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BMWF: AI Action Plan – Top Position for Germany and Europe

August 23, 2023. As a driving force, the BMBF has consistently expanded the German AI landscape. Now the AI ecosystem is getting new impetus. Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger presented the AI Action Plan on August 23, 2023.

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From voice assistants to human-sounding chatbots, artificial intelligence has long been part of everyday life. AI is also increasingly being used in research or in the workplace. The potential for further developing and improving these systems is to be expanded and increasingly exploited in the future. With the AI Action Plan, the BMBF is taking its commitment to the next level. This is because the already highly dynamic development in the AI field will accelerate even further.

Technological AI sovereignty

“AI is a key technology,” says Bettina Stark-Watzinger, “it brings enormous opportunities for science, growth, prosperity, competitiveness and social added value in our country.” Artificial intelligence is also firmly anchored in the Future Strategy for Research and Innovation. Germany and Europe are to take a leading position in a world “Powered by AI” and achieve technological AI sovereignty. The BMBF considers the provision of AI tools, AI competencies and AI infrastructure as part of basic services. The AI Action Plan, as an update of the BMBF’s contribution to the German government’s AI strategy, is intended to improve the framework conditions.

Targets and fields of action

The BMBF sets three overarching goals in the AI Action Plan:

  1. Germany’s excellent base in research and competencies in the field of AI will be translated into visible and measurable economic successes and a concrete tangible benefit.
  2. I will be thought of in European terms, with the goal of trustworthy AI “Made in Europe” and an optimal dovetailing with our existing strengths.
  3. The dialogue and strategy process on AI with other ministries, the federal states, other stakeholders and at the European level will be driven forward in a targeted and results-oriented manner.

“We have created an excellent basis for the AI ecosystem in Germany,” explains Stark-Watzinger. German AI research is among the world’s best, the number of AI experts is increasing and the startup landscape is active. Nevertheless, Germany needs to take targeted action due to the rapid pace of development. The BMBF has therefore identified eleven fields of action in which the most urgent need for action exists.

New impetus

The AI Action Plan provides new impetus for artificial intelligence in particular and develops it further on an ongoing basis:

  • The BMBF is strengthening the central elements for AI and interlinking them in a targeted manner. To this end, a strong AI specialist base is being created, computing infrastructures are being expanded, access to data is being improved and AI research is being further advanced
  • The BMBF is striving to play a leading role in the design and further development of the European AI Strategy.
  • The BMBF is setting priorities with a view to concrete economic and social benefits.
  • The BMBF will increasingly use AI in its own administration.
  • With the AI Action Plan, the BMBF is making advance efforts to further develop the German government’s AI strategy together with the other ministries and stakeholders

The BMBF is currently funding research, development and application of AI within the framework of 50 ongoing measures. These will now be supplemented in a targeted manner by at least 20 further initiatives. In the current legislative period, the BMBF will invest over 1.6 billion euros in AI.

The AI Action Plan of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) identifies eleven specific fields of action in which the most urgent need for action exists:

  1. Continue to consistently strengthen the research base
  2. Set up a research agenda for new perspectives
  3. Expand the AI infrastructure in a targeted manner
  4. Push an AI competence offensive
  5. Research and shape AI-based technologies in the education system
  6. Push the transfer of AI into growth and economic opportunities
  7. KI in health: Societal Benefits for All
  8. Targeting the Societal and Scientific Benefits of AI
  9. Seeking even greater European and International Cooperation
  10. Societal Dialogue & advance multidisciplinary research on AI
  11. Adopt suitable, agile and innovation-friendly regulation

The action plan contains empirically based facts on this, develops concrete political goals and clarifies how the BMBF’s measures are already addressing these and what should and must follow in the coming months and years.

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Further links

👉 Executive Summary: Artificial Intelligence Action Plan of the BMBF
Photo: BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel

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