This morning, the streets of downtown San Francisco are full of people wearing conference badges attached to blue lanyards, hanging around their necks. A leading online marketing software company holds its annual tech conference not far from the famous Market Street, which runs right through the heart of the shopping and financial district. Thousands of visitors are on their way there. In addition to industry giants such as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, former US President Barack Obama and actress Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) will also be in attendance. Even by San Francisco standards, the ratio of digital experts per square meter is likely to reach an unusually high level on this day.
Trends that will shape the future
Just ten minutes’ walk away, Florian Neukart is standing at his high-desk, opening his laptop. “We are here in Silicon Valley, where technology is booming,” says Neukart. The 37-year-old Austrian is a computer scientist, an internationally renowned expert on artificial intelligence and quantum computers. As Director, he heads the Volkswagen Group Advanced Technologies team in San Francisco. Neukart and his colleagues have an ambitious mission: to discover the technologies and trends that will shape the future. “Our goal is to make things better for the Group. Better for our customers,” says Neukart.