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In short interviews we address experts from Plattform Lernende Systeme. They answer questions on very different aspects related to the development and responsible use of Artificial Intelligence.

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All interviews are released for editorial use (© Plattform Lernende Systeme).

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Large neural networks: Towards self-aware AI?

Is Artificial Intelligence on the way to developing its own consciousness? The discussion about this is in full swing - not least since Google researcher Blake Lemoine attested to the language model for dialogs LaMDA that it communicates like "a seven- or eight-year-old child who happens to have a clue about physics. How should this assessment be evaluated? What distinguishes large neural networks from other AI systems? And: What role will they play in the future and in international competition? Stefan Wrobel, Director of Fraunhofer IAIS, answers these questions in an interview.

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How AI innovations in health are getting to patients faster

AI systems can help find tumors, control insulin pumps or assist during operations. But on their way from research to healthcare, AI innovations in Germany have to overcome many hurdles. Karsten Hiltawsky explains the challenges facing manufacturers of medical AI products and what needs to change so that people benefit more quickly from the innovations. He is Head of Corporate Technology and Innovation at Dräger and head of the Health Care, Medical Technology, Care working group of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

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Getting girls excited about AI: Trying it out promotes confidence in their own abilities

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already making our lives and work easier today - as a driving assistance system in cars, as a control element in production or as a recommendation system for online shopping. For the future, self-learning algorithms are considered a key technology for whose development and application specialists are urgently sought. Many universities have already launched corresponding courses of study. On the occasion of the nationwide Girls' Day, Ute Schmid explains why girls and women in particular should concern themselves with Artificial Intelligence and what role models there are. She is Professor of Cognitive Systems at the University of Bamberg and a member of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

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Simply explained: What is and can Artificial Intelligence do?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is considered a key digital technology of the future. AI-based computer systems can control traffic, optimize production processes and support doctors in diagnosis. We have long been using AI systems in our everyday lives via smartphones. But what exactly is AI and how does it work? What distinguishes weak AI from strong AI? And what challenges are associated with the use of self-learning computer programs? Volker Tresp answers these questions in an interview. He is a professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich with a research focus on machine learning in information networks and a member of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

 

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From a helpful to a criminally used tool: Protecting AI from misuse

Artificial Intelligence is a helpful tool that can make people's work and everyday lives easier in a variety of ways. At the same time, AI systems, which are often highly networked and partly embedded in other systems, can also be used for illegal purposes. Protecting them from misuse is an important task. Using the example of digital image processing, Detlef Houdeau (Infineon AG and member of the IT Security, Privacy, Legal and Ethical Framework working group) outlines how AI algorithms help professional and amateur photographers to take better pictures - but can also be used with criminal intent to forge travel documents.

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Sustainable business with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can contribute to the success of the energy transition, low-emission mobility or environmentally friendly agriculture: the use of the technology opens up new business models for companies that support sustainable development in the economy and society. However, the energy consumption in the use and development of AI applications is often high. Markus Schnell, Senior Director Software and Tools at Infineon Technologies AG and member of the Business Model Innovations working group, explains how companies can use AI to make their operations sustainable and how the ecological footprint of AI systems themselves can be reduced.

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Trustworthy AI: "The systems need a regular technical examination"

The EU Commission wants to regulate by law what Artificial Intelligence may and may not do. In its draft AI law, the Commission has defined a catalogue of criteria that will be used in future to assess the risks, the so-called criticality, of an AI system. Depending on the level of risk, an AI system can be banned, must meet certain requirements before it is introduced to the market. Armin Grunwald, professor of philosophy of technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and head of the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB), explains why the assessment of risks in Artificial Intelligence is particularly difficult.

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AI on the job: "We will work more flexibly and more mobilely".

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change our working world - in the factory as well as in the office. AI-based software and robots can support people in monotonous and physically demanding tasks. Central to successful cooperation with AI systems is the qualification of employees. Wilhelm Bauer, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and Co-Head of the Future of Work and Human-Machine Interaction working group of Plattform Lernende Systeme, explains which skills are important in the AI age and how companies can qualify their employees to work with AI systems.

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3 Questions for Jessica Heesen

Artificial Intelligence is a powerful tool that can be used to improve processes and develop new products and services. Many things are technically possible. But with what goal do we want to use AI as a society? A broad socio-political discourse on this is necessary to create framework conditions within which technical applications can be successfully developed and implemented. Jessica Heesen explains in an interview how this can succeed. The philosopher and media ethicist heads the research focus on media ethics and information technology at the International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tübingen as well as the working group "IT Security, Privacy, Legal and Ethical Framework" of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

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3 Questions for Christoph Bieber

Social bots spreading false information on social networks, deep fakes or data abuse for voter manipulation - at the latest since the last presidential election in the USA, there has been discussion about the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) on opinion formation in the run-up to democratic elections. In this context, AI systems can also help detect so-called fake news on social media platforms or give people individual election recommendations according to their political attitudes. Political scientist Prof. Dr. Christoph Bieber explains what challenges and potential AI systems hold for democratic elections. He is head of the AI Governance project at the University of Duisburg-Essen and a member of the "IT Security, Privacy, Legal and Ethical Framework" working group of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

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3 Questions for Corina Apachiţe

Self-driving cars on the roads are only conceivable in a few years. Intermodal testing and learning is still underway. The trust that drivers place in AI-supported assistance systems is crucial for the acceptance of automated vehicles. In the application scenario 'On the Way to Intelligent Mobility' developed by Plattform Lernende Systeme, the interaction between the protagonist Carla and her automated vehicle works well. Dr Corina Apachiţe explains in an interview how trust is created and what challenges still exist. She heads the Artificial Intelligence department at Continental Automotive and is responsible for the overall technical strategy and operational implementation.

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3 Questions for Elisabeth André

More than four million people in Germany are currently dependent on nursing care, and their number will increase significantly in the coming years as a result of demographic developments. Some care tasks could be taken over by assistance robots in the future. Elisabeth André explains which tasks they are suitable for, to what extent their use is to the benefit of professionals and those in need of care, and what needs to be taken into account when developing care robots. She is Chair of Human-Centered Multimedia at the Interdisciplinary Institute of Informatics of the University of Augsburg. At Plattform Lernende Systeme, Elisabeth André heads the working group "Future of Work and Human-Machine Interaction"

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3 Questions for Jörn Müller-Quade

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can make our everyday lives easier, traffic safer and healthcare better. But realizing this potential requires trustworthy AI systems that people are happy to use. Certification of AI can increase trust in the technology. Jörn Müller-Quade explains what specifics need to be considered when certifying AI and why not all AI systems need to undergo testing. The professor researches cryptography and learning systems at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He is also head of the "IT Security" working group of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

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3 Questions for Oliver Suchy

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing our working world. AI systems can relieve employees of their tasks and streamline work processes. However, the introduction of the technology in companies is also associated with challenges. For it to be a success for both employees and companies, structured change management is required. Oliver Suchy explains what is involved and how companies can best prepare their employees for the change. He is head of the "Digital Working Worlds and Working World Reporting" department of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and a member of the Future of Work and Human-Machine Interaction working group of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

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3 Questions for Jürgen Beyerer

Self-learning robots and AI systems can provide support in space, in the deep sea or in the event of disasters - by exploring unexplored terrain or carrying out work in dangerous regions. To do this, the technical systems must act as autonomously as possible, but at the same time always remain under the ultimate control of humans. Jürgen Beyerer explains in this interview how these requirements can be implemented and where there is still a need for research. He is a professor of computer science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and director of the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB. At Plattform Lernende Systeme, he heads the "Hostile-to-life Environments” working group.

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3 Questions for Alexander Löser

Many SMEs are still reluctant to use Artificial Intelligence (AI). A first starting point is the analysis of their own value chain: Where and how can AI support them as a powerful computing tool? Professor Dr. Alexander Löser explains in an interview how SMEs can benefit from AI in concrete terms, what process steps are involved and why the introduction of AI requires a willingness to fail. He is the founder and spokesman of the Data Science Research Center at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and a member of the "Technological Enablers and Data Science" working group of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

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3 Questions for Kai-Uwe Sattler

Medical assistance systems, software for fraud detection or the predictive maintenance of industrial plants promise great benefits. Co-Author Kai-Uwe Sattler, Professor of Databases and Information Systems at the TU Ilmenau, explains why it is important to have the "right" data, what is meant by data engineering and what skills data science experts need. He is a member of the working group "Technological Pioneers and Data Science" of the Plattform Lernende Systeme and co-author of the white paper "From Data to AI".

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3 Questions for Jessica Heesen

Artificial Intelligence promises many beneficial applications. The extent to which these are actually realised depends largely on whether people have confidence in the technology. What challenges arise for the responsible development and application of AI systems? According to which criteria should they be implemented? And what can companies do to apply AI without discrimination? Answers to these questions can be found in a guideline that was developed by the IT Security, Privacy, Law and Ethics working group of Plattform Lernende Systeme under the direction of Jessica Heesen.

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3 Questions for Svenja Falk

Companies must enrich their physical products with intelligent services and change their business models accordingly in order to remain internationally competitive. This requires new forms of cooperation in so-called digital value-added networks. Svenja Falk, Managing Director at Accenture Research, explains the advantages of these networks and why data- and AI-driven applications are also interesting for SMEs.

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3 Questions for Olga Mordvinova

In the age of digitalisation, data are considered treasures, the value of which many companies are not yet aware of. Through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, they can be made usable - even for small and medium-sized companies. Olga Mordvinova, founder and managing director of the AI start-up incontext.technology GmbH, explains how intelligent data analysis can support them in improving existing processes or developing new business models.

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3 Questions for Sören Kerner

Logistics is a highly complex and networked system, which is today still mostly optimized manually, both within and across companies - and is quickly impaired in the event of unforeseen events. Sören Kerner, head of the Automation and Embedded Systems department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, explains how logistics processes can be optimized with the help of AI and what obstacles currently stand in the way.

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3 Questions for Frank Kirchner

Artificial Intelligence methods can contribute in many ways to meeting current challenges of the corona pandemic. Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchner, head of the Robotics Innovation Center at the Bremen site of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), provides an overview of potential applications, practical limitations and important research priorities. 

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3 Questions for Thomas Schauf

Thomas Schauf, Senior Expert Public and Regulatory Affairs at Deutsche Telekom AG, together with other members of Plattform Lernende Systeme, has examined data management and IT security when using AI in medicine in a current white paper. In our interview he explains how patient data can be protected and how access to sensitive information can be regulated.

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3 Questions for Katharina Morik

How can Europe move forward in the global race for technological leadership in Artificial Intelligence? Katharina Morik, Professor for Artificial Intelligence at the TU Dortmund University and member of the Plattform Lernende Systeme, coordinates the cooperation of the AI competence centres in Germany and France on the German side. In our interview, she explains why European countries need to join forces in AI research.

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3 Questions for Ulf Brefeld

Data Scientists are desperately sought. The Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (Society for Computer Science) has defined the skills that need to be taught at colleges and universities, but also through further education courses. (GI) in cooperation with Plattform Lernende Systeme. Co-author Ulf Brefeld from the Leuphana University of Lüneburg explains why the target groups are very different.

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3 Questions for Susanne Boll-Westermann

Digitisation is not an end in itself for SMEs, but a prerequisite for them to operate successfully in an increasingly networked economy. Many small and medium-sized companies still lack clear ideas about how they should approach the future topic of Artificial Intelligence for themselves. Susanne Boll-Westermann from the University of Oldenburg explains which questions they should ask themselves and why networking with other players is so important.

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3 Questions for Andreas Liebl

The intelligent use and linking of data enables new forms of entrepreneurial cooperation and completely new business models. In the future, products and services can be adapted to the individual wishes and needs of customers. This raises the question for companies: How can they use AI for their business or develop new AI-based business models? Our member Andreas Liebl provides answers to these questions.

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3 Questions for Elsa A. Kirchner

Self-learning systems will penetrate our everyday life in the coming years, and skilled workers are already desperately needed. Reason enough for young people to think about doing "something with AI" in their careers. Our member Elsa A. explains why the topic is fascinating and what is important in AI development. Kirchner on the occasion of the nationwide Girl's Day.

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3 Questions for Regina Ammicht Quinn

Regina Ammicht Quinn, spokeswoman of the International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, explains in an interview on the occasion of International Women's Day why diversity in AI research and development is an important prerequisite for gender equality and what is still needed to achieve this.

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Holger Hanselka
©Andrea Fabry

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3 Questions for Holger Hanselka

Phishing mails, false online requests or fake news - on Safer Internet Day the focus is on security in the network and of IT systems. In an interview, Holger Hanselka, steering committee member of Plattform Lernende Systeme and President of KIT, explains how AI can improve IT security and where it opens up entry points for new threats.

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