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The use or artificial intelligence will be crucial in determining whether Germany can maintain its strong position in relation to Industry 4.0 in the long term, says Dr. Klaus Mittelbach , chairman of the ZVEI’s management board. A priority of industrial policy is to exploit these strengths for the domestic market more consistently – not least because of the competition from China and the USA. The Association does see the key points of the "AI Master Plan" agreed by the Federal Government as a step in the right direction. But they have to be put in place quickly.

The aspects that should take priority in the view of the electrical and electronics industry are set out in the ten recommendations for action in the ZVEI position paper . Along with the development of a common, coordinated AI strategy for Europe, they also include aligning that strategy with the B2B sector and support for small and medium-sized enterprises in using AI applications. Reliable hardware as the basis for AI is also essential. It is therefore important to include cyber security in the thinking from the outset: “It is vital to keep and develop the corresponding expertise in microelectronics in Germany and Europe.” Only last April, the Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI) (Association of German Engineers) presented the results of a survey at the HANNOVER MESSE according to which Germany is “still in diapers” when it comes to AI. Of the 900 association members surveyed, 80% saw the USA as the leading AI nation, while 55% considered China and just 30.4% Germany to be in the leading group.