Bitkom on the AI Action Plan  


  • Only 15 per cent of companies use AI

Berlin, 23 August 2023 - Today, Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger announced an AI action plan. Dr Bernhard Rohleder, CEO of Bitkom, explains:

"Bitkom welcomes the AI action plan of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Germany is already very well positioned in AI research and it is right to expand it further. How this initiative is to be embedded in the overall strategy of the Federal Government on artificial intelligence, however, remains open. But this is precisely where the greatest need for action exists: the transfer of findings from science to business is perhaps the greatest weakness in Germany. Almost every fourth German company (24 percent) sees Germany in the top group worldwide in research on artificial intelligence. But this does not yet translate into business. Only 15 percent of all companies use AI and only 2 percent see Germany as a leading nation in AI internationally. 

It is not enough to have individual lighthouses and impressively strong AI startups in Germany. AI is a cross-sectional technology and we must, on the one hand, bring it to the breadth of the entire economy, and on the other hand, we must also be at the forefront of AI solution providers. The AI Action Plan, which is to be published in September, will have to be measured against whether these goals are achieved. After all, there has been no lack of declarations of intent on artificial intelligence in Germany in the past. We already adopted an AI strategy in 2018 and were thus among the pioneers in Europe and worldwide - but implementation has been lacking. This is also due to the fact that politics promotes AI on the one hand, but also hinders it on the other. In particular, Germany's very restrictive rules for the use of non-sensitive data need to be changed. If we invest billions in AI, but then deprive it of the data without which it cannot work, then we will not get anywhere."