1 in 8 German companies uses AI: Destatis-Xinhua

1 in 8 German companies uses AI: Destatis

Source: Xinhua| 2023-11-27 23:59:45|Editor: huaxia

BERLIN, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Twelve percent of German companies are using artificial intelligence (AI), notably in areas such as accounting, controlling and financial management, according to a survey published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Monday.

While usage among small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) is still relatively rare, more than one in three large companies are already using AI, according to the annual survey of around 20,000 businesses.

For car manufacturer BMW, for example, AI has long been an integral part of production and is used for process optimization, which prevents 500 minutes of downtime per year at the company's Regensburg plant in southern Germany alone.

German industrial giants Siemens and Schaeffler have recently jointly presented "Industrial Copilot," an AI-supported assistant that enables automation code to be generated using natural language input.

"This is the beginning of a new era," said Cedrik Neike, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and chief executive officer (CEO) of the company's digital industries division. "In the past, we had to speak to machines in their language. With the Siemens Industrial Copilot, we can speak to machines in our language."

Still, many German companies remain hesitant to use AI. According to Destatis, only 10 percent of companies that have not yet used AI are considering doing so. A lack of knowledge cited by 72 percent was the main reason for this reluctance.

Although most German companies consider AI to be the most important technology of the future, almost one in three still think it is a "massively overrated hype," according to a recent survey conducted by the German digital association Bitkom.

"In order for Germany to gain momentum in AI, companies must continue to step up their efforts and investments," Bitkom President Ralf Wintergerst said in September, calling on policymakers to do their part.

The German government plans to invest 1.6 billion euros (1.74 billion U.S. dollars) in the research, development and application of artificial intelligence by 2025. Of this, 500 million euros are earmarked for the coming year alone. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollar)