SAP: Trustworthy AI can open up new opportunities for companies

February 6, 2024. “Vague but exciting” was probably the most famous understatement of the 20th century, a handwritten note on Tim Berner-Lee’s famous paper from 1989, with which he laid the foundation for the World Wide Web. From today’s perspective, it was a groundbreaking moment that not only gave billions of people access to the Internet, but also ushered in the age of digitalization. Today, we are once again at a groundbreaking point with similar implications. In just over a year, the rapid development of generative artificial intelligence (AI) – once a niche technology – has made the topic the talk of the town worldwide. At the same time as the emergence of generative AI, the world is facing various geopolitical, economic and climate crises.

Share this Post
Symbolic image of artificial intelligence (AI) / pixabay geralt

Contact info

Silicon Saxony

Marketing, Kommunikation und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Manfred-von-Ardenne-Ring 20 F

Telefon: +49 351 8925 886

Fax: +49 351 8925 889

Contact person:

These challenges need to be tackled urgently, even though human, environmental and financial resources are already scarce worldwide. Generative AI, however, raises the hope that we can find solutions to all these competing problem areas at the same time. In other words, generative AI is designed to help us do more with less.

Accelerating change

It is widely recognized that generative AI holds enormous potential, but there is one important area where this potential to drive positive change has yet to fully unfold. When we use generative AI to drive business operations – as a tool to transform companies, supply chains and entire industries – we accelerate the evolution of our global economy towards greater sustainability, resilience, equality and prosperity.

Generative AI can, among other things, help to find better answers faster to questions that millions of companies around the world are asking themselves. Some examples:

  • What steps do we need to take to make our business carbon neutral?
  • How can we improve the availability of critical supplies?
  • What can we do to make our business more productive and competitive?
  • What training and retraining measures can we use to equip our employees for current and future challenges?

In order to be able to rely on the recommendations of generative AI for such important questions, the underlying technology must be highly trustworthy. This is especially true for consumer applications.

Fostering trust in AI

Firstly, trustworthy means that generative AI must be relevant for companies. An AI can only ever be as good as the data it is trained with. The generic data used in the most popular large language models (LLMs) today will not help companies solve their very specific problems. To make contextual recommendations, relevant AI for business must use and be trained on real business data.

Secondly, generative AI for business must be reliable. In the business world, the stakes can be high: individual decisions can affect many thousands of customers and employees, as well as the long-term future of a company. That’s why AI for business must deliver results that meet the highest standards of accuracy and quality. And while AI hallucinations may provide entertainment for consumers, they are absolutely unacceptable in the business world.

Thirdly, generative AI for business must be responsible. There is a recurring debate about the extent to which AI models that have been trained with and use data that is publicly available on the internet may be in breach of data protection and copyright regulations. In the business world, use in such a “gray area” is unthinkable.

In order for companies to trust generative AI, they must be certain that security and confidentiality are guaranteed when using their data. They must be able to rely on the fact that compliance with data protection, data ownership and data access requirements is already built into the design of tools based on generative AI and that these tools are only used in areas where their use has been expressly approved.

Relevance, reliability and responsible use are therefore the cornerstones of trustworthy AI for companies. They are also key to fostering trust in the use of a technology that can tackle the biggest challenges of our time.

A unique opportunity

As a global software company, SAP has made the development of relevant, reliable and responsible AI a key strategic goal. With the explicit consent of many thousands of customers, these AI solutions are to use real business data and be trained with it. The design of these solutions defines the access and data protection settings that are also an integral part of SAP databases and SAP software.

The ethical implementation of AI is ensured by clearly defined guidelines, internal governance structures and an ethics advisory board made up of external experts. Most importantly, SAP is committed to ensuring that the quality of generative AI results is not simply “high enough” but meets the integrity and quality requirements of customers who need to make business decisions with real impact.

I firmly believe that we have a unique opportunity to make a broad-based impact: In countries and regions that pioneer the use of AI in business, companies and industries will adopt generative AI much faster and more widely. They will benefit from greater competitive advantages, better resilience and more sustainability. And they will make a significant contribution to improving the operations of the global economy – just as the World Wide Web did 30 years ago.

Christian Klein is CEO and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.

– – – – – –

Further links


Photo: pixabay

You may be interested in the following