Innovation boost through artificial intelligence: Platform for Learning Systems starts work

Industrie 4.0 is still shaping current developments in the economy as Germany now faces new tasks for the future: Learning Systems and Artificial Intelligence. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) plans to expand on this topic structurally and promote collaboration between research and industry in particular. In addition to the existing “Industrie 4.0” platform, the BMBF is therefore launching the forward-looking project “Learning Systems” as a second platform on another important issue of the digital transformation.

f.l.t.r.: Andreas Heindl (acatech), Johannes Winter (acatech), Markus Dicks (BMBF), Ralf Klinkenberg (RapidMiner GmbH), State Secretary Georg Schütte (BMBF), Dieter Spath (acatech, President), Ute Bernhardt (BMBF), Reimund Neugebauer (President, Fraunhofer), Wolf-Dieter Lukas (BMBF), Wolfgang Wahlster (DFKI, CEO)

“The time has come for Germany to reap greater benefit from artificial intelligence. In terms of revenue, we have developed the world’s most powerful research institute on this topic with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. Our research ranks as excellent by international standards and outcomes also prove the high potential of this new technology for industry and society. We now must think in new dimensions concerning artificial intelligence and expect far-reaching changes as with Industrie 4.0. We therefore want to consolidate our forces with this forward-looking project and aim to bring about a systematic boost in Germany”, said Minister for Education and Research Johanna Wanka.

The Platform for Learning Systems is coordinated by a steering committee. In order to investigate applications and potentials, as well as social, ethical and legal questions, experts from industry, science and society will begin their work in seven working groups in October. Application scenarios, discussion papers and recommendations for action shall discuss the opportunities of learning systems, thereby providing a broad basis for the topic.

Dieter Spath, President of acatech and Vice-Chairman of the platform added: “Learning systems introduce a new quality to the digital transformation. We want Germany to shape Learning Systems as a leading provider and user for the benefit of people. Learning systems should reinforce prosperity and good work. They should enhance quality of life and social participation. The platform unites research and application with this aim in mind. In addition, we want to initiate an open debate on the legal, ethical and social questions raised by learning systems.”

The potentials of learning systems are already becoming clear. They are employed in many everyday applications such as in the medical field, driver assistance systems, or industrial production. In the future, new applications and services will be developed.

The following additional members were appointed at yesterday’s steering committee meeting:

  • Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO, Infineon AG
  • Dr. Elmar Degenhart, CEO, Continental AG
  • Prof. Dr. Holger Hanselka, President, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Dr. Hanna Köpcke, Founder and CTO, Webdata solutions GmbH
  • Frank Riemensperger, Chairman of Executive Board, Accenture GmbH

The members of the steering committee already included Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka (BMBF), Prof. Dr. Dieter Spath (President, acatech), Prof. Dr. Reimund Neugebauer (President, Fraunhofer), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster (Chairman; Executive Board, DFKI) and Ralf Klinkenberg (Co-Founder, RapidMiner GmbH). The steering committee and working groups will operate in close coordination with each other.  The platform and its committees will be supported by a newly established managing office.

The future-looking project “Learning Systems” was announced by Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka in May 2017. The platform follows up on the successful work of the High-Tech Expert Forum on Autonomous Systems”. The platform steering committee is chaired by Federal Minister for Education and Research Wanka and President Spath.


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