KW 50: Germany updates AI strategy, Bosch wants to create a code of ethics for AI, Using AI to lower greenhouse gas emissions


Germany updates AI strategy: Artificial intelligence is internationally recognized as an important key technology. For this reason, the German government decided in 2018 to launch an AI strategy that creates a common framework for research and business in order to use the potential of AI for the benefit of all people and the environment. Due to increased requirements and some new developments in this sector, the government has now decided to update the strategy. This is part of a bigger plan to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and to lay the foundations for competitiveness even after the crisis. In concrete terms, this means that investments in artificial intelligence will be increased from three to five billion euros by 2025.

A breakthrough in drug research thanks to AI? According to a recent press release, British researchers have succeeded in solving a central problem in biomedical research. Specifically, employees of the company “Deepmind” were able to use the AI “AlpaFold” to decipher the molecular structures of proteins in a short time. Until now, this took scientists years, according to the press release. The structure of a protein also influences whether, how and where a drug works in the body, which is why the faster decoding of the structures could also spur drug research.

Bosch wants to create a code of ethics for AI: The Bosch Group sees artificial intelligence as a key technology for the future, but with potential risks. The company has now issued guidelines governing the use of AI in its intelligent products. Bosch’s AI code of ethics is based on the following maxim: Humans should be the ultimate arbiter of any AI-based decisions. Bosch’s “Invented for life” ethos combines a quest for innovation with a sense of social responsibility. Bosch wants its AI-based products to be safe, robust, and explainable.

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Using AI to lower greenhouse gas emissions: A new study by the consulting firm Capgemini comes to the conclusion that artificial intelligence could help companies achieve up to 45 percent of their climate protection target under the Paris Agreement. So far, only very few companies (13 percent) have linked their AI resources to their climate goals. But if they change this, companies could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 16 percent over the next three to five years through AI-based climate protection measures. The potential savings of 45 percent are enormous, especially in retail. Companies in a total of five industries were examined: automotive, manufacturing, energy and utilities, consumer goods and retail.

Swiss Federal Council examines competence network for AI: Similar to some other countries, Switzerland would like to promote artificial intelligence more intensively. A special competence network will be set up for this purpose. The Federal Chancellery will work out a more detailed design of such a network by mid-2021. According to the Swiss Federal Council, the Chancellery should follow the principle of “Think big, start small and start fast”.

Voice app could recognize Covid: Researchers at the University of Augsburg are working on a mobile application that can help diagnose a Covid-19 infection. To do so, the AI pays attention to linguistic changes and analyzes them. A team of around twenty computer scientists has been working on the app since March, which now has a success rate of 80 percent. The artificial intelligence analyzes the voices of the test persons with regard to Covid-19-related changes such as shortness of breath, fatigue, cough or blocked nose. There is great interest in the app. The possibility of detecting an infection with smartphone technology in an uncomplicated, quick, contactless manner and over a distance sounds more than tempting.

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54 percent of 16 to 30-year-olds in Germany believe that AI will revolutionize the working world and that new job profiles will emerge, according to a survey of 1,000 young people in Germany carried out by market research institute Arlington on behalf of the software company Kaspersky.


Talk more about AI to reduce fears and prejudices: It often feels like AI is omnipresent. But even if almost everyone has heard of it before, many do not know what exactly it is. In a „Wirtschaftswoche“ guest article, Karl Heinz Streibich, President of the German Academy of Science and Engineering and co-chair of the Platform for Learning Systems, pleads for more clarification and for possible concerns to be taken seriously. AI will only be accepted if it can be made understandable and dialogue with society is promoted. In addition, Streich calls for the certification of AI systems, as well as the common good-oriented exploitation of the potential of AI. He also argues that digital sovereignty is extremely important for trustworthy AI. Only in this way can Europe’s self-determination be preserved even in times of crisis.

Linking AI and IoT to get AIoT: By linking the Internet of Things (IoT) with artificial intelligence, industrial companies can not only increase the efficiency but also the quality of their products, as Kuka, Device Insight and Sentian show. It is too short-sighted to only think of the area of ​​predictive maintenance, says Christian Liedtke, Head of Strategic Alliances at Kuka. It is more important for end customers to generate more sales. In order for this to be possible, all those involved have to cooperate and individual processes have to mesh seamlessly, said Liedtke. “Artificial Intelligence of Things” gives companies the opportunity to holistically optimize their production and thus to become “smart production”. The aim here is to continuously reduce deviations from the optimum within a manufacturing process and to automate the improvements. As the first applications of AIoT show, with fine adjustments in industrial production, enormous potential can be leveraged in order to increase the quality of the goods produced and the overall yield.


ReCircE: Plastic recycling with AI: A new research project by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in partnership with the TU Darmstadt, GreenDelta, the Fraunhofer facility for recycling and resource strategy IWKS and the Rhineland-Palatinate company Papier-Mettler wants to develop a comprehensive, new recycling process. The plan is to combine the sorting technology of the systems with machine learning and a digital product passport. The aim is to use AI ​​to recognize individual chains of molecules in the recycling process and to process the melted plastic so that it breaks down into the respective fractions. With the help of the digital product passport, the value chain will be kept transparent. The project is funded by the environment ministry within the framework of the “AI lighthouses for the environment, climate, nature and resources” funding program.


„The basis and starting point for the development of AI must be people’s needs. Their concerns and wishes, which are different in this country than in the US or China, must show us the legal and ethical path for the use of AI.“
Karl Heinz Streibich, President of the German Academy of Science and Engineering (Acatech) and co-chair of the Learning Systems platform, advocates an AI approach geared towards the common good.


Researchers develop AI that recognizes fake online shops: With the “Simbad” project, a team of researchers from the Austrian Institute for Applied Telecommunications (ÖIAT) and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) are working on identifying fake shops on the internet. Whether spelling mistakes or a conspicuous sentence order – the AI scans websites for certain features and sounds an alarm if necessary. A browser plugin for Google Chrome and Firefox should be available before Christmas to help users identify dubious providers.

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