Management decisions with artificial intelligence


How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the working world of tomorrow? At the Ladenburg Roundtable on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence in Companies,” under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Stefan Feuerriegel the participants discussed how AI technologies are changing the nature of decision-making among managers in companies.

The Ladenburg Roundtable brought together scientists at the interface of AI and business administration to discuss the implications for employees and society. While artificial intelligence offers immense advantages, such as the automation of processes or more precise predictions, it also presents challenges – especially in connection with the labor market. At present, it often remains unclear as to how humans and algorithms can work together effectively.

The scientific presentations at the Ladenburg Roundtable made it clear that despite the gains in efficiency brought about by AI, new requirements will be placed on the further education and retraining of employees. Ethics and data protection were discussed as further key challenges, particularly with a view to the error-prone nature of AI technologies. The participants agreed that AI-based systems should be explainable and readily comprehensible. In day-to-day business operations, however, they currently often function as so-called black boxes, since the decisions they make are unclear even to AI experts. In several lectures, methodological ideas were presented that suggest how new mathematical models could serve to develop understandable and above all easily comprehensible AI technologies. Building on this, experimental projects were discussed which show that humans and AI collaborate effectively as long as the algorithms’ decisions can be justified and any errors corrected.

The participants also stressed the importance of promoting AI education in general, so that the public can better understand and critically discuss this technology. Informed understanding can help allay fears and misgivings in this regard. Educational institutions, companies, and universities were called upon to invest in initiatives for ongoing education and to develop new educational programs. In addition to technical knowledge, these should above all increase awareness of ethical and social implications. In a rapidly changing world of work, adaptability and lifelong willingness to learn are the key to success.

As a next step, the participants are now planning to develop a reference curriculum for AI training as a part of corporate routine. A survey is to be launched at companies for the development of an empirically founded requirement analysis with regard to key competencies. Qualification goals and learning units will then be defined on this basis.

The Ladenburg Roundtable concluded with an intensive discussion of how research on the topic of “AI in companies” can be further developed and sustainably reinforced. The participants saw this exchange as an opportunity to establish a new conference format in Germany over the long term: In an interdisciplinary format at the interface of AI and management, researchers will then be able to exchange ideas on current technological and social developments. The first such conference is planned for early 2024 in Munich.