German government releases key points of their AI strategy

By 20. July 2018News, Technology

A first step towards a national AI strategy: German Government decides on key points of “Strategie Künstliche Intelligenz”

On Juli 18 the German government published the key points of “Strategie Künstliche Intelligenz”. Drawing from this paper’s resolutions, a full Ai strategy is supposed to be developed until november 2018 and presented at the Digital-Gipfel in Nuremberg.   » jump to summary

It is the declared goal of the government to reach a leading position in development and application of artificial intelligence. “Artificial intelligence made in Germany” is supposed to become a globally recognized quality label. Part of this is the obligation to use AI in public interest and only while protecting privacy and European ethical values. Among the prerequisites for AI these goals are the creation of an efficient IT-infrastructure and robust IT security systems.

By promoting artificial intelligence, competitive disadvantages for German businesses on the global market are expected to be reduced and the growing importance of AI for economy and research in general are taken into account. Additionally AI-supported applications promise advantages in health care, mobility and environmental protection in the future.

The twelve areas of activity, mentioned in the key points paper, include i.e. strengthening of AI research, transfer of technologies into the market, a broad dialogue with society, international networking, creation of legal certainty and increasing the availability of quality data.

Among the government’s goals are many, which have been mentioned in the paper “Datensouveränität: Fortschritt und Verantwortung”, published in cooperation between TU Berlin, DFKI and Smart Data Forum this year. In general, the German government’s development of an AI strategy draws from consultations with experts, as in the expert hearing on May 29, which also included two subject matter experts from Smart Data Forum’s scientific advisory board: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster and Prof. Dr. Volker Markl.

» take a look at other nation’s AI strategies!

Summary of Germany’s AI strategy key points:


  • More investment in the research efforts in AI: Additional funding will be made available to open competence centers for machine learning, as well as connect them with the existing centers and research institutes on Big Data and AI at state and federal level in a single national research consortium.
  • Knowledge transfer into the economy: The know-how generated by the German research institutes and the new AI methods should be transferred to the business sector to be implemented. This would include a more active involvement of the existent initiatives, such as Digital Hub and Kompetenzzentren Mittelstand 4.0 (Competence Centers SMEs 4.0), in advising businesses on the implementation of AI tools. More living labs and testbeds will be created in order to test the applicability of the latest AI technologies in all spheres of activity.
  • Encourage investors to establish new startups: In order to simplify the access to funding, new programmes will be created to offer support to startups. The TechGrowth-Fund will be allocated; EXIST programme will get additional funding.
  • Enhance training and acquire skilled workforce: Germany seeks to become an attractive workplace for specialists from all over the world. To achieve this, more AI study programs across the most important German education institutions will be created. Additionally, more funding will be allocated to finance the professional and vocational training in the area of AI. The job attractiveness will be enhanced, so that Germany becomes a “brain gain” instead of “brain drain” economy.
  • AI in public administration: AI technologies should be further developed and implemented. They should ensure more transparency, better data processing and protection, and a discrimination-free environment for citizens. AI technologies will guarantee a better traceability of administrative decisions.
  • More and better data: The goal is to increase the amount of quality data, with respect to current data regulations. An Open Data Strategy that merges data from various stakeholders is set to deliver more and better data for research purposes.
  • Standardization: The government plans to launch an initiative that will develop high quality standards on AI at EU level to ensure competitiveness on international markets.
  • National and international networking: Current AI strategy will be coordinated together with the existing initiatives of the government, and namely Ethic Commission, Plattform Industrie 4.0, Digitalization in Health, Mobility, IT Consolidation and many more. Germany will get more actively involved with the EU institutions and EU member states in developing joint instruments for a smooth implementation of AI technologies on the EU single market. Moreover, cooperation with G7 and G20 countries will also be enhanced.
  • Dialogue with the society: Citizens should be better informed and educated with regard to the opportunities and risks posed by AI technologies. The government plans an active dialogue with the society through multiple channels. One priority is to develop the current Plattform Lernende Systeme into the Platform for Artificial Intelligence. It should serve as a place of exchange between politics, business, academia and society.
  • Immediate action of the government: The highest priority is building a modern infrastructure, with high speed internet availability nationwide. Next goal is to attract and keep highly qualified experts. Joint AI competence centers with France will be opened in the near future. Also, topic-specific competence centers will be created throughout Germany.

© BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel

Federal Ministers Anja Karliczek and Hubertus Heil presented key points of the AI strategy in Berlin.