Best Paper Award for ifm-researcher Robert Dehghan

A team of reasearchers from the University of Hohenheim, the University of Giessen, the ETH Zürich, the University of Mannheim, and the ZEW Mannheim has received the Best Paper Award at the R&D Management Conference 2022, Innovation for People and Territories, in Trento, Italy, for their Paper "When is AI adoption contagious? Epidemic effects and relational embeddedness in the inter-firm diffusion of artificial intelligence"

The study builds on epidemic models of inter-firm technology diffusion and adds concepts of relational embeddedness from social network theory. We developed and applied a model of AI adoption to a broad web-based data sample of more than 380,000 firms in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. To this end, we train a transformer-based language model to identify firm-level AI adoption from over 1.1 million websites and replicate our econometric analysis for representative firm-level survey data from Switzerland. Our findings indicate a highly clustered pattern of diffusion and a rather closed system of AI adopters that is likely to hinder broader diffusion.



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