Digital Economy Aug 06, 2018

Artificial intelligence in Bavaria: which industries can benefit?

The world is becoming digital and intelligence artificial – the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more interesting for companies as part of the progress in digitalisation. Many start-ups are picking up on this topic and the Zentrum Digitalisierung.Bayern has identified artificial intelligence as the crucial technology of the future. As AI allows for a higher level of productivity, new business areas and improved business processes. But which industries benefit most from this? We provide an overview of where AI has already gained a foothold or is being established.

Whether it’s with Watson IoT from IBM or the Microsoft IoT & AI Insider Lab – global players in Bavaria have long since recognised how important artificial intelligence can be. There are already numerous applications for artificial intelligence now and it is becoming increasingly important. We have taken a closer look at the most important areas where AI is used in Bavaria and where there are links for start-ups:

Production in the digital age: Production 4.0

With regard to Industry 4.0, for example, there are concepts that cannot manage without AI robotics. Self-learning machines will be able to optimise production stages in future to minimise the consumption of raw materials. Networked components will also contribute to improving the production industry in terms of logistics and time management. Thanks to collaboration between research and industry, comprehensive solutions can be transferred to different application scenarios with the buzzword here being cross-industry innovation.

Artificial intelligence in customer service

However, it’s not just the “classic” example of the production industry that offers great potential for AI applications, as services can also benefit from new technologies. The Munich start-up e-bot7, for example, offers to integrate artificial intelligence into companies’ existing customer service. You can find out how other start-ups are promoting AI in Bavaria in the article ”AI start-ups in Bavaria: Disruptive innovation through AI”.

Mobility: intelligent from A to B

With BMW and Audi, Bavaria has a strong automotive ecosystem that doesn’t just work with artificial intelligence in vehicle production but also in terms of vehicle control. Thanks to new assistance systems, cars take control themselves, decelerate in dangerous situations and protect against accidents using intelligent sensors. The automatic parking function is also a huge advantage for some people. BMW has already been cooperating with IBM for some years to pool their expertise and research intelligent assistance and safety systems together.
But that isn’t enough: Bavaria’s mobility companies are working on new concepts. Last but not least, BMW is planning a vehicle by 2021 that will almost completely relieve the driver and will drive autonomously on roads thanks to artificial intelligence. AUDI is also focusing on the use of intelligent vehicle systems with the Initiative Autonomous Intelligent Driving initiative based in Munich, among other things. The automotive and mobility industry in Bavaria is therefore sustainably benefiting from AI.

A health rethink

Companies in the health sector can also work efficiently with artificial intelligence – most recently since 2017 with the signing of a four-year cooperation between Siemens Healthineers and the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS. he research alliance wants to make treatment decisions easier thanks to AI. Besides identifying serious physical illnesses, for example cancer, AI is also to prevent suicides by psychological changes being diagnosed and treated quicker. Insightful health profiles based on the available amounts of data play an important part in the process.

The Digital Health Hub was initiated in Nuremberg-Erlangen to also support young start-ups with the development of new AI innovations. The existing structures are to be built on there and the health sector’s handed down processes are to be broken up with digitalisation by using big data and artificial intelligence.

Bavaria’s support for AI

For companies in Bavaria to be able to benefit and above all grow from technological development in future too, the “Artificial Intelligence” initiative has been created as part of the Bayern Digital II strategy []. With this, Bavaria is increasingly supporting technology associations with a reference to AI.

As a result, the Fraunhofer Institutes’ network throughout Bavaria is also being expanded with expertise in artificial intelligence. Flagship projects are considered to be the development of a new Fraunhofer institute for cognitive systems at the Munich site and the new construction of an institute building on the Garching research campus. A new user centre for networked mobility and infrastructure is also going to be created in Ingolstadt. In addition, funding is planned for the Fraunhofer institutes in Würzburg (focus: telematics), Garching (cognitive security), Erlangen/Nürnberg (linking signal processing and machine intelligence) as well as Augsburg and Bayreuth (blockchain technology).

Besides funding non-university research institutes, the expertise in AI at Bavaria’s universities is also going to be strengthened through targeted measures. 31 new professorships are being created throughout Bavaria as part of the Bayern Digital II master plan.
New fields of study are increasingly being offered to secure the technology’s future personnel – for example with the new Master’s course in “Robotics, Cognition, Intelligence” at the Technical University of Munich.

The networking of research institutes and universities is to be strengthened by the planned BRAIN campus (Bavarian Research in Artificial Intelligence Network Campus). Thanks to the initiative, the expertise at new and existing research institutes (LRZ, LMU and TUM research departments, MSRM, Munich Center for Human Development of Digital Systems, fortriss and Fraunhofer groups) is being combined thus giving it a much higher profile internationally.

EUR 280 million is being provided by the State of Bavaria over the next five years to develop the Fraunhofer institutes, fund universities and promote networking through the BRAIN campus.