Under the motto “Artificial Intelligence in Industry – Today and Tomorrow”, the Bavarian Business Advisory Council organized a digital discussion round on Wednesday, 7 October 2020. Three high-ranking participants from industry, the service sector and research shared their views on the future of innovative technologies in Germany.
The focus of the one and a half hour event was a discussion on the potential of AI in Germany and the answer to the questions of where is the industry at today, what are the major providers working on and how will the industrial world change? Participating in the discussion was Klaus Helmrich, member of the board at Siemens AG, Udo F. Littke, Managing Director at Atos Information Technology GmbH and Dr. Harald Rueß, Scientific Director at fortiss GmbH. Moderator of the event was Prof. Dr. Edward G. Krubasik, head of the Industry, Technology and Digitalization Committee within the Bavarian Business Advisory Council.
Klaus Helmrich initially talked about the use of AI in various business areas at Siemens AG and illustrated the challenges and associated opportunities. With machine learning, he sees major potential in the area of production as a means of gaining a better understanding of the processes and thus enabling a new degree of flexibility.
Udo F. Littke said that because requirements such as increased processing power, growing mobile network penetration, the availability of large amounts of data in relevant areas of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the availability of reusable open source software have recently been on the rise, he is convinced that the use of AI in Germany will accelerate. He believes the barriers are in the area in which AI-supported decisions are undesirably restricted or manipulated.
For Dr. Rueß, AI has every chance to flow from basic research to industrial production over a very short path. He is convinced that small-to-medium enterprises (SME) should also be guided in the direction of AI in order to open up new fields of business. fortiss sees its core task as helping SMEs to achieve this new level of digitalization.
All three of the experts agree that Germany is a leading global competitor in the area of industry given that it already has a wealth of experience. At the conclusion of the event, the guests unanimously called on policy makers to enter into an open dialogue and initiate positive discussions with society. Data economy, regulations and infrastructure offer the best basis for successful AI in Germany. With this in mind, the three representatives from industry and research are encouraging policy makers to create the right conditions and perspectives for AI. One focus here is training and education within the academic area and in the specialized professions.