LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI: Panelists in the Industry & the Human Element session this morning were in unanimous agreement that being able to attract the best talent is the most important factor for thriving in the current business environment.

Ken Kroeger, chairman of Seeing Machines (pictured, second from right), said developing the kind of products that will bring in quality employees is crucial for the success of his company, which provides intelligent sensing technology to the automotive, aviation, medical and other industries.

Eva Chen, co-founder and CEO of Trend Micro (middle), agreed that “the human element” was the most important thing. “You have to train them so they have the right skills that are in demand.”

She noted that a company’s social commitment should be to provide not only jobs, but jobs that give people dignity.

The panel touched on the impact of emerging technologies, which are disrupting companies as well as employees, on the jobs market of the future and the risks of employee skill sets becoming obsolete.

Sanjay Jha, CEO of GlobalFoundries (second from left), said he is an optimist and sees the expected impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data as an overwhelming social positive. “But it requires some adaptation and some incredible forward planning.”

IQ boost
In his presentation, Jha suggested smartphones increase the average IQ of the vast majority of the population. “They are the machine extension of our intelligence. They have the memory, they have the analysis, they have the intelligence.”

With Facebook reaching two billion users, he noted that the degrees of separation between users has fallen from 5.3 to 3.5, adding that Facebook is a bigger community than any country in the world.

A major challenge for the industry is handling the dramatic explosion of data, which he said requires more and more bandwidth to get the data back to servers in order to make sense of it.

“There are something like 12 to 16 million photos uploaded every minute and 60 million text messages sent every minute,” he said.