The Volkswagen Group reports that it is expanding its artificial intelligence (AI) work in order to “not only with a view to using this key technology in the field of autonomous driving and in production, but also to speed up corporate processes”. To that end, Prof. Patrick van der Smagt will be joining the team of AI experts and data scientists at the Volkswagen Group’s Data Lab in Munich from October, and will lead the AI team. Van der Smagt is Associate Professor at Technische Universität München and one of Europe’s leading experts in deep learning and robotics.
So far, artificial intelligence has mainly been applied in autonomous driving and robotics. This includes among other things pattern recognition based on image and sensor data, intelligent decision-making based on AI algorithms, and processing very diverse data types. A new field of AI is “robotic enterprise” – the use of auto-adaptive algorithms in corporate functions and processes such as those found in development, production, sales, finance, and quality assurance. Working with a team of scientists and AI experts, Prof. Patrick van der Smagt will be focusing in particular on this area.
Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer at the Volkswagen Group, said: “First-class competence in the field of AI is an essential prerequisite for safeguarding the future. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are emerging as key technologies in the automotive industry. Volkswagen plays a pivotal role in driving these topics forward.”
So, while on first glance it appears that this development is about driverless cars, upon further inspection it seems that it is as much about the development of processes and processing big data.