White paper reveals the status of AI

Have decision-makers in Germany’s businesses taken on the challenge of artificial intelligence and machine learning? On behalf of the specialist journal Computerwoche, researchers from IDG Research Services surveyed about 350 decision-makers. Download the white paper on the study “Machine Learning / Deep Learning 2019” here.

Several of the findings in the “Machine Learning/Deep Learning 2019” white paper sound optimistic: 57 percent of businesses in Germany are already using machine learning technology in one form or another. The number of those who refuse to use it, at 12 percent, is rather low. 

In the ranking of the most important IT themes, machine learning has worked its way up to number three, after Cloud computing and cybersecurity (34 percent each). About 30 percent of businesses in Germany intend to focus in depth on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the coming year.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have arrived for German businesses
Jürgen Hill, Technology Team Leader and Managing Editor of Computerwoche

Not just a toy for the IT department

More than one-third of businesses (36 percent) consider the use of machine learning in the IT area to be especially beneficial. And they also acknowledge that ML can produce benefits in other areas, including customer service.

Data needs to improve

More than one-third of those surveyed, however, experience frustration with the poor quality of input data (34 percent) and the lack of transparency of ML algorithms (30 percent). Conversely, inadequate funds for AI and ML projects play a subordinate role.

ML already in use among the major players

Almost 60 percent of businesses in Germany already have at least one ML application in place, and more than 22 percent have implemented a whole series of these applications, and the numbers are still rising. But smaller firms with a lower IT budget, in particular, still have a tremendous amount of catching up to do.

Optimizing internal processes with AI

The most frequently used AI applications are voice recognition and assistance systems, each of which was mentioned by 40 percent of those surveyed. Bots and robotics (30 percent each) are still lagging behind. Optimizing internal processes (37 percent) and improved efficiency (36 percent) are the key goals pursued through the use of ML solutions. Only about one-fourth views the technology as a means to develop new products and services.

The Cloud as a data storage unit

More than half of those surveyed (52 percent) are prepared to store ML data in the Cloud, and another 40 percent are open to this option. Only six percent of businesses feel that the Cloud is out of the question.

About 62 percent of businesses expect the use of ML and AI to boost Germany’s competitive advantage.
“Machine Learning/Deep Learning 2019” white paper, IDG Research Services

Germany’s competitive advantage at risk

About 62 percent of businesses expect the use of ML and AI to boost Germany’s competitive advantage. But 58 percent of those surveyed consider a thorough discussion of the ethical questions associated with AI and ML to be overdue. For 52 percent, these ethical questions need to be answered swiftly or Germany will fall behind in these areas.


Curious? To learn more about the status and applications of AI and ML in German industry, download the white paper here.

Artificial intelligence refers to applications in which machines perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as learning, making judgments, and problem-solving. It involves the development of tools and technological solutions that help people perform their jobs better by enhancing their capabilities.

The actual “intelligence” is created by means of machine learning (ML): Computers are trained on the basis of algorithms to recognize patterns in unstructured datasets and to make their own decisions based on this “knowledge.” The goal is for the machine to learn from data and experience and to become better and better at performing its tasks.

July 2019

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