Digital Summit: AI skills as a prerequisite for a successful data economy
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data economics strengthen the competitiveness of the economy: They contribute to more efficient business processes and enable new business models. The prerequisite for the successful use of AI in companies is an AI- and data-savvy workforce. At the German government's Digital Summit on December 9 in Berlin, Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger and Reinhard Ploss, both co-chairs of Plattform Lernende Systeme, will discuss what qualifications are needed and what hurdles the shortage of skilled workers poses for companies, along with computer science professor Ute Schmid.
German companies have great treasures of data from which they can gain new insights and develop innovative products with the help of AI technologies. According to studies, however, the biggest obstacle on the path to the data economy is the lack of human resources. Small and medium-sized enterprises face particularly great challenges: In the competition for the coveted AI and data science specialists, small and medium-sized enterprises often cannot compete with corporate groups. They often lack the resources for targeted further training of their own employees.
"The shortage of skilled workers is also clearly noticeable in the AI industry. Our goal is clear: We must train the best AI specialists here and also retain them. That is why the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is specifically promoting the teaching of AI and data skills, including through the AI Campus, the federal-state agreement 'AI in Higher Education', the 'Konrad Zuse Schools of Excellence in AI' and the 100 newly established AI professorships. By making the AI competence centers permanent, we have also further increased the attractiveness of Germany as an AI location for AI talent," says Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger, co-chair of Plattform Lernende Systeme, on the occasion of the Digital Summit.
The use of AI is changing the world of work - across all industries and jobs. "For the transition to the data economy, we need broad data competencies: Experts who identify promising application areas for AI, those who prepare data and develop and train AI systems. However, we must not forget that users who later work with AI systems should have a basic understanding," said Reinhard Ploss, co-chair of Plattform Lernende Systeme in a conversation with the federal research minister. "We need greater openness, or better yet, enthusiasm for AI in Germany. This openness and enthusiasm are perhaps the most important competencies."
Confident handling of data and AI should become an indispensable part of general education. Ute Schmid, a computer science professor at Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg and a member of Plattform Lernende Systeme, is in favor of this. "AI and data skills must be taught in school. Better yet, children - and girls in particular - should be enabled to gain concrete experience starting at kindergarten age - whether by programming robots or interactive games, applying machine learning to classify images or sensor data."
Plattform Lernende Systeme, a network of around 200 AI experts initiated by the BMBF, is part of the Digital Summit process through the "Platform 3 Learning Systems | Digital Competencies" and will be represented at the Digital Summit 2022 with various discussion formats. "Data - Creating Digital Value Together" is the focus topic of this year's event. The summit and its in-year process are the central forum for collaboration between politics, business, science and society in shaping the digital transformation.
More information on the program of Plattform Lernende Systeme at the Digital Summit can be found here.
Linda Treugut / Birgit Obermeier
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