The Germans and Artificial Intelligence

The Germans and the spirit of innovation – This phrase was often quoted many years ago. Many important inventions came from the German area and inspired the entire world. But what does that look like today? Are we still an important driving force in the world?
To answer these questions, today, we look at a study on artificial intelligence in German companies. Five central theses were established for this purpose, which was evaluated based on the study results. A total of more than 500 executives and employees were surveyed for the study, with medium-sized and large companies accounting for the largest percentage. A sensible distribution was selected between managers (approx. 30%) and specialist employees (approx. 70%) to ensure a valid result.

1. AI – A top growth factor

The difference in the relevance of AI in the company was seen as relevant for 43.1% of the respondents today and 61.8% in the future, i.e., 20% of the companies recognize a relevance but only consider its use to make sense in the future. The potential of AI as a factor of excellence for companies is particularly explosive in the areas of data analysis (55.1%), process optimization (38.6%), and service (32.3%), and customer communication (24.7%).

2. AI – To have or not to have?

47.5% of the companies surveyed still say that they have not yet considered the introduction of AI. Thus, any prerequisites and conflicts of the introduction are not yet known and also not solved. Of the companies‘ total number, only 25% have recognized an increase in profit margins through AI. Many have no assessment of whether AI in its current form is beneficial to the company. However, when it comes to AI, it is primarily the executives who are concerned with the background and the introduction (71.8%). The technical employees still prefer to keep their hands off it (36.5%).

3. AI – Still room for improvement

Although the use of AI in the company increases, only 57.7% of respondents see the potential for corresponding applications in principle. And the most frequently cited reason is the simplified processes (56.6%). However, there are many more good reasons to use AI that have often not been realized so far: Increasing service/product quality (34.2%), higher customer satisfaction (26.3%), increasing sales (22.4%), opening up new markets, or customer segments (17.1%), developing new products and services (14.5%) and gaining new customers (9.2%).

4. AI – Upskilling the Future

The corresponding acquisition of competencies in AI presents companies with major challenges, some of which are of their own making. 65.6% of respondents state that important competencies are missing or do not yet have any prior knowledge of AI. The biggest construction sites in terms of missing knowledge are in data quality (25.2%), explainable AI (22.1%), and machine learning or data engineering (20.4%) areas. On the other hand, only 47.2% of executives also say they want to train their employees. The most serious criteria for this are the non-visible necessity (49.2%), the too-high costs (36.9%), and the lack of time (33.8%).

5. AI – Problem solver instead of job killer?

Another prejudice about AI in enterprises is the loss of jobs. Here, however, 75.3% of respondents see no need to worry about their jobs. This shows fundamental confidence that AI and humans can coexist in the enterprise. However, only 58.1% think that there are advantages to using AI in the company. The executives convey an optimistic picture, as 62.2% say that they do not want to reduce the number of employees through AI. However, this must also be openly communicated to the employees so that no unnecessary fears are stirred up.


See the full study here.

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