Key Topics

“Europe is on the threshold of digital policy dependency” - Impulse by Vanessa Cann, Managing Director of KI Bundesverband

Vanessa Cann 2 kl copyright Tobias Koch BADGE
18 May 2022
Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI)

- Written by Vanessa Cann -

Artificial intelligence (AI) is without doubt one of the most important key technologies of our time. It is already being used in numerous areas, such as voice assistants, industrial robots or, with media attention, autonomous vehicles.

Although Europe has long recognized the huge opportunities offered by AI, too many hurdles stand in the way of its application. Small and medium-sized companies in particular shy away from applying it - and thus waste a lot of potential. For the general population, too, artificial intelligence seems to fall more into the category of science fiction and distant dreams of the future - yet we all use applications made possible by AI on an almost daily basis.

Large parts of the population cannot distinguish between AI and algorithms and cannot assess the possibilities AI offers.

Vanessa Cann

A recent survey by the Bertelsmann Stiftung reveals: Large parts of the population cannot distinguish between AI and algorithms and cannot assess the possibilities AI offers. This leads to uncertainty among the population, but also among companies. What can AI do? How can I benefit from AI? These questions too often remain unanswered - and result in a timidity in the use of AI that is becoming a real competitive disadvantage for Europe.

It should therefore come as no surprise to anyone that it is not Germany and Europe but the USA and China that lead the market in the development and application of AI technologies. As a result, Europe is on the threshold of digital policy dependency and is increasingly losing the opportunity to establish its own solutions in which artificial intelligence is applied in the spirit of European and democratic values.

Politicians are trying to counter the prevailing fear of contact with a clear regulatory framework that imposes bans and conditions on so-called high-risk applications. The EU Commission presented a draft law to this effect in the spring of last year. Although the basic idea behind this is correct, it is doubtful that this will lead to more innovation and progress in the area of European AI development. Rather, there is a danger that companies will relocate AI development abroad even more out of concern about bureaucratic hurdles and regulatory processes.

This is unfortunate, because Europe has a common market of considerable size and thus a treasure trove of data valuable for AI development. Moreover, there are numerous companies with bright minds that want to drive AI development forward and do so in the spirit of European values. We should not put obstacles in their way, but instead help support them so that we can gain more digital sovereignty and successively strengthen our European AI ecosystem.

About Vanessa Cann:

As Managing Director at KI Bundesverband e.V., the largest network for artificial intelligence in Germany with around 350 AI companies from AI and deep tech, Vanessa Cann has been responsible for membership and partner management as well as association development since 2020.

The political scientist previously headed the Artificial Intelligence and Future Mobility platforms at the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V. and is therefore very familiar with the needs of start-ups, established companies and investors. Her former work in political consulting sparked Cann's enthusiasm for artificial intelligence when she advised Fortune500 companies on their digital policies. A particular concern of hers is the promotion of female talent, where she acts as a mentor for startups and at Women in AI.

Copyright picture: Tobias Koch

Interested in the topic of Artificial Intelligence?

Related Stories

AI Impact Survey Titelbild 3

Threat to innovation? A survey among European start-ups on the EU AI Act

AAI Whitepaper Mockup Culture

Mastering the AI Culture Change in Organizations — Video Interview with Dr. Philipp Hartmann, Director of AI Strategy at appliedAI

UTUM Colab2021 727web © Copyright: Thomas Dashuber

“Regulation Should Not Hurt Innovation” – Interview with Françoise Soulié-Fogelman about Europe’s Position in AI

Fokusthemen KI Kompetenz Titelbild neu

Successful with Artificial Intelligence - Free Online Course On AI Competence for your SME

Badge Copyright Julian Beekmann Fotografie 4 © Copyright: Julian Beekmann Fotografie

"Now we can't let ourselves be left behind" - Interview with Jonas Andrulis on Artificial Intelligence in Europe.

Zukunftszentrum067 © Copyright: appliedAI

Free Training on AI and Digitization for SMEs: Zukunftszentrum Süd

Applied AI MAT 2021

Maturity Assessment - The Free Tool to Assess Your AI Maturity Level

KI Campus 2

Discovering the Potential of AI: New Online Course "Introducing AI" on the KI-Campus

AI final

Making SMEs fit for AI: „KI-Transfer Plus" model project by appliedAI and the Bavarian State Ministry for Digital Affairs

2021 startup landscape banner

Fourth Annual Landscape by appliedAI: German AI Start-ups Convince with Quality

AI Illustration Batch3 Farbvariante green DE 2

Artificial Intelligence in Business and Economy - Free Online Course by appliedAI

Hartmann Philipp 600x400

"AI is Always Just a Tool" - Interview with Philipp Hartmann, Director of AI Strategy at appliedAI

News applied ai philipp gerbert

How Corona Crisis is Affecting Artificial Intelligence in Europe - 5 Questions to ... Dr. Philipp Gerbert from appliedAI

Applied AI

Artificial Intelligence - the Key to Intelligent Business of the Future?


AI Start-ups in Germany: Landscape of 2020 by appliedAI


"Elements of AI": appliedAI Supervises Education Platform for Artificial Intelligence


62% more AI Start-ups in Germany


Appell an die Bundesregierung: appliedAI-Initiative fordert Mut und rasches Handeln in ihrem Positionspapier

stories-applied-ai-initiative-partner © UnternehmerTUM / Bert Willer

UnternehmerTUM presents appliedAI initiative

stories-Accelerating-adoption-of-ai-andreas-liebl © UnternerhmerTUM / Bert Willer

Accelerating the adoption of Artificial Intelligence