Artificial intelligence is a critical factor for future development. At the federal level, the North wants to play a significant role in this area and provides millions.

The state government plans to set up a special fund of 4.5 million euros before the end of the year, said the head of the state chancellery, state secretary Dirk Schroedter. 

The bill has been sent to the state legislature and could pass first and second readings by October. In addition, the state intends to make up to 2.5 million euros available from the European Regional Development Fund.

Consequences comparable to the industrial revolution

Schrodter pointed out that using AI for industry, science, and administration is one of the most important future projects. It will bring about changes at least as radical as the industrial revolution of 200 years ago.

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He presented Schleswig-Holstein’s strategic goals and eight fields of action, a document on which five ministries work. “It was also important for us to make sure that we could link up with federal and European funding programs,” he said.

The strategic goals of the Land government of the CDU, Greens, and FDP include strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises’ competitiveness and a more efficient administration closer to the citizens. In addition, climate protection and the transformation of the energy system must be shaped with the help of AI. And universities in the North need to be made visible to the world through AI.

The promises of AI, but also its threats

“A lot of things are dreams of the future,” Schrodter admitted. As concrete examples, he mentioned “chatbots” in the administration. Citizens could then use these computers to obtain information around the clock and even make decisions, such as approving a parking permit for residents.

In medicine and healthcare, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, and Bremen institutes have asked the federal government to set up a North German AI competence network. The project aims to establish an “AI space for intelligent health systems.” The police should be equipped with mobile devices and thus be able to deal with cases at the action scene.

Along with the possibilities, one should also consider the possible negative consequences of AI. It could be job losses or data abuse, Schroedter said. When asked if the use of AI in administration, for example, could become a danger to democracy if the state conducted a dialogue with the citizen through a machine, thus threatening alienation, Ms. Schrödter replied: “The idea of ​​service is foremost in the foreground. “By the way, it is clear that not everything technically possible will be done in the future.” A council of experts should be set up to deal with ethical and social issues.

3 billion euros to support research on AI 

The German government plans to support the research and application of AI with three billion euros by 2025. However, according to the media, this amount is very small compared to the expenditure of the United States and China for AI.

When asked if Schleswig-Holstein’s 4.5 million euros is not a drop in the ocean, Schrodter replies: “It’s nothing. Schleswig-Holstein is now making a first markup. Friederike C. Kuhn, president of the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry, considered the strategy document on artificial intelligence a step in the right direction. 

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