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Digital summit in Nürnberg

More time for creativity

Digitalisation is not an end in itself, said Chancellor Angela Merkel at the digital summit in Nurnberg. 70 years after the German social market economy was first introduced, she is fully convinced that the digital economy and the age of digitalisation is there to serve people, and not vice versa.

Chancellor Angela Merkel at the presentation of the world's first vertical take-off and landing electric jet aeroplane An electric jet aircraft was presented at the digital summit Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

Artificial intelligence (AI), said the Chancellor, is a chance for people to gain more time for creative activities. AI can help us spend less time on repetitive or boring tasks. "That means it is good news, at least for everybody with an enquiring mind," said Angela Merkel.

AI has the potential to generate about 32 billion euros more value in manufacturing industry alone over the next five years. Since 2010 almost 250,000 new jobs have been created.

Nationwide signal

"We need the infrastructure first of course, that will enable us to make use of these new technological opportunities," stressed the Chancellor. The demands made of digital network performance have increased continuously, but there are still too many places that are completely cut off.

"We don’t need the sound quality of Berlin’s Philharmonic Orchestra everywhere, but it should be possible to hear a signal of some sort everywhere," said Angela Merkel, commenting on the discussion of 5G coverage.

Digital citizens’ portal for all

An amendment to Germany’s Basic Law or constitution now means that federal and state governments operate a shared portal. By the end of 2022 everybody in Germany should have standardised online access to more than 570 state services.

This citizens’ portal offers an opportunity for the country to grow together. "It will be a really good feeling when people in Western Pomerania can contact authorities every bit as quickly as people in the heart of Munich," said Angela Merkel. In this way digitalisation, like the social market economy, can make a major contribution to ensuring comparable living conditions across Germany.

The German government intends to make Germany a leader in the field of AI. As part of its AI Strategy, it is to provide around 3 billion euros by 2025 to jump start development.

Dec 04, 2018