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Producing and using artificial intelligence: What can Europe learn from Siemens’s experience?

Franco, S., Graña, J. M., Flacher, D. & Rikap, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-4153-4490 (2022). Producing and using artificial intelligence: What can Europe learn from Siemens’s experience?. Competition & Change, doi: 10.1177/10245294221097066

Abstract

This paper examines the innovation strategy of Siemens, a key player in Europe’s digital economy, by performing network and lexical analyses using data derived from Siemens’s patents and scientific publications since 1998. We observe that the company’s innovation efforts evolved from a broader attempt to develop internal information and communication technology (ICT) capabilities – alongside its historical industrial priorities – to a strategy focused on developing artificial intelligence (AI) for sector-specific and niche applications (such as life and medical sciences). As a result, it became dependent on tech giants’ clouds for accessing more general AI services and digital infrastructure. We build on the intellectual monopoly literature focusing on the effects of tech giants on other leading corporations, to analyse Siemens’s experience. By abandoning the development of general ICT and given the emergence of tech giants as digital economy intellectual monopolies, we show that Siemens is risking its technological autonomy towards these big tech companies. Our results provide clues to understand the challenges faced by Europe and its firms in relation to US and Chinese tech giants.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Publisher Keywords: Digital economy, cloud computing, network analysis, Siemens, science and technology strategy, big tech
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
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