Pressemitteilung der
ZEIT Verlagsgruppe

19. Januar 2017

Bill McDermott at ZEIT Reception Davos: Artificial Intelligence does not replace the human

At an event hosted by the German weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT and CMS on 18th January, Bill McDermott commented on the influence of artificial intelligence on the modern working world: “There are benefits to Artificial Intelligence, because I don’t think it replaces the human in most cases. I think it gives nuance to the experience and the decision making process.”

However, the CEO of SAP went on to say that in an environment where manual jobs in particular are going away “we have to retool and reskill those people”: Especial important is the “reskilling and educating people that have been affected by the digital divide and that don’t see a positive future”, said McDermott. “I can’t stress enough, we can’t leave people behind.” In order to achieve this, the private sector and the public sector providing the necessary infrastructure would have to work together, according to McDermott.

In conversation with Uwe Jean Heuser, DIE ZEITs Economic and Business Editor, Bill McDermott also commented on the criticism of HANA, the in-memory database management system developed by SAP: “HANA is not too expensive. The way you partition the data makes a big difference. Most companies are interested in what the sales are today, this week, this month (…), but probably they’re not interested in every analysis going back ten years. You can partition things into cold data and hot data.” Also “HANA kills hardware”, said the SAP-CEO. According to him “there are huge improvements and that implies less hardware, less complexity, more speed.”

The ZEIT Reception Davos was held on the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos. DIE ZEIT in cooperation with CMS invited leading representatives from the worlds of business and politics to a roundtable discussion and reception.

For more information regarding the event:

You can find videos of previous ZEIT events at