Artificial Intelligence: Key technology with potential

How far have German companies advanced in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning? On behalf of the specialist journal Computerwoche, researchers from IDG Research Services surveyed about 350 decision-makers.

Several of the findings in the “Machine Learning/Deep Learning 2018” white paper are perplexing. Although most decision-makers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland recognize artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as key technologies, many companies still have a tremendous amount of catching up to do. For example, only 15 percent of smaller companies are currently using AI technologies.

Even so, AI ranks fourth on the prioritized list of IT topics, just below cloud computing, IT security, and IT service management. About 25 percent of all companies want to focus more intensively on AI and ML over the next year.

The larger the company, the more AI

The larger the company and the larger the IT department, the stronger the company’s focus on AI. AI technologies in various forms are already being used in 37 percent of all companies, while 19 percent are preparing for its implementation.


Approximately 44 percent of companies consider logistics to be an important application for ML, and about 40 percent see it being used for production and manufacturing. Trade, services, and the financial sector rank significantly lower.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will drastically alter business and society, according to 52 percent of those surveyed.
“Machine Learning/Deep Learning 2018” white paper, IDG Research Services

Optimizing internal processes with AI

The most frequently used AI applications are voice recognition, assistance systems, and planning tools, each of which was mentioned by 30 percent of those surveyed. The main goal of machine learning is to optimize internal workflows. It can also be used to improve customer relations and production processes. Those surveyed considered AI to be less important for developing new products and services or new business models.


The majority of companies can envision storing AI data in the cloud. Around 87 percent of those surveyed are ready to do so. The data considered eligible for AI and ML solutions are mainly customer information (44 percent) and transaction data (46 percent).

Disruptive technology or hype?

So it’s somewhat surprising that about one-third of those surveyed described AI and ML as inflated hype. Nevertheless, the majority believe that AI and ML will revolutionize both business and society (52 percent).


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


Bettina Schoene

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.

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