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MUNICH: April 27, 2017. A survey of German logistics executives says 70 percent of respondents are investigating the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

This follows the launch last Autumn of a 'Partnership on AI' by Apple, Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft. The non-profit group says the technology "holds tremendous potential" to improve many aspects of life, ranging from healthcare, education, and manufacturing to home automation and transportation.

The partnership wants to advance public understanding of AI technologies and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities in the field.

Geodis AILast month's study by transport logistic organizers Messe Munchen discovered that 64 percent of industry specialists and executives consider AI would benefit self-driving vehicles for last mile delivery and control systems for route planning.

However AI is expected to encounter resistance from both customers and employees with 82 percent of those surveyed saying robots should not replace people, just assist them.

"In fact, the vast majority (70 percent) of industry experts have noticed that employees are reluctant to accept artificial intelligence," said Messe München, with 85 percent wanting to focus first on determining the skills that are needed to collaborate with machines.

According to Messe München exhibition group director Robert Schönberger, experts from the commercial, scientific and public sectors will discuss the future of AI applications at transport logistic in Munich next month.

Meanwhile the Partnership for AI has established a board of trustees with six new members: OpenAI, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence & ASU, UC Berkeley, American Civil Liberties Union, MacArthur Foundation, and Peterson Institute of International Economics.

"This extraordinary non-profit partnership underscores the tremendous potential of utilizing AI for the common good. We are looking forward to joining it," said Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for AI.

Pictured: supply chain management company Geodis is testing the 'Com’hand system', which provides intuitive control capabilities for lifting and handling machinery. Worn on the wrist, the technology is produced by Siatech, a French start-up founded by three engineering graduates.

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