Image illustrating artificial intelligence

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The Federal Government has decided to invest an additional half a billion euros in measures to promote artificial intelligence (AI). The focus is on research, transfer, a public dialogue, impact assessment, skills and data availability. In this way, the Federal Government is intensifying the implementation of the Artificial Intelligence Strategy and placing a special emphasis on transfer from research to practice and a public dialogue.

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “We need to move more quickly from research to applications in AI. The crucial point is that small and medium-sized enterprises in particular should use and apply AI. So I am glad that almost half of the additional AI funding is to go towards this transfer from research to practice. The Economic Affairs Ministry is promoting the widespread introduction of AI via the innovation competition and specially selected AI trainers in the Mittelstand 4.0 centres of excellence. This is making our economy more competitive.”

Education and Research Minister Anja Karliczek added: “We want ‘AI made in Germany’ to remain a world leader. We intend to make the outstanding AI research being done in Germany even more internationally competitive and to network it with industry and commerce via our centres of excellence for AI research. We want to benefit from the best brains in Germany and abroad. We will be working with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to attract leading scientists to Germany. We are targeting our investment in key fields of application like autonomous driving and life sciences because we want the research findings to deliver rapid improvements for the people in Germany.”

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil stated: “If artificial intelligence is to be a success, people will need to feel they can trust it and benefit from it. So we are working to ensure that AI is used in a human-centred way. This will require both a regulatory framework and a broad public dialogue. We will therefore set up a German AI Observatory to study the repercussions of AI and its effects on work and society, and we will promote the development of an AI which serves the common good via the Future Fund model project.”

Around €230 million of AI funding will be invested in measures to transfer AI expertise into practice. More than €190 million will go into research and fostering the emergence of young researchers. Roughly €55 million is earmarked for measures in the field of the public dialogue and participation, impact assessment and a regulatory framework, and the promotion of vocational training.

This first tranche of funding will also go towards improving data availability. Cross-sectoral and sector-specific measures will be funded in the fields of mobility, health, the environment and climate, administration, aviation and agriculture. The basis for this is a joint concept for the use of additional funding from the 2019 federal budget. In addition to the decision on fiscal benchmark figures by the Federal Government, the 2020 budget is to provide an additional €500 million of funding to promote AI.

Further information can be found here (in German).