Bitkom: AI in Germany – top in research, need to catch up in business

Almost one in four German companies (24 percent) sees Germany as a global leader in artificial intelligence research. However, this has not yet translated into business. For example, only 2 percent see Germany as the leading nation internationally in artificial intelligence. This is the result of a representative survey of 605 companies with 20 or more employees in Germany commissioned by the digital association Bitkom.

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“Artificial intelligence is probably the most important technology of the future. Germany has been at the forefront of AI research for years, if not decades, and has excellent scientists in the country. We must make better use of these strengths for marketable AI solutions,” says Bitkom President Dr. Ralf Wintergerst. “It is not enough to have individual lighthouses and impressively strong AI startups in Germany. AI is a cross-sectional technology and needs a broad base throughout the economy. Policymakers also need to do more here. In particular, the very restrictive rules in Germany for the use of non-sensitive data should be adjusted. It makes little sense to pump billions into AI, but then deprive it of the data without which AI simply cannot work.”

Currently, 41 percent of companies see the USA as the global leader, 23 percent China. Following far behind are Japan at 7 percent, and Israel and Taiwan at 4 percent each. If companies are asked about their expectations for the future, the picture changes little. The USA will continue to lead the field in 2030, according to 38 percent of the companies. Twenty-five percent name China, 5 percent Japan, 3 percent each Taiwan and Israel, and just under one percent see Germany in front.

Note on methodology

The data is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. In the process, 605 companies with 20 or more employees in Germany were surveyed by telephone. The survey is representative. The questions asked were “In your opinion, which nation is currently leading the field in artificial intelligence?” and “In your opinion, which nation will be leading the field in artificial intelligence in 2030?”

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