Artificial intelligence: Advice and action for an intelligent Bavaria

May 20, 2021 | Three experts from Fraunhofer IIS have been appointed to the Bavarian Council on AI

Bavaria has set its sights on becoming a hotspot for artificial intelligence (AI). To this end, the State Government established the Bavarian Council on AI. It is chaired by Prof. Sami Haddadin, Director of the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM). The body’s 21 members have been drawn from various fields. High-caliber experts from universities, non-university research institutions and industry are pooling their know-how and resources to advance Bavaria’s High-Tech Agenda in the field of AI through intensive cooperation in a dense network.

Professional exchange and jointly initiated strategies and measures should result in sustainable projects for the benefit of science and industry and turn a global spotlight on the full range of AI expertise in Bavaria. The slogan “Leveraging our Strengths through Unity and Diversity of the Network,” with people at the center of AI research, neatly sums up this Bavarian State Government initiative. The goal is to establish “AI made in Bavaria” as an international seal of approval for the quality of Bavarian AI research.

Fraunhofer IIS is represented on the Council on AI by three experts who each contribute their various skills and research focus areas.

Data analytics and AI algorithms for industry

Institute Director Prof. Alexander Martin represents the field of non-university research, which addresses efficient AI infrastructure as well as data and application issues. “Artificial intelligence will be one of the technologies driving the future, and it will have an enormous impact on our society, economy and industry. In terms of content, I see particular challenges and opportunities in the sovereignty and sustainability of data and AI algorithms – and this is an area in which the Council on AI can provide impetus,” Martin says of his new task. He leads the ADA Lovelace Center for Analytics, Data and Applications, which provides unique infrastructure for connecting AI research and AI applications with industry. Martin is also a Professor of Economics, Discrete Optimization and Mathematics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

© Fraunhofer IIS
Prof. Dr. Alexander Martin focuses on data analytics and AI algorithms for industry.

Artificial intelligence in the scientific community

Prof. Ute Schmid, Head of the Project Group for Comprehensible AI at Fraunhofer IIS and Head of the Cognitive Systems Group at the University of Bamberg, and Prof. Dr. Thomas Seidl, Head of Group for Database Systems and Data Mining at LMU Munich and Co-Director of the ADA Lovelace Center at Fraunhofer IIS, have both been appointed as Council members representing universities. Their central areas of responsibility are to connect the new AI professorships, establish a research network and train young AI researchers. “I feel it’s important for AI research in Bavaria to be of the highest quality and for the work of Bavarian scientists to be internationally visible and recognized. In addition, I’d like to help embed AI methods in socio-technical contexts in a way that means AI systems enhance and promote human expertise, rather than humans relinquishing control to AI systems,” Schmid says.

Prof. Ute Schmid
© Ute Schmid
Prof. Ute Schmid makes sure that humans are the focus of AI.

Seidl adds: “As a representative of universities, I want to play a part in increasing the depth of networking among universities, research institutions and companies, which will strengthen their power of initiative. What’s more, education in AI core subjects and AI application areas will provide the Bavarian economy with new generations of experts and lead to further significant scientific and social successes in international competition.”

All three institute representatives are pleased to have been appointed and see it as an appreciation of their scientific merits in AI research. Their involvement in the Council on AI is centered on supporting technological progress in Bavaria with their research at Fraunhofer IIS and at their respective universities, contributing to the common good and assuming social responsibility.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Seidl
© Thomas Seidl
Prof. Thomas Seidl wants to play a part in increasing the depth of networking among universities, research institutions and companies.

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