“It’s not for Cowards”

Interview with Dr.-Ing. Michael Fübi

Over the next few years, digitalization will fundamentally transform the ways in which we process and obtain information, make decisions, and interact with one another. One of the consequences of these shifts will be general sense of uncertainty. That being said, the onus is on us, meaning humans in general, to take responsibility in our own hands and implement digitalization to our benefit.

Dr. Fübi, be honest: How digital are you already?

Let’s say I’m average to good on the digitalization scale: I seek out elements of digitalization that enrich my life and further my own development. But I am always very aware of how I use them and remain very cognizant of my privacy. Naturally, I use a smartphone, smart watch, and tablet. I make sure to carefully consider when and to whom I disclose my personal data.

Some people see digitalization as a threat, to their work, for example. Is that fear justified?

It’s understandable that many people see digitalization and artificial intelligence as threats. They believe that robots will replace them and they will lose their jobs. I see things differently. We can leverage the connection between humans and artificial intelligence to boost our productivity. This will provide us humans with more time to focus on other important tasks that would otherwise go neglected. There will always be things that only a human can do, such as feel emotions or act with empathy. On the other hand, there are tasks that machines can implement more efficiently and quickly, such as processing massive volumes of data. Moreover, we can’t forget that digitalization will create new jobs.

How should companies need prepare to make use of digitalization?

In the future, companies with employees that have a wide range of educational backgrounds and who take a bold approach towards progress will meet with success. To put it pointedly: Digitalization isn’t for cowards. More key technical and social competencies and interdisciplinary qualifications will be in demand. Unique skills such as media competency, application expertise, creativity, argumentation aptitude, and basic IT and analytical capabilities will become more important. More than ever, quality, lifelong learning and further training will lay the groundwork for commercial success and social cohesion. As a large-scale training provider, TÜV Rheinland is already making an important contribution in these areas.

Picture the future: How will we live in 2050?

I’m certain that scientific and technical progress, particularly in the realm of robotic systems, will make our lives more secure and even more comfortable. Robots are already taken as a given in the field of industrial manufacturing, and their use is on the rise. Humans are increasingly relying on automated products and systems, such as automatic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers inside and just outside the household, respectively, driver assistance systems in cars, and various applications in the field of medical technology. As automation continues to progress, we humans must always bear in mind that we can draw on our creativity to create truly new things. That’s what differentiates us from machines.

Picture credits: TÜV Rheinland AG

Find other interesting articles on topics such as Building Information Modeling, Noise and an interview with Lina van de Mars in our knowledge magazine contact 1.18 at publications.