Three questions for Dr. Kerim Galal, who is responsible for the future topics of strategy, innovation, and digitization at DEKRA.
Lakera AI AG, a young Swiss company, won the DEKRA Award in the “Startups” category. Why is it so important to be able to manage the risk and vulnerabilities of artificial intelligence, as Lakera makes possible?
Galal: For many of today’s AI-based systems, the more general the deployment scenario, the more important the sensible balance of the technologically unavoidable trade-off between absolute flawlessness and general usability. That’s why it’s necessary to identify, monitor, and test AI technologies before and during operation. Only in this way can we avoid errors with sufficient certainty and avert financial and personnel damage in the context of society as a whole. The goal must be to ensure a high level of safety on the road, at work, and at home, even in the emerging age of AI.
Why do startups in particular often develop groundbreaking ideas? Just think of TikTok, WeWork, or Snapchat.
Galal: Many startup founders identify a need in the digital ecosystem and focus all resources on the conceptual solution and its scalability. Innovative power requires speed and large degrees of freedom as well as a fail-fast-learn-fast attitude. This is exactly why partnerships with startups are so relevant for established companies. Through them, visionary foresight and impetus from the startup world can be combined with existing companies’ scaling and implementation power.
How does DEKRA itself benefit from young startups?
Galal: Collaboration with partners – and especially startups – is a key cornerstone of our digital strategy. With its in-house innovation unit DEKRA DIGITAL, DEKRA is already developing services and products in new digital fields such as cybersecurity, AI, and future mobility. Connecting with startups helps us jointly solve technical challenges and close existing technology or competence gaps, as well as conquer new markets by developing business models together.