Hungarians Seek Health and Sustainability from AI: Insights from Bosch×Richter Survey

Analysis

István Szászi, representative of the Bosch Group in Hungary and the Adriatic region.

Innovation is with us in our homes, cars, hospitals and most areas of our modern lives. But how do Hungarians view rapid technological development and the role of artificial intelligence in it? These questions were addressed in a joint survey conducted by the Bosch Group in Hungary and Richter Gedeon Nyrt., with the results presented at the “Bosch×Richter Innovators Day” conference.

In an age of rapid technological transformation, Hungarians are not just bystanders. The recent joint survey by Bosch and Richter reveals that 63% view innovations favorably. Contrastingly, a minuscule 2% question the benefits that such advancements bring.

When asked about the primary roles of these cutting-edge developments, respondents pointed to three major areas: mitigating environmental pollution at 46%, driving efficient energy usage at 42%, and elevating the comfort of day-to-day life at 43%.

Echoing these public sentiments, both Bosch and Richter believe that tackling climate change sits at the apex of today’s global challenges, reinforcing the public’s rightful demand for corporate-driven technical solutions.

When considering AI’s role in modern life, you might first think of search engines or self-driving cars. It turns out that 48% of Hungarians feel the same way. But the influence of artificial intelligence doesn’t stop there. Navigational aids are on the radar for 42% of people, and another 39% know that factories are becoming smarter thanks to AI.

Gábor Orbán, CEO of Richter Gedeon Nyrt.

Medical Future

Less well-known is that AI is also shaping the future of healthcare, with just 39% aware of its role in medical device design. It’s even playing a part in drug development and security solutions, though even fewer people (27% and 29%, respectively) are aware of that. And let’s not forget the unsung role of AI in energy regulation, known to only 21%. This might explain why both Bosch and Richter are investing more than you’d expect in these cutting-edge technologies.

Regarding daily life, a whopping 84% of Hungarians are keen on using AI for general searches, perhaps a nod to the recent rise in advanced chatbot technology. The desire to implement AI in the workplace stands at 66%, matched by an equal enthusiasm for its applications in healthcare diagnostics.

People have high hopes for AI to help them solve some of the most pressing problems of our time. The top priority is to find treatments for diseases that are currently incurable, according to 46% of the respondents. They also want AI to make medical diagnoses more accurate (42%) and facilitate general cures and healing (41%).

Moreover, they expect AI to contribute to environmental protection (37%), to improve human work efficiency (34%), and to make traffic safer (31%). All are areas where Richter and Bosch are actively innovating and using AI to address societal challenges.

However, Hungarians are not yet fully convinced about the future use of AI. More than half of them (54%) are uncertain about it, while only 27% are confident and find it helpful. The absolute skeptics are in the minority, with 19%. Bosch and Richter say they understand that new technologies can raise concerns and are committed to building trust in AI.

Pharma R&D Giant

Gedeon Richter describes itself as being the largest pharmaceutical R&D base in Central Europe, with a mission to improve health and quality of life through its innovative products. The company focuses on developing therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders with unmet medical needs and finding new solutions for common gynecological conditions.

It also aims to improve access to high-quality and affordable medicines through biotech and generic product development. To achieve these goals, the company uses AI solutions to enhance its R&D and manufacturing processes.

Bosch, in the research and application of AI, focuses on sustainability, mobility, and Industry 4.0. In the past five years, the company says it has filed patent applications for more than 1,000 AI inventions, making it one of Europe’s leaders in the field. Specialists at the company are working on well over 60 specific applications that new AI models offer the company, such as an in-house version of a generative AI platform that grants access to a wide variety of data sources.

As a leader in automotive technologies, Bosch says it is committed to developing intelligent safety solutions for vehicles and transport to help people in their everyday lives and is already addressing user expectations today. It is also tackling the sustainability challenge and is researching promising technologies such as hydrogen electrolysis.

Bosch has developed a code of ethics for artificial intelligence, a guideline governing the use of AI in its products. The firm insists that this ethical approach combines a quest for innovation with a sense of social responsibility.

Innovators Day a Significant Business Cooperation

This was the first time two of Hungary’s leading R&D companies have organized a joint “Innovators Day” conference, which came with the subtitle, “Sitting at the Table with Artificial Intelligence.”

“Climate change, limited resources, and changing mobility patterns are all complex problems that require comprehensive, innovative solutions. In line with people’s expectations, we at Bosch work every day to make the world a better, more sustainable and safer place through our innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence,” said István Szászi, representative of the Bosch Group in Hungary and the Adriatic region. “To do this, we need partners with whom we share values and goals because we firmly believe that together we can achieve more,” he added. It was a view shared by his opposite number.

“Gedeon Richter’s development over more than 120 years shows that cooperation with partners leads to the most powerful innovations and the greatest scientific and economic success. The founder of our company was also active in partnering with other companies, and this attitude continues to characterize the company today,” said Gábor Orbán, CEO of Richter Gedeon Nyrt.

“Without a great partner, our original antipsychotic molecule wouldn’t have become the 34th best-selling drug in the U.S. market. We believe that initiating a public discussion about current innovation trends that will shape our future is more effective when we join forces with other companies, so we are pleased that Bosch and Richter have become partners in this endeavor,” he added.

The study, “Innovation Culture and Openness of Hungarians to Artificial Intelligence,” was spearheaded by NRC Market Research Ltd. for the two firms. The quantitative research focused on the adult Hungarian population, reaching out to a diverse demographic aged between 18 and 65.

With a sample size of 1,000 individuals, the data gathering leveraged an online questionnaire supplemented by multi-stratified random sampling conducted via the NRC Netpanel, which the market research firm claims to be Hungary’s most extensive research panel.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of September 22, 2023.

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