Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin companies can partner with Dutch companies as this trend drives change in multiple industries.

Research from Gartner shows that the number of companies that implemented artificial intelligence (AI) technology has doubled just in the past 12 months, and that the number of companies making use of AI technology has risen by 270% since 2014. Manufacturing, health care, safety, marketing and many more markets are being affected by the use of this new technology, with collaborations between academic researchers and the private sector driving these developments.

In a recent telephone interview for the purpose of this article, Professor Maarten De Rijke, University Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Information Retrieval at the University of Amsterdam, stated: “Collaborations happen everywhere, but I think the Netherlands is ahead when it comes to business and science working together. The Dutch have been doing this for a very long time and in many areas. What also helps is that we were early adopters of the internet. This attracts data-intensive companies.”

One example is the collaboration between Ahold and Delhaize (major food retailers in the Netherlands and Belgium) and the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (an initiative of the University of Amsterdam), in which Ph.D. students work on specific topics that are chosen by the two partner organizations.

A report from Microsoft on the use of AI within companies gives further evidence of the Netherlands’ strength in this area. According to Microsoft Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, as soon as clear ethical and legal guidelines are developed, the Netherlands has the potential to become world leader in AI.

The Dutch have a historical and cultural record of adopting new technology early and easily. The AI Readiness Benchmark from Capgemini Consulting—which measures the extent to which a country and its institutions and businesses are ready to reap the benefits of AI—scores the Netherlands in the first position, with 475 points; in comparison, the U.S. scores 293, and China 133. This makes the Dutch market ideal for Wisconsin companies to test and develop new AI products and technologies.

On Oct. 9-10, 2019, the Netherlands will host the annual World Summit AI in Amsterdam. At this event, Wisconsin companies will be able to meet with local and international parties active in AI, and interact with panel discussions, networking, workshops and much more. The summit takes place during the AI World Week, Oct. 7-11, 2019, and is an excellent opportunity to connect with the Dutch AI community.