Robot hand symbolizes the topic artificial intelligence

© iStock.com/JONGHO SHIN

On the occasion of yesterday's meeting of the digital cabinet, the Federal Cabinet adopted the Federal Government's Artifical Intelligence (AI) Strategy on the basis of the proposal jointly submitted by Federal Ministers Peter Altmaier, Anja Karliczek und Hubertus Heil.

The Federal Government's strategy pursues the following three objectives:

  1. making Germany and Europe global leaders on the development and use of AI technologies and securing Germany's competitiveness in the future,
  2. safeguarding the responsible development and use of AI which serves the good of society, and
  3. integrating AI in society in ethical, legal, cultural and institutional terms in the context of a broad societal dialogue and active political measures.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: "Artifical intelligence is becoming a key technology for the whole economy. It will place the whole value chain on a new footing, not only for industry, but also for the crafts sector, trade, services and even agriculture. The Federal Government's strategy sends out a clear signal of our desire to boost the future competitiveness of Germany and Europe as a whole. We want to become a global leader on the development and use of AI technologies. For this purpose, we will make available €3 billion in the coming years. We want to support enterprises, especially when it comes to using AI – inter alia by sending out AI instructors to SMEs via our Mittelstand 4.0 centres of excellence and in the context of our agency to promote breakthrough innovations. In addition, we want to ensure a powerful data infrastructure so that we can keep pace with the large platforms."

Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek said: "AI is made by people for people. This is why we need talented people and structures in which they can develop. For this purpose, we will strengthen AI research and education at higher education institutions and establish AI centres of excellence that are visible internationally. We want to promote the transfer of AI to businesses and society. But this should not be a one-way street. We encourage everyone to participate in the ethical, legal and cultural shaping of the use of AI."

Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil said: "Artificial intelligence can only benefit employees and the whole of society if we place the focus on people. This means that we must invest at least as much in people as in technologies. As far as we know, there will still be enough work, but it will be different. Therefore, we need to focus on further training. In a digital world of work, it plays a key role for a successful social market economy. And we must make sure that employees are actively involved in the introduction and use of AAII in their enterprises. Involvement is the basis for acceptance and thus the precondition for making full use of the innovation and productivity potentials of AI."

The Federal Government will take several measures to implement the strategy and adjust ongoing measures to it. A total of €3 billion has been earmarked for investment. The Federal Government will hold talks with the Länder and with business representatives to stimulate further investment.

The strategy is based on a holistic approach, comprising twelve fields of action. It focuses on strengthening research in Germany and Europe, accelerating the transfer of research findings to businesses, promoting the availability of skilled workers and experts, shaping the structural change in enterprises and on the labour market, creating an environment for the ethical use of artificial intelligence, deepening European and international cooperation on AI issues and fostering the societal dialogue on the opportunities and the impact of artificial intelligence.

The strategy is based on the decision by the Federal Cabinet on Key Points for a Strategy on Artificial Intelligence, which were adopted by the Federal Government on 18 July 2018. National associations, organisations, institutions and businesses were involved in the development of the strategy in the context of an online consultation. Account was taken of a total of 109 comments and the results of in-depth discussions with experts during six specialist forums. The AI Strategy will be presented in detail at the Digital Summit focusing on artifical intelliegence, which will take place in Nuremberg on 3-4 December 2018.

Further information:
Further information about the Federal Government's Artificial Intelligence Strategy and the comments of the online consultation can be found (in German) at: www.ki-strategie-deutschland.de.