Futurism @SAP

“SAP” and “future” are concepts that rarely connect in my head. That’s not meant to be a hater comment – just that the sci-fi fanboy part of my brain thinks of the future as the place where we travel to the stars, not where we match invoices 14% better. SAP does actually employ futurists, though. This blog caught my eye and got me thinking. It’s a profile of Upen Barve, who along with Martin Wezowski is co-founder of The Future Hub at SAP. 

“We spearhead & shape SAP’s long-term innovation vision, produce and supervise future concepts, create Macro POV’s and build concept cases and concept-prototypes to make the vision tangible. We inspire & strategize with our ecosystem to investigate possible futures, and validate with tangible PoCs.” 

Upen Barve on Future Hub

It takes a bit for the interview to get going. Lots of high-sounding phrases that – while I’m sure have lots of meaning to the futurist crew – don’t take shape for me as a reader until he goes into detail on a few AI outputs and predictions:

  • Barve’s four pillars of human ingenuity and machine intelligence coming together: individual augmentation, enterprise decision augmentation, autonomous operations, autonomous networks
  • Points to a forecast saying between 2042 and 2045 that machines and humans will be at equal capability. Calls it “inevitable”. 
  • Will AI be able to learn emotions? He says gut feelings will continue to distinguish humans from machines. 

I suggest going out to Barve’s LinkedIn profile and looking at some of the videos to get further details. While the future is necessarily murky, futurists and fusionists alike should work to be clear in their communication. PM

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