Germany is determined to become the European hub for artificial intelligence (AI). Britain, France, and Germany are fighting it out to become leaders. To assert its dominance in the AI industry, Germany has set out to incorporate AI into their economy in various ways. Germany now houses Cyber Valley (the Silicon Valley of Europe), a research center for AI, and has fueled resources into AI in the financial services industry. Due to this immense AI expansion, Germany’s recent robotics and automation sales growth has been extraordinary.
Cyber Valley is a new tech hub that entertains collaboration between academics and business.  This environment allows research to flourish and therefore continues the growth of AI and robotics in Germany. Furthermore, Amazon is opening an AI center in Cyber Valley, creating more opportunities for research. According to Ralf Herbrich, director of machine learning at Amazon, this center will be “one of the largest research partnerships in Europe in the field of artificial intelligence.”  Amazon has contributed 1.25 million euros to set up the AI center.  Like Amazon, other companies have contributed investments to set up research groups in Cyber Valley. Government R&D investments have also helped the expansion of Cyber Valley. According to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the percent of GDP spent on R&D since 2010 has been higher in Germany than in the United States. Germany’s percent spending on GDP has increased 26% between 2000 and 2016.  Germany’s higher spending on R&D signifies the importance the German government places on investments in Cyber Valley and the AI industry. As a result of the increased developments, Germany’s economy grew 1.9% in 2016, faster than any other G7 economy.  The introduction of Cyber Valley and emphasis on AI in Germany has therefore improved the economy drastically. This new “Silicon Valley for Europe” will shift the technology hub of Europe to Germany, as the economy grows stronger, start-up culture is established, and business cultures change for further development in AI.
Germany continues to expand its artificial intelligence research initiatives through the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. Work done at the research center includes conducting research in human-robot cooperation, establishing work in fields as diverse as driverless cars and deep learning, and using labs to test the cities and factories of the future.  This extensive research is able to produce many new businesses in the AI industry, further pushing Germany to become the new European hub for AI.
Artificial intelligence is also being integrated in the financial services industry. A German-based company, SMACC, created a self-learning system based on neural network technology that enables broad automation of finance tasks. Furthermore, Germany’s Rocket Internet (a venture capital company) is looking at investing in areas such as financial technology and AI with the 3 billion dollars it has raised.  These recent events are examples of how German companies are keen on AI investment in finance. The finance industry signifies one of many sectors of Germany’s businesses that are going through immense AI growth. This rapid development of artificial intelligence in Germany goes to show how Germany can be the hub for AI.
Due to the increased growth in research and new AI-related businesses in Germany, robotics and automation sales have drastically increased. The sales of robotics and automation equipment are key to Germany’s export-driven economy.  As the AI industry continuously expands, global demand for industrial robots will rise, allowing Germany to become the main exporter of automation equipment. This opportunity will result in a stronger economy and make Germany the European hub for AI.
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Written by Prthvi Srinivasan & Edited by Jack Vasquez & Alexander Fleiss
 “Amazon Wants to Join Cyber Valley.” Max Planck Society, www.mpg.de/11667483/cyber-valley-amazon.
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 “German Robotics and Automation Sales Growth to Pick Up.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 20 June 2017, www.reuters.com/article/germany-robotics/german-robotics-and-automation-sales-growth-to-pick-up-idUSL8N1JG44C.
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