Bank Austria Future Talk:
How visions become reality: robotics and artificial intelligence

  • Top class Bank Austria Future Talk on the importance of robotics and artificial intelligence for Austria as an innovation location
  • Keynote talks by Professor Roland Siegwart (ETH Zurich), Martina Mara (Ars Electronica Future Labs) and business journalist Ulrich Eberl
  • UniCredit will invest a total of €1.6 billion in IT and digital innovation till 2019, as part of ‘Transform 2019’

On Thursday evening UniCredit Bank Austria and the ORF III science magazine “Quantensprung” jointly staged the event entitled “Bank Austria Future Talk – Awakening and Future!” in the Sky Loft of the Ars Electronica Centre in Linz. During the event, renowned experts discussed the future of automation, immersed themselves in the world of robots and debated the use of “intelligent systems” and machines.

“Digitalization is an integral part of our strategic plan ‘Transform 2019’”, emphasised Robert Zadrazil, CEO of UniCredit Bank Austria. “As number one in Austria and as part of UniCredit, a simple pan-European Commercial Bank with a fully plugged in Corporate & Investment Banking, we have a strong track record of providing our clients with innovative digital solutions. We are continuously working on optimising and improving the customer experience and digitalization is a key element of this.”

Taking photo transfer as an example, which was developed in cooperation with the start-up Gini GmbH for the MobileBanking App of UniCredit Bank Austria, Zadrazil described how a leading bank copes with the requirements and challenges of the 21st century through innovations. With photo transfer, artificial intelligence can recognise by means of a photo of an invoice taken with a smartphone all relevant payment data, e.g. the recipient, IBAN and transfer amount, and produce a complete payment instruction in the MobileBanking App. The customer only has to sign this payment instruction finally. UniCredit Bank Austria is the first bank in Austria to offer its customers this innovative function in its MobileBanking App.

Renowned experts were engaged as keynote-speakers at the event: Professor Roland Siegwart, Head of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zurich, provided an overview of the origins, current situation and future of robotics and artificial intelligence. “Robots are an expression of creativity and innovative power in a society. People do well wherever there are many robots coupled with a high level of automation”, said Siegwart summing up his view of robotics.

Martina Mara, Head of RoboPsychology Research at the Ars Electronica Future Lab, focused on man-machine interaction and robopsychology. “Robots and artificial intelligence systems are increasingly finding their way into our everyday lives. However, many people are also afraid of them”, stressed Mara. “We must take these fears seriously on the way to a technological future designed with people in mind.”

Ulrich Eberl, a business journalist and author, then talked about Work 4.0 and international prospects. “We are on the point of a revolution in smart machines”, said Eberl with conviction. “In my opinion, smart machines are those with artificial intelligence, who are capable of learning and can see, hear, listen and argue, i.e. both robots and clever computer software”, said the author. “In future we will live in a community made up of people and smart machines. Although this development naturally has impacts on jobs, privacy and security, we will need smart machines.”

In view of this situation, the prominent experts outlined the importance of robotics and artificial intelligence during the subsequent podium discussion together with Robert Zadrazil and Andreas Jäger, presenter of the ORF III science magazine “Quantensprung”.

The Bank Austria Future Talks examine current questions and future topics in the area of science, technology and innovation. UniCredit Bank Austria therefore demonstrates its commitment to innovation and projects which help to maintain Austria as an industry location.

Enquiries: UniCredit Bank Austria Media Relations
Franziska Schenker, Tel.: +43 (0) 50505 - 51417;
E-mail: franziska.schenker@unicreditgroup.at