Artificial intelligence in Germany18. October 2019 Published by Raphael Doerr
94 percent of companies worldwide feel certain that artificial intelligence will give them a competitive edge in the medium to long term. It’s important for Germany as a business location to promote research and development in this field so as not to lag behind the fast-paced development cycles worldwide. The German government has therefore developed the “Artificial Intelligence Strategy” to support research.
AI and ML?
Anyone wishing to look at the subject of artificial intelligence soon realizes that there are many different acronyms … and things can soon get very confusing. So just what does artificial intelligence (AI) mean? Artificial intelligence is a generic term for all applications where machines simulate human intelligence processes. The objective is to teach machines key functions that our brain performs, such as learning, reasoning and solving problems. ML stands for “machine learning” and is a sub-aspect of artificial intelligence where computers train and improve certain elements of an activity or routines required to solve a problem until they achieve “perfection.” AI incorporates experience from the preceding iteration so as to automatically learn and improve. This learning curve is easiest to understand if you look at how AI is taught to play video games.
Investment in research centers
Germany already boasts a number of highly promising AI research locations. To maintain that positive development, the German government has drawn up an 80-page strategy. A total of four billion euros is to be invested by 2025 to create an attractive overall package for top-class researchers and so make researching in Germany more interesting for scientists from abroad, too. One idea is to develop what is termed a dual-career model to make it easier to switch between science/academia and business.
Data, data, data
First and foremost, a lot of data is needed to drive research. However, data privacy is very important to people in Germany and hardly anyone wants to disclose their data willy-nilly. That’s why the government aims to intensify research into methods of anonymization. If there are trusted models here, more citizens might be willing to make their data available for research purposes, so the government’s hope. That would help researchers forge ahead with their work.
Small and medium-sized enterprises can also benefit from artificial intelligence. The government offers seminars and training to support SMEs in implementing AI. The companies first learn how artificial intelligence can help them generate revenue. The coaches are also there to provide support in rolling out artificial intelligence. However, employees need not fear being put out of work: Digitization will also create many new jobs.
The German AI Observatory will soon be founded and will be tasked with looking at how artificial intelligence impacts the world of work. It might also act as a supervisory body, for instance to examine whether software is discriminatory.
Artificial intelligence in everyday life
Artificial intelligence is not science fiction – it already makes our everyday life easier. The websites of tour operators have virtual aids to help customers book holidays or to register complaints, for example. Mercedes offers an app with which customers can ask questions about their car and receive automated answers.
Many people encounter artificial intelligence above all in the smart home. Yet, everything that looks like AI isn’t AI. Most smart home systems are still based on algorithms or partial machine learning – for example for controlling the heating intelligently or monitoring the home digitally when the residents are on vacation. The Gigaset smart speaker L800HX goes a step further, integrating Amazon Alexa and so artificial intelligence that can be used for many types of interaction.
Gigaset is convinced that digitization is an opportunity and enrichment. That’s why it’s working intensively on the subject so as not to be left behind in the future. Klaus Weßing, CEO of Gigaset AG, dreams of an all-encompassing Gigaset ecosystem merging products and solutions into a convenient and, down the road, smart environment for customers.
You can find more information on Gigaset’s Smart Home products here.