Workshop KI-KMU 2021 at INFORMATIK 2021

Large-scale enterprises are still forerunners regarding digital transformation. Nevertheless, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) start to tap their digital potential and catch up. According to a study by the KfW (2019), 38.8% of SMEs intend to implement at least two digitization projects in the next two years and additional 28 % are thinking about such projects.

Against this background, artificial intelligence (AI) plays an increasingly important role for SMEs, because according to a study by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (2019) the implementation of AI is a mandatory requirement for remaining competitive in the international market. SMEs can exploit their potential in various sectors such as the optimization of distribution and logistics, increased process efficiency or more targeted advertising. Also an increase in sustainability can be achieved through the introduction of AI as a main objective or as a side effect of other optimization potentials, e.g. by reducing costs through increased process efficiency (economic sustainability), avoiding unnecessary consumption of resources, reducing waste or reducing environmental impact, e.g. by optimizing logistics processes (ecological sustainability). Technologies like intelligent automatization, intelligent sensor systems or intelligent assistance systems are of great importance in this context.

The workshop “Artificial Intelligence for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises” shall bring together researchers and practitioners of AI and shall support transfer of knowledge within and between these two groups as well as make AI tangible for SMEs.

The workshop focuses on two key aspects: On the one hand, research approaches should be presented having a close reference to the challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises concerning the topic of AI or approaches concentrating on lightweight AI applications, which can be easily implemented by SMEs. On the other hand, completed or ongoing AI projects can be presented providing a first impression of the effects of AI in practice and showing which challenges arise in the implementation of AI in SMEs.

The target audience are researchers and practitioners of AI from various fields in research and industry (especially SMEs).