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More sustainability and networking: the German Federal Government is updating its AI strategy

With its updated AI strategy, the Federal Government is outlining its plans for establishing and expanding AI ecosystems in Germany and the rest of Europe. In particular, it wants to more strongly support the development and application of AI systems providing benefits for the common good.

In November 2018, the Federal Government adopted the national AI strategy with the aim of strengthening the development of AI in Germany and of making German-made AI an important factor in international AI competition. Now approved by cabinet, the updated AI strategy describes the ways in which the Federal Government particularly wants to more strongly encourage the responsible development and application of AI systems for the benefit of the common good.

„Under the AI strategy, we will be providing funds of five billion euros for what is the decisive technology of the 21st century. AI is a key technology offering enormous potential for prosperity and a modern working world. For AI applications to be implemented in day-to-day company practice and in the working world, employers and employees need security and trust.“

Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil

AI ecosystems

Overview:

The data for the graphic entitled “AI = potential for the employment market and continuing education”, which forms part of the Federal Government’s updated AI strategy, comes from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The graphic uses a doughnut diagram to illustrate the skills that companies using AI particularly seek when filling job vacancies.

Depiction:

The heading of the chart is “AI = potential for the employment market and continuing education” with the additional words “2019, as a percentage”. Beneath this is a doughnut diagram, centred on a blue background and divided into two sections. The words “German companies using AI” can be seen in the middle of the diagram. The entire “doughnut” thus represents all companies that use AI solutions. The doughnut is divided into two sections: companies using AI that have job vacancies and those without any vacancies. The first part of the doughnut covers 30 percent of the diagram and is coloured yellow. To the right of the ring, we see the words “30 percent with job vacancies” connected by a fine white line. The words “Skills required for the position” can be seen underneath, also connected by the white line. Under this heading, the four skills expected by German companies using AI when they fill job vacancies are set out and linked with each other by the white line. These skills are software programming, mathematics, database management and sector knowledge. The second part of the diagram accounts for 70 percent and is coloured bluish-green. No further explanation is provided, indicating that 70 percent of German companies that use AI do not have any job vacancies. In the bottom left corner, it is stated that the source is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The logos of the German Federal Government and the AI strategy are positioned in the bottom right of the graphic.

Various factors contribute to a good AI ecosystem.

Greater investment in AI technology for the future

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in particular is posing new challenges for the economy. The Federal Government has thus once again significantly stepped up its commitment to AI as a technology that holds great promise for the future in order to strengthen Germany in the battle to overcome the crisis. Between now and 2025, spending on AI by the Federal Government will be increased from three to five billion euros.

It aims to use the additional funds to further establish and expand AI ecosystems in Germany and the rest of Europe and to simultaneously enhance the visibility of noteworthy AI initiatives and structures. To this end, more AI specialists are to be trained and state-of-the-art AI and IT infrastructures provided. The goal is for SMEs in particular to apply the results of AI research in their day-to-day activities as well as boost the momentum of new start-ups. This calls for security and trust. For this reason, the Federal Government has agreed that AI systems are to be developed and applied responsibly and in a manner providing benefits for the common good. Looking forward, this focus is to be an integral part and defining feature of “AI made in Europe”. The German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is working on reinforcing this development by adopting an appropriate regulatory framework. At the same time, civil society actors are to be networked more effectively in the future and integrated in the development and responsible use of AI for the benefit of the common good.

AI applications

Overview:

The graphic entitled “Fostering AI ecosystems” was created as part of the Federal Government’s updated AI strategy. It shows the measures and links that are being used to encourage the establishment and development of AI ecosystems in Germany.

Depiction:

At the top left of the graphic, the title “Fostering AI ecosystems” is set against a blue background. The term “common good” is positioned in a greenish-blue circle in the middle of the chart. Five yellow circles are arranged symmetrically around this circle, each of which contains an image and a heading. Each of the five yellow circles is connected with all the other ones by a fine white line, resulting in a net-like structure around the circle in the middle. The following terms are arranged clockwise around the circle in the middle containing the term “common good” and form the headings of the five circles: “minds”, “research”, “regulatory framework”, “society”, “transfer”. Each of the yellow circles contains an image: the “minds” circle shows the outline of a person, the “research” circle shows an outstretched hand holding a light bulb – the symbol of ideas. The “regulatory framework” circle shows a pair of hands held against each other and open at the top from which the representation of an electrical circuit plan emerges. The “society” circle shows four hands each holding the arm of another, creating a square of hands. The “transfer” circle shows the two symbols “light bulb” and “cog wheel” linked by two arrows. In the bottom left corner, it is stated that the source is the “Federal Government’s update report”. The logos of the German Federal Government and the AI strategy are positioned in the bottom right of the graphic.

Security and trust are goals of the Federal Government’s AI strategy, among others.

In this context, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Policy Lab have already initiated a number of measures and projects to support the objectives of the AI strategy:

  • The Ministry’s AI Observatory is analysing the requirements for safe and trusted AI applications and developing indicators and recommendations for the ongoing development of an ecosystem for safe and trusted AI.
  • With the  Civic Innovation Platform and the “AI is what we make it!” idea contest, the Ministry took a first step in September 2020 towards building an AI ecosystem for AI applications providing benefits for the common good. The project promotes the development of AI applications that focus on furthering social progress.
  • With the expansion of the “Future Centres (AI)” funding programme to cover all of Germany, small and mid-sized companies in particular will have access to free consultation services, while innovative training models will be developed and tested directly with and at local companies.
  • The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will be offering AI experimentation rooms, where companies, public administrations, and their employees can jointly develop and test solutions for the human-centric introduction and implementation of AI processes in companies’ day-to-day practice in a creative process monitored by experts.
AI applications

Overview:

The graphic entitled “The Federal Government is encouraging the establishment and expansion of a high-quality infrastructure for secure and trusted AI” was created as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to update its AI strategy. It shows the three pillars underpinning the high-quality infrastructure for safe and trusted AI.

Depiction:

The title “The Federal Government is encouraging the establishment and expansion of a high-quality infrastructure for secure and trusted AI” can be seen at the top of the graphic in large white letters against a blue background. Three yellow perpendicular rectangles are arranged underneath. A plus sign can be seen between each of the rectangles indicating that these are three closely related elements. Each rectangle contains an image. The words “Guarantee security”, “Build trust” and “Ensure quality” can be seen under the images in each of the three pillars of high-quality infrastructure for secure and trusted AI. The image in the rectangle on the left shows four pieces of a puzzle, one of which is loose. The words “Guarantee security” are written beneath the parts of the puzzle in the rectangle. The middle rectangle shows a seal of quality, under which the words “Build trust” can be seen. The rectangle to the right shows a medal of honour with ribbons in which a tick can be seen. Underneath, the title of the third pillar of “Ensure quality” is written. In the bottom left corner, it is stated that the source is the “Federal Government’s update report”. The logos of the German Federal Government and the AI strategy are positioned in the bottom right of the graphic.

Security and trust are goals of the Federal Government’s AI strategy, among others.

Published on 10 Dec 2020 on the topic: Artificial Intelligence

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