Hans-Olaf Henkel

Plenary talk: Artificial intelligence: Disappointment or hope?
Friday July 26th 17:00-18:00 in auditorium 1


Artificial intelligence was born in 1956 at the Dartmouth Conference. Thirty years later, Europe and the US already invested billions into this new technology. So where do we stand today? Did these investments pay off? AI and its logical foundations found numerous applications in robotics, expert systems, computer vision, agent technology and natural language processing and many of these developments are now seen as standard computer science applications. In this talk I will share with the scientific audience of FLoC my personal experience over many years of industrial leadership and concentrate on the importance of the information society and the technology that made this development possible.

About Hans-Olaf Henkel

Dr. Hans-Olaf Henkel is not only one of the most respected top managers in Germany's business scene, moreover, during his many years at IBM and as President of the Federal Association of German Industries (BDI), he witnessed and contributed significantly to the development of European industry.

He joined IBM Germany in 1962, the beginning of an illustrious, international career. After holding various executive positions at IBM in the U.S., East Asia and Germany, as well as at European headquarters in Paris, he was appointed President of IBM Germany in January 1987. In 1993 he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IBM Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

This was followed in 1994 by his election as "President of the Federation of German Industries" (BDI), ostensibly the most powerful industry organisation in Germany. He held this position for over six years, confirming himself as one of Germany's most courageous, resourceful and respected business leaders.

Presently, Dr. Henkel is a member of numerous Supervisory Boards, such as IBM Deutschland, AUDI AG and Continental AG as well as co-founder of the German-Japan Initiative, for which he was highly awarded by the Japanese Government and other organisations. He is also Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Industriebank AG (IKB) and took on a Visiting Professorship at the University of Mannheim, Germany.

Dr Henkel also is Senator of the "Max-Planck-Gesellschaft", as well as of the "Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz", two leading institutions promoting scientific research in Germany.

In his latest best-selling book, "Die Macht der Freiheit", (2000), which records 60 years of economic history, he reflects on his impressions of the many politicians and captains of industry he met and presents his vision of a Germany and Europe in the future.