«Goals, strategy and implementation, there is a solution for everything – let's get to work.»

Frank Wentzler, Senior Manager

2020 Business Report

Dear Reader

If you used social media or a voice assistant today, you were – perhaps unknowingly – interacting with artificial intelligence, AI for short. Systems using AI have the potential to radically change our lives, and that in the near future. That’s why it’s essential that we not only discuss the opportunities the technology brings, but that we also consider the associated risks and monitor them closely.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic and related measures dominated headlines and discussions. While we at Consenec were hoping that this difficult phase would soon pass, we also took the opportunity to raise public awareness and interest in artificial intelligence. With our virtual Impuls event, we wanted to offer insight into the current capabilities of AI systems – and Professor Marc Pouly’s excellent talk fulfilled all expectations (pp. 6–8).

At ABB, artificial intelligence has already become a mainstay, as was seen at last year’s China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, where ABB Robotics demonstrated how AI can be used to efficiently sort trash (p. 9). But the time is also ripe for SMEs and businesses with tight R&D budgets to launch AI projects. A recent study provides an overview of where small and medium-sized enterprises plan to implement IT and AI systems. We’re expecting to see a veritable boom in such applications soon (pp. 10–11).

To drive the development of artificial intelligence, ETH Zurich has established a new research center, described on page 12. Then, we show our readers some areas where AI has already become a part of everyday life and offer a few reading tips on the subject (p. 13).

Finally, we introduce eight motivated senior managers who joined Consenec last year (pp. 14–15) and present the entire team (pp. 16–17). In addition, three case summaries demonstrate how our experienced executives master challenging assignments (p. 18).

I believe you’ll enjoy reading our 2020 Business Report. On behalf of Consenec, I thank you for your interest in our activities – and hope you remain in good health.

Ingo Fritschi