Solving humanity's problems with AI

Hamburg: AI expertise in business and science

The rapid development of generative artificial intelligence (AI), i.e. technology that is able to generate text, images and simple code, has opened up completely new possibilities - be it in content creation, medicine or education. And yet technological progress is also associated with risks. This is why the European Commission has agreed on an AI Act to ensure that AI systems are safe, transparent, ethical, impartial and under human control. The German government has been pursuing an AI strategy since 2018 to strengthen Germany's position in global competition and is investing a total of €5 billion in implementing this strategy by 2025.

Innovative technology with great potential

The money is well invested, with Statista forecasting global sales of around $31.2 billion for business applications in the field of artificial intelligence by 2025. In Hamburg, the Chamber of Commerce has found in its survey 'Artificial intelligence - utilising opportunities for Hamburg's economy' that over 90% of AI users surveyed already derive clear benefits from the use of AI, benefitting especially from improved internal processes and in the area of cost savings.

Hamburg as an AI location

Dockland in Hamburg

Hamburg as an AI location has a dense network of higher education institutions with a long history of AI research, an economic structure characterised by a broad mix of industries and company sizes, as well as a number of active initiatives to bundle AI expertise in business and science. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action also recognises this and has declared Hamburg one of four model regions for AI startups: funded to the tune of €3.8 million, the AI.Startup.Hub Hamburg project is directed at AI founders and those who would like to become one. The project is a joint venture of Hamburg Innovation GmbH, Artificial Intelligence Center Hamburg (ARIC), AI for Hamburg GmbH (AI.Hamburg), the Exponential Innovation Institute, the Machine Learning in Engineering (MLE) initiative of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and German Entrepreneurship.

Initiatives and support programmes

In addition to exchange and networking opportunities, the AI.Startup.Hub Hamburg projects offers founders practical support with the AI Accelerator Programme, which leads startups to market maturity, and the AI Ideation Programme for the development of AI prototypes. Especially for AI startups that provide digital products and services for public or administrative bodies in a broader sense, Hamburg has become an increasingly interesting location. In April 2023, the city and ARIC joined forces to help startups with AI-related business ideas gain access to Hamburg's administration. Moreover, in the showroom for artificial intelligence in Hamburg, which was opened by ARIC in 2022, prospective founders can find inspiration for possible fields of application.

The AI-Hamburg initiative offers a continuous overview, insights and information on the rapid development of this innovative technology. Launched in 2019 together with the digital network Hamburg@work, TUTECH, Hamburg universities and municipal partners, AI-Hamburg promotes the broad use of artificial intelligence in companies in the region and helps connect relevant players. AI-Hamburg is a founding member of AI4Germany, an umbrella initiative that promotes active exchange and cooperation between the partners involved in the federal states.

Medicine and autonomous driving as application areas

Künstliche Intelligenz: Zwei Ärzte schauen sich Daten auf einem Monitor und einem Tablet an

One of the major fields of application for AI in the present and future is medicine. Hamburg is already home to numerous startups in this field, including Mindpeak, Tiplu and dpv-analytics. But there is also a lot going on in the field of autonomous driving. At the ITS World Congress 2021 in Hamburg, projects such as TaBuLa (test centre for autonomous buses in the district of Herzogtum Lauenburg) and HEAT (Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transportation) already demonstrated that AI - in the form of self-driving minibuses - can literally be put on the road. The ahoi project (Automation of Hamburg's on-demand service with integration into local public transport) is now testing on-demand operation based on a mixed fleet of 20 autonomous and 28 manually controlled vehicles. This makes ahoi the first on-demand operation in Europe with a mixed fleet of this size.

What is artificial intelligence?

If a computer response can no longer be distinguished from that of a human being, then the computer can be called intelligent. Commonly known as the "Turing test", this was the definition of the British mathematician Alan Turing in 1950. Since then, a number of milestones have been reached in the field of artificial intelligence. In 1994, the chess computer Deep Blue developed by IBM defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov. In 2011, the computer system Watson (also developed by IBM) won the quiz show Jeopardy, and in 2015 the computer program AlphaGo developed by Google DeepMind beat the Go champion Fan Hui. In 2018, Duplex, an automated assistant developed by Google, called a hairdresser and arranged an appointment on its own.

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