Bitkom Every third German start-up relies on artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most important new technology for German start-ups. This is the result of a survey of more than 300 start-ups commissioned by Bitkom.

More than one in three start-ups (39 percent) already uses AI – and the number could even double in the near future. Another third of start-ups (38 percent) state that they are planning or discussing the use of AI. Only for about one in five start-ups (22 percent) is AI currently not an issue at all.

In comparison: In a Bitkom survey conducted in spring, only 2 percent of companies with 20 or more employees in the overall economy said that they use AI and only 9 percent said that they were discussing it. The overwhelming majority (86 percent), on the other hand, does not consider AI to be an issue in their own company.

»We need the innovative strength of the start-ups, if we want to make artificial intelligence a success story in Germany. Start-ups are ideal cooperation partners for medium-sized companies and corporations, especially when it comes to the use of AI technology in established industries, « says Bitkom President Achim Berg.

Trend towards data analysis and blockchain

In start-ups, only cloud computing (65 percent) and data analysis and big data (48 percent) are currently used more frequently than AI. Internet of Things ranks fourth (25 percent). 3D printing (9 percent), virtual and augmented reality (8 percent) and blockchain technology (8 percent) follow at a clear distance. Robotics (4 per cent), 5G (3 per cent) and drones (3 per cent) are lagging behind.

However, the use of technology in German start-ups could soon change fundamentally. While AI represents the technology whose use is most frequently planned or discussed, it is closely followed by data analysis and big data (32 percent) as well as blockchain (26 percent), 5G (23 percent) and the Internet of Things (22 percent).

»Start-ups have a good instinct for promising future technologies, « says Berg. »With blockchain technology, practical applications are still scarce, but it has the potential to fundamentally change entire industries. And the new 5G mobile communications standard will enable innovative online applications in many areas - from networked production to autonomous driving.«

Around every fifth start-up company (18 percent) is also considering the use of virtual and augmented reality, and every eighth (13 percent) is considering cloud computing. They are followed by robotics (9 percent), drones (7 percent) and 3D printing (7 percent).