How Austria Shapes its Future with Artificial Intelligence

Published: May 3, 2019; 09:12 · (Vindobona)

Austria's Government is currently working together with the consulting firm Accenture on an Austrian Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategy, which is to be finalised by summer 2019. A study shows that a 3 percent economic growth is possible. That much is already known.

Austria becomes leading digitization nation with own AI strategy: Accenture and Schramböck present study on the use of Artificial Intelligence. / Picture: © BMDW Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs / Philipp Hartberger

Under the project name "Mission mit Vision" (Mission with vision), interdepartmental working groups are currently working on seven different topics (see below) - from education and ethics to law and economics.

If we want to make Austria the leading digitisation nation, we must not ignore international technology trends. AI is a key technology for more efficiency and growth. We are therefore working intensively on an AI strategy for Austria," says Federal Minister Margarete Schramböck.

The consulting firm Accenture presented the study "Mission with Vision", the results of which show that Austria as an industrial location can expect economic growth of 3 percent annually through the use of artificial intelligence. With a basic growth rate of 1.4 percent, this would be a doubling.

"The Accenture study is a valuable input for the working groups in order to define in advance fields of action and positive effects for the location," is how Schramböck explains the background to the study.

Michael Zettel, Country Managing Director of Accenture in Austria, emphasizes: " AI is by far the most important technology that already has the greatest impact on companies today".

Zettel emphasises that many industrialised countries have already developed a corresponding AI strategy and defined local priorities. "It needs focus and coordination, because AI can mean a significant competitive advantage for the economy and for companies," says Zettel.

"Austria in particular can benefit massively from AI due to the structure of its economy and its high automation potential. We investigated the 'how' in the study," emphasizes the consultant.

Production, trade and agriculture with the highest AI potential

Thanks to AI, the productivity of employees in Austria can increase by 30 percent.

"AI can become a driver of additional value creation in all sectors of the economy. We see a particularly high potential in production, agriculture and trade", quotes Zettel from the Accenture AI study.

Production and trade also account for a significant share of Austria's total gross value added.

With the current rapid progress in AI, the importance of data flows in industry is now becoming a decisive economic factor. The data is generated during production by the networked machines and feeds the artificial intelligence.

In the study "Mission with Vision: How Austria Shapes its Future with Artificial Intelligence" Accenture highlights seven future fields that will be decisive for the success of AI. They are:

1. research and innovation
2. society, ethics and labour market
3. qualification and training
4. AI Governance, Security and Law
5. AI in the public sector
6. infrastructure for industrial leadership positions
7. AI in the economy

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