Study in cooperation with the VDI - KI


Digital technologies in a corporate context - The potential of artificial intelligence



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Artificial intelligence is used to simulate the intelligent decision-making and learning of humans on a machine. The term covers a variety of techniques, such as pattern analysis and recognition, robotics, or knowledge-based systems. In the industrial context, AI is used in different application areas. A well known example are predictive maintenance techniques, which use error patterns from the past to determine a prediction of the operating state of a plant in order to recommend when exactly maintenance should be performed. Methods for image recognition with machine learning (ML) support robots in autonomous production. AI-based speech and text processing enable partially automated customer service in hotlines and chats.

The application examples mentioned above illustrate that many established technologies can be replaced by AI technologies. However, since technological development, economic market potential and regulatory framework conditions for AI technologies are still uncertain, the technology group is concerned with "potentially" disruptive technologies.

The dilemma that companies often face in connection with technologies such as AI is the decision between sticking to established technical solutions and the willingness to adapt to new possibilities associated with potentially disruptive technologies. The same is true for employees who work with established technologies on a daily basis and are now confronted with the uncertainty of new technologies that require new skills to learn new user knowledge. Recent studies in management research have shown that the perception of new technologies, both at management and employee level, plays an important role in their later application. According to these studies, the perception of technologies as an opportunity or threat has a particularly significant influence on the use and adoption of technologies in the corporate context.

Within the scope of this study, we asked members of relevant professional associations of the VDI about their perception and their individual intentions for action regarding AI technologies in the corporate context. The focus was explicitly not only on specialists, but also on persons for whom the topic of AI in the professional context is relevant in any way or could become relevant in the future.