To enable Germany to catch up in artificial intelligence (AI), Continental is calling for a fundamental shift in the training of AI specialists in universities. As things currently stand, universities may indeed produce many, often highly distinguished AI scientists. However, due to the lack of practical expertise, these scientists are not directly available to industry.
Dr Ariane Reinhart, Continental Executive Board Member for Human Relations, Continental, said AI is a crucial success factor for Germany as a business location. However, without a fundamental rethink, Germany will fall behind the global front runners when it comes to technology. To have a sufficient number of AI graduates available, universities must focus their training more on practical requirements. Otherwise, the national economy risks losing ground on other leading economies when it comes to technology.
“Measured in terms of the requirements of the economy, the graduates of AI-oriented courses are not sufficiently trained in practice-oriented aspects,” said Reinhart.
It is necessary to systematically introduce AI specialists coming from universities to actual practice. It requires a further three to five years of additional training – which is a lot of time given the speed at which the use of AI is developing in all areas, she explained.
Continental spends tens of millions on the training and further training its more than 1,000 AI specialists each year. However, the economy must let go of the idea that the universities are producing fully trained AI specialists. Due to the high rate of innovation and intense cost pressure, it is increasingly the case that fewer companies can permanently invest large sums in the training and further training of their AI specialists, Reinhart added.