The story of the Siemens AI Lab Podcast: Human and AI – Mind, Machines, and the Gradient Descent
In spring 2020, more than a year ago, exactly when Corona hit Europe and everyone experienced the first lockdown, we at the Siemens AI Lab faced a big challenge: We used to be a co-creation space that thrived on co-location, and suddenly we were sitting at home in front of our laptops facing the problem of no-location. It dawned on us pretty quickly that we would not be able to run the “normal” AI Lab operating model, starting from accelerated prototyping, to large-scale hackathons, from inspiration events to expert meetups in the near (and as we now know, distant) future.
Three days into the lockdown, as we experienced the initial effects of the external shock such as the new circumstances of physical distancing, our Communications Lead took a step back and reflected upon the purpose of her role, which was to use different channels to communicate AI content within and beyond the company. However, as many of the traditional channels were not suitable for the new situation, she decided it was time for a change. We needed to do something about the situation. We needed new ideas. We needed action! So, we started exploring new possibilities with all the creative heads in the Siemens AI Lab. The result of multiple intensive brainstorming sessions, the freedom of a decentral role-system, and a fail-fast culture was a pragmatic, authentic, low-cost format – Human&AI was born.
We thought since we facilitate and engage hundreds of people throughout the year in the Siemens AI Lab, during physical hackathons, impactful coding sprints, orientations, meetups, workshops, and events, why not mobilize this great network and capture some of the learnings and experiences of the AI experts at the global scale in our very own podcast?
Passionately hosted by Agnes, Alex, Arberie, Benno, Case, Supra, Ulli, and Vera, Human&AI follows the purpose of connecting an interdisciplinary community within and outside the Siemens cosmos. The Siemens AI Lab presents a podcast that takes you on a journey where we reflect, share, and discuss upon what it means to make an impact in the age of AI by transporting AI expertise and attitude in an authentic and diverse way, flavored with exciting stories from inspiring people across the company.
The show was already streamed over ten thousand times on acast, spotify and co. We are receiving lots of valuable feedback and even more requests from people who are willing to share their experiences, learnings, and personal stories on what it means being technology-passioned and human-centered in Industrial AI.
Since the first recording back in April 2020, we have published more than 34 episodes covering a broad spectrum of what Siemens has to offer, but also capturing the personal stories of our global Siemens citizen. We have invited genius minds like Henning Ochsenfeld and Marina Kinschel from Digital Industries to talk about data science, data innovation, and the role of explainable AI. Jennifer Heier re-centered the notation around staying human. We’ve met virtually with Franziska Dolak from Smart Infrastructure and discussed how to drive innovation in corporates. Claus Bahlmann from Siemens Mobility took us on an exciting journey to discover how AI is leveraged in the area of autonomous driving, Vijay Pravin Maharajan let us grow and learn from innovation in the Indian ecosystem. We’ve talked to Mennen Elkalyoubi about the AI ecosystem in Egypt and what role creativity and empathy play in innovation. Ioannis let us learn about the beauty of data and Greece language, Thomas emphasized the importance of making things happen. We’ve pictured how to transform the culture in large corporates with Gia Thi Nguyen from Vietnam, the impact of Deep Learning at Siemens Healthineers with Tobias Heimann, and elaborated with Marianne Kiener and Elliot DeSouza on the role of bias in HR. Dirk made sure we are not dropping out of a simulation, Kai turned trust into Gold, Juan and Mareike showed us around the hot AI tech in California …and plenty of other super interesting stories that are told by the many genius minds of #TeamSiemens.
For us, at the Siemens AI Lab, creating and hosting the podcast series was and still is a wonderful learning experience and the greatest lessons we have learned are the following:
What are the three key lessons that we learned throughout?
- Be Bold: The current situation enforces but also enables to rethink established formats and turns them into opportunity to grow and re-design – if you let it go and dare to try.
- Be Open-Minded: The accessibility of technology enables the acceleration of early prototyping and improving in an iterative manner – following the paradigm learning prior perfectionism.
- Be Committed: Trust and self-organization unleashes especially in critical times a unique energy of empowerment and creativity – shaping the future together.
… but we are far from being done! #Teamsiemens has more than 280.000 genius minds. So stay tuned and don’t miss out on the upcoming podcast episodes released every other Thursday. Give us feedback and let us know who the next genius mind should be, or what topic we should cover next. To subscribe or listen in check out the links:
Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Acast, Ingenuity, Siemens FM