Hubert Burda Media has announced an investment in Quit Genius, a UK and US-based startup that uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help quit smoking and vaping tobacco products.
BurdaPrincipal Investments is the venture capital arm of Hubert Burda Media and focuses on consumer internet, identifying promising growth stage companies and supporting them with capital and expertise. An important location for the investment scene is London, where the BPI team, including Burda board member Martin Weiss and BPI Managing Director Christian Teichmann, hosted a networking lunch. The event took place at the Hush restaurant central London and addressed the question of how artificial intelligence (AI) will impact our daily lives, digitization and the investment scene. Keynote speaker at the event was AI expert Paul Nemitz, Member of the German Data Ethics Commission and Principal Adviser on Justice Policy in the European Commission.
AI on the rise
During the lunch the participants exchanged ideas, discussed AI and made new connections. The guests included representatives of the London start-up and investment scene including companies such as Balderton Capital, Beringea, BGF, DN Capital and Piton Capital.
„As investors, we are exposed to Artificial Intelligence topic on a daily basis. While it creates unique opportunities, the risks of AI, particularly around data abuse, should not be downplayed. What does it all mean for us as investors? And who will define the rules governing this in the future? That is why we invited the AI expert Paul Nemitz – often referred to as ‘the Godfather of Privacy’ – to give us some insights on this topic.”
Martin Weiss, Burda board member
In his previous assignment as Director for Fundamental Rights in the EU Commission, Paul Nemitz over six years led the work on data protection, until adoption of the GDPR by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. His article “Constitutional democracy and technology in the age of artificial intelligence” has been downloaded more than 17,000 times and was commented on by the Guardian and the Observer. “Public political organization have already recognized that AI is an important subject and are increasingly investing in related research and education. In Germany, around 140 new AI professor positions will be created in the near future”, Nemitz explained.
Europe’s data protection
BPI Managing Director Christian Teichmann was interested in how Europe can compete with the USA and China in the field of AI. Paul Nemitz explained that stricter regulation in Europe presents more than just a limitation. Education software, for example, experiences higher acceptance in Europe than in the USA. "In Europe, we can rely on laws that guarantee us control over our data," said Nemitz. In the USA, business models of this kind often fail because there is a lack of trust in the companies that process the data. After the speech and Q&A, a small group of guests continued a discussion on AI with Paul Nemitz over coffee and dessert.