The Pioneering Role of AI in Reshaping Corporate Hungary

Conferences

Péter Ratatics of MOL (at podium) was among the many speakers.

In an era when technology is relentlessly reshaping the business landscape, MBH Bank hosted a groundbreaking conference on artificial intelligence on Nov. 30. The event kicked off what will be known as the MBH Corporate Conferences series. The organizers hope it will mark a significant milestone in Hungary’s journey to integrate AI into various business sectors.

Levente Szabó, deputy CEO of MBH Bank, laid out the significance the technology holds for commerce in his opening remarks.

“The impact of artificial intelligence on the business world cannot be overestimated. This inaugural conference aims to shed light on this transformative technology,” he explained. “Our future is inextricably linked to our ability to innovate.”

State Secretary Gergely Fábián of the Ministry of Economic Development highlighted the central role AI will likely play in economic growth.

“The impact of artificial intelligence on global GDP is colossal, potentially reaching trillions of dollars. Companies using this technology are experiencing significant revenue growth,” he said.

Balázs Vinnai, chief advisor to the chairman at MBH Bank and president of the ICT Association of Hungary (IVSz), emphasized the critical need for companies to integrate cutting-edge technologies into their daily operations to stay ahead in the competitive marketplace.

“The adoption rate of new technologies is accelerating. Companies that successfully implement these technologies gain a significant competitive advantage,” Vinnai explained. He predicted that AI could increase European productivity by anywhere between 11-37% by 2035.

AI and Hot Dogs

A standout session was led by Péter Ratatics, executive director of consumer services at MOL Group, who shared the gas and oil giant’s AI-driven initiatives. As a case study, he mentioned MOL’s hot dog design, which increased sales by 20% and reduced waste by 43%. He was followed by György Tilesch, president of the PHI Institute, who delved into the potential of AI, emphasizing the need for leadership-driven adoption and implementation of the technology.

The conference wasn’t just about discussions and predictions. Péter Balogh, MBH Bank’s executive director of corporate and special financing, and Sándor Bertalan, the executive director of the SME division, gave a presentation on the application of digital avatars in interviews using a Chat GPT4-based text generator integrated with the bank’s proprietary software.

As Hungary’s economic landscape evolves, the integration of AI is emerging as a critical pillar for future growth and competitiveness. The conference provided a platform for exchanging ideas and charting the trajectory of artificial intelligence across different sectors, highlighting the importance of embracing innovation for sustainable business success.

The event concluded with a panel discussion featuring executives from Nestlé, Bosch, Telekom and Siemens. It explored the practical applications of AI, shedding light on how it is revolutionizing sectors ranging from finance and healthcare to manufacturing and consumer services.

Along the way, the conference highlighted Hungary’s strategic position in the global technology landscape. With a robust digital infrastructure and innovative mindset, Hungary has the potential to become a significant player in the digital economy. The insights shared at the conference not only reflected current trends but also outlined a path for future developments.

In addition to the business perspective, the conference also touched on the societal implications of AI. Experts discussed how it could help solve complex societal challenges, from improving healthcare outcomes to enhancing education methods. The role of artificial intelligence in promoting sustainability and environmental protection was another focus, illustrating how technology can be a force for good.

Avoiding Unintended Consequences

The need for ethical considerations in the use of AI was also highlighted. One of the crucial concerns addressed was the ethical use of AI and the potential for unintended consequences. Experts discussed the importance of transparency, accountability, and governance in AI systems, emphasizing that while the technology offers tremendous benefits, it must be developed and deployed responsibly to avoid potential pitfalls such as bias and privacy issues to ensure that the technology serves humanity positively.

The conference also delved into technical aspects, discussing the latest developments in machine learning, neural networks and data analytics. These technical sessions aimed to demystify AI and provide a deeper understanding of its underlying mechanics. Experts shared insights into how artificial intelligence algorithms process vast amounts of data to make accurate predictions and decisions, a critical capability for organizations looking to leverage big data for strategic advantage.

Another critical theme of the conference, unsurprisingly given the organizer, was the integration of AI into financial services. Financial experts from MBH Bank and other institutions discussed the transformative impact on banking, including risk assessment, fraud detection, personalized banking services, and algorithmic trading. These discussions underscored the potential of AI to revolutionize the sector, offering greater efficiency, improved customer experiences, and new avenues for growth and innovation.

Regarding strategy, the event highlighted how AI is already becoming an integral part of business decision-making. Business leaders and strategists discussed how AI identifies market trends, optimizes supply chains, and improves customer engagement. The conference featured several case studies where AI-driven strategies led to tangible business improvements, demonstrating the practical value of the technology in real-world scenarios.

The role of artificial intelligence in driving innovation was another point of focus. Speakers from various industries shared how AI is being used to foster creativity and innovation, leading to the development of new products, services, and business models. These insights highlighted the ability not only to improve existing processes but also to create new opportunities for businesses to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

The conference also provided a platform for startups and entrepreneurs to share their experiences with AI. Young tech companies showcased their AI-based solutions, providing valuable insights into how entrepreneurs are using the technology to solve unique challenges and create disruptive innovations.

Educators and experts also discussed the need to integrate AI education into academic curricula. They emphasized the importance of preparing the next generation of professionals and ensuring the workforce has the skills to thrive in an AI-driven future.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of December 15, 2023.

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