Decision-makers expect the government to push digitization

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Artificial intelligence is one of the technological applications that the majority of the German population attaches the greatest importance to. © Robert Michael/dpa/symbol picture

Many people in Germany have the feeling that their country is not well positioned when it comes to future technologies. They see deficits above all in public administration and in the schools.

Berlin – The majority of top executives from politics and business expect progress in digitization as a result of the change of government.

However, the population as a whole is much more skeptical, according to a survey published on Monday. According to the survey by the Allensbach opinion research institute, 82 percent of the approximately 500 managers surveyed were convinced that the new federal government made up of SPD, Greens and FDP will push digitalization more decisively than the last cabinet of Angela Merkel (CDU). 17 percent of decision-makers do not believe that. Only one percent answered undecided.

A representative survey of citizens aged 16 and over yielded completely different results. Here, 37 percent of the participants in the survey were optimistic about a possible boost to digitization by the new government. 32 percent of them expressed negative, 31 percent were undecided. The population sees deficits above all in public administration and in the schools.

Union supports digital competence

The population’s assessment of the digital competence of the individual parties has changed dramatically. While the FDP, which has made the issue the focus of its election campaign, can score points here, the CDU and CSU downright collapsed.

In an earlier survey in 2020, 23 percent of citizens still took the view that the Union parties had the most convincing concept for helping to shape the framework conditions for digital change and driving digitization forward. When the pollsters asked the same question again between the beginning of December 2021 and the beginning of January 2022, only 7 percent of those surveyed saw digital competence most likely in the CDU and CSU.

The FDP was able to increase this question from three to 18 percent. The value for the SPD rose slightly from a low level: by three percentage points to eight percent. The Greens lost two percentage points and are now at six percent. Respondents rated the digital competence of the left (one percent) and the AfD (two percent) as significantly lower. The expectations of the traffic light government are very high, “now they have to deliver,” said Philip Meissner from the European Center for Digital Competitiveness at the ESCP Business School Berlin.

Drones, 3D printers and artificial intelligence

The pollsters also wanted to know how people in Germany rate their knowledge of new technological developments and what is currently being worked on. They found that four out of five respondents rate their own knowledge as low. According to Meissner, a work order is derived from this. He said: “There’s really so much going on that the curriculum would actually have to be adjusted every year.” This could be made easier by handouts that the federal government could make available to the federal states responsible for education.

According to the survey, the technological applications that the majority of the German population attaches the greatest importance to include drones, 3D printers and artificial intelligence. Around every second person believes that self-driving vehicles will be among the technologies that will be important in the future.

The digital report, which the ESCP Business School Berlin creates with the Institute for Demoscopy Allensbach, is being published for the third time this year. dpa

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