About one year after the installment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Burda's DLD innovation conference in Brussels staged by DLD founder Steffi Czerny started with a wake-up call.
Optimism and Courage: DLD 2019's motto continues to be emblazoned on the walls of the packed hall on the second day of the conference, while Margot Edelman from the world's largest PR agency presents the results of the Edelman Trust Barometer on stage: "We asked 33,000 people in 26 countries about their trust in various topics. Especially in the business sector 'technology' the answers seem to be contradictory".
The "technology" sector enjoys the highest level of trust within all the sectors surveyed, while technological innovations that this sector produces, such as artificial intelligence or blockchain, tend to be mistrusted. According to Margot Edelman, this is probably due to the fact that most people are unfamiliar with these terms. Here, more educational work must be done.
But there's also good news: The Trust Barometer's report last year showed that classic journalism and traditional media such as print, television and serious online news platforms are gaining confidence. In comparison to the last Trust Barometer, the current study shows that worldwide trust in social media platforms has fallen again by 30 points.
At a time when information is pouring in unfiltered, people are thinking about what they have always been able to rely on - quality journalism, which in terms of trust is superior to platforms such as Google or Facebook.
Cooperation and Trust
As soon as Margot Edelman's facts and figures on the subject of trust had faded away, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg entered the stage and shared her thoughts on the subject with the audience. A lot has happened since her last DLD appearance in 2012 - her social platform has lost some of its users' trust due to the developments of recent years. Facebook invests huge sums of money to keep the platform free of fake profiles and hate speech, Sandberg asserted. "Cooperation with legislators and governments is particularly important to us," she said, and then immediately announced further cooperation.
Facebook wants to support the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in founding a new institute to deal with ethical issues around artificial intelligence. The world's largest social media channel is providing around 7.5 million US Dollars for this purpose. Facebook has also agreed a new strategic partnership with the German Federal Office for Information Security. Cooperation creates trust - or doesn't it? What is trust anyway?
"Trust is a confident relationship with the unknown," explained author Rachel Botsman in her DLD lecture "The Currency of Trust". Botsman has dealt with this topic scientifically and knows that lost trust cannot simply be regained by transparency. Rather, what is said must also correspond to what is done - continuously and over a longer period of time. This is the only way to rebuild trust. This applies both to personal relationships as well as to customer-company relationships.
From Silicon Valley to the Italian Administration
Diego Piacentini was able to report on a completely different kind of relationship. Born in Italy, Piacentini tries to digitize the administration in his home country. Prior to this, Piacentini worked as Vice President at Amazon for 16 years and, together with Jeff Bezos, made the trading platform into one of the top tech giants. Silicon Valley meets Italian authorities. In an interview with Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen, Piacentini explained the persuasive work he has to do. Here, too, it's all about building bridges between worlds and building trust: "I've learned to negotiate even when the other side is irrational," Piacentini said laughing.
Asked what advice Piacentini would give Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker, he replied: "I would advise Angela Merkel to make a very good succession plan and Juncker and the European Government should lead by example and be the first to digitize".
Bigger than Electricity!
"Artificial intelligence is bigger than electricity!" That's what Kai-Fu Lee of Sinovation Ventures called out to the audience from the DLD stage. Artificial intelligence (AI) is already in use in many different areas and will penetrate every industry in the coming years. This trend was evident - among many other topics - in most of the DLD lectures on this day. Whether in aviation or medicine or even in areas such as culture and art. And again, the discussions end on the same topic: trust. Trust that makes optimism and courage possible in the first place.
Again, #dld19 was the number 1 trending hashtag on Twitter today. Sheryl Sandberg's presentation was, as expected, the hottest among the users. Use the Hashtag tomorrow and join in the discussion!
Free photo material for editorial use can be found on Flickr.