation of transformative initiatives. Engaging stakeholders from various sectors and ensuring inclusivity in decision-making processes enhance the chances of a comprehensive and successful transformation.
By directing investments towards innovative and sustainable sectors, prioritizing education to empower the workforce, fostering courage to embrace change, and promoting collaboration, we can lay the foundation for a resilient, inclusive, and prosperous economy. Embracing these elements ensures that our economy adapts and thrives amidst the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly changing world.
Winners and Losers of the German Internet
In conclusion, OMR-founder Philipp Westermeyer and Roland Eisenbrand, Editor in Chief of OMR, listed the winners and losers of the german internet: On the winning side are sport streaming, climate tech, prompt engineers, EU regulation and the audience of Youtube. On the losing side are life at tech companies, the Metaverse, company logos and social media.
Recommendations for deep dives
"State of the German Internet 2023", Phillip Westermeyer
"Durch Deutschland muss ein KI-Ruck gehen", Sascha Lobo
"Das Zeitalter der Effizienz", Pip Klöckner