Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Germany’s minister of education and research and part of chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet, has announced plans to double public funding for research into artificial intelligence (AI), Reuters has reported.
Under new spending plans, Germany will reportedly commit €1bn (£877.5m) to research into AI.
“We have AI that is explainable, trustworthy and transparent,” Stark-Watzinger said. “That is a competitive advantage.”
This includes the development of 150 new university laboratories dedicated to this field, the expansion of data centres and making more datasets publicly available.
The rapid development of the technology has lead to increased pressure on governments to introduce regulations that limit the use and development of AI.
By comparison, a report from the University of Stanford found that private US companies spent US$47.4bn (£37.3bn) on AI research in 2022, with the federal government investing US$3.3bn (£2.6bn).
In terms of private investment, this far exceeds the second highest spender, China, which committed US$13.4bn (£10.5bn) in the same year.
Stark-Watzinger believes Europe has the potential to compete or even exceed nations like the US and China based on emerging regulatory frameworks across the continent and the possibilities for international collaboration the EU can provide.
The European Parliament recently voted in favour of an act to regulate permissible use cases of AI and mitigate harmful applications.