A Brief Outlook on the Artificial Intelligence landscape in Germany


How Germany is striving to change its stand in the global AI Market

Artificial Intelligence acts as a potential key technology of dystopian future concepts, social control, and autocratic world power fantasies. It is gradually finding its way to the public and private board room discussions and government policies. Even countries like Germany, which were lagging in the AI race, have gone through tremendous change in the past few years. According to PwC research, by 2030, Germany alone shall have Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up by 11.3% and generate €430 billion due to AI. And by percentage, this potential is more than most of the other European Nations. This makes the country as Europe’s largest economy, with a thriving market and high potential for new to market brands. The study also that industries like healthcare, energy, and the auto industry will benefit from significant productivity gains by adopting AI applications.

While Germany is currently at the forefront of AI in Europe, research and innovative projects have also commenced in the Cyber Valley. The goal is to further the mission to develop increasingly sophisticated machines with extensive capabilities and boost R&D in AI. Founded just four years ago by the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPII) together with auto groups Bosch, Daimler, BMW, and Porsche, the cluster had also secured €1.25 million investment from Amazon for research partnership. The main motive behind this initiative is to leverage AI to make the German industries, services, and products even better. Germany is also striving to bring the digital revolution through Industry 4.0, which was also mentioned in the AI strategy of 2018. The strategy report further expresses that the country shall expand its strong position and rise to be a global leader in AI on the grounds of ethics and legal terms too. It also intends to use AI to promote social participation, freedom of action, and self-determination for citizens and foster the sustainable development of the society. To achieve this goal, the Federal Government first allocated a total of €500 million to beef up the AI strategy for 2019 and further anticipates matching funds from the private sector and other the federal states, therefore bringing the total investment to €6 billion.

Meanwhile, the emphasis is also made on improving data sharing facilities by providing open access to governmental data. The government is also working to build a reliable data and analysis infrastructure based on cloud platforms and upgraded storage and computing capacity. These measures are crucial and necessary as, without data, AI innovations cannot be used to solve the bottlenecks and other issues faced by different industries in their quest for AI adoption. Recently, Germany is looking for ways to tighten data security. It is calling for a more concrete definition when data records must be stored on a mandatory basis. At the European Union, it has also requested for developing a new classification scheme together with the member states.

On the business front, tests are carried to maximize the use of collaborative AI robots and link augmented reality technology to AI-based production planning systems. Major automobile behemoths Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, are investing heavily in modern, AI-controlled factories. They are working on solutions for assisted and autonomous driving, intelligent operating systems, entertainment systems, and navigation systems at their German R&D centers.

Germany is also growing as a preferred hub for startups focusing on AI and its applications like machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, predictive analysis, and so on. Further, it has the most active corporate venture investors in Europe (91% of all non-IPO exits in 2019 were related to corporates). The most common areas of focus for these AI startups are software development, image recognition, customer support and communication, and marketing and sales. These five categories are found to constitute around 48% of German AI startups. Currently, Berlin is the fourth largest global AI hub, following Silicon Valley of the USA, London, and Paris. So, it is high time that companies take Germany as an upcoming nation in global AI leadership and start investing or collaborating with it.

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