21.02.2019

Artificial Intelligence Determines the Living and Working Environment of Tomorrow

FZI Open House experiences attendance record / The FZI demonstrates facets of applied AI research / Panel discussion gives impulses for the Baden-Württemberg innovation culture / Transfer forums on “human-robot collaboration”, “virtual reality”, “safety and security in the vehicle”, “data, information and knowledge”, and “applied artificial intelligence”

Source: FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik / Eidens-Holl

Karlsruhe, 21.02.2019 – Over 300 guests accepted the invitation of the FZI Research Center for Information Technology and came to Karlsruhe. At the FZI Open House on February 21, they could inform themselves about the current scientific work and projects of the Karlsruhe research institute. The great number of visitors shows how current the topic of “applied artificial intelligence” is for the guests from industry, politics and society. At the fourth edition of the format at the FZI House of Living Labs, the focus was set on self-learning methods and machine learning. The Karlsruhe researchers and the lecturers showed their expertise in applied artificial intelligence.

AI can be a dominant competitive factor for small and medium-sized companies today

The member of the FZI’s Board of Executive Directors Jan Wiesenberger opened the event and emphasised the importance of AI for the German economy and society: “It has been a long time since artificial intelligence is no niche topic anymore. It is not also relevant for companies, but it also affects each of us and arrived in our daily, work and private life. For small and medium-sized companies, the implementation of AI in applications and processes can be a dominant competitive factor and trendsetting today. At today’s FZI Open House, we will show that the FZI is a strong partner in AI research and that in various fields.” Andreas Hartl, head of division of “Künstliche Intelligenz, Datenökonomie” (artificial intelligence, data economics) at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, presented subsequently in a keynote speech the AI strategy of the Federal Government. Hartl explained the plan, which also intends to establish “AI made in Germany” as a globally respected quality seal. The BMWi (German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) also focussed a close networking of the industry within Europe. Thereby, he refers to the “Franco-German Manifesto on Industrial Policy”, which was adopted by the German Federal Minister Altmeier and his French counterpart Le Maire in Berlin on Tuesday, stating that it has great relevance for Baden-Württemberg with its proximity to France.

Top-class lecturers throw light on AI research from various perspectives

The guests had the opportunity to inform themselves about trends and developments in AI and to convince themselves of the FZI’s research in many ways: In five transfer forums titled “human-robot collaboration”, “virtual reality”, “safety and security in the vehicle”, “data, information and knowledge” and “applied artificial intelligence”, the forum which was equivalent to the motto of the day, researchers of the FZI reported on scenarios, in which companies can benefit from using AI applications. In addition, the FZI was able to gain high-level, international representatives from industrial groups, medium-sized companies and the start-up environment, with which the FZI cooperates in the development of ICT solutions, as lecturers. From a group perspective, amongst others, Dr. Fabian Fürst from Opel, Dr. Valentin Zacharias from Daimler and Dr. Peter Schlicht from Volkswagen, gave an insight into the use of AI in their homes. Dr. Jose Medina from Franka Emika and Rico Knapper from anacision contributed impulses in their lectures from start-up perspectives.

Research up close in the FZI Living Labs

At the same time, the eight FZI Living Labs were open to all guests. They could inform themselves about current research topics in conversations with researchers of the FZI there and experience the research of the FZI up close on various interactive demonstrators. By means of virtual reality, they could move around the FZI House of Living Labs or dive into the digital twin of a plant, in which production processes can be tested without affecting the ongoing operation. Eventually, the guests had the opportunity to discuss project ideas with division and department managers of the FZI, this year in the new expert discussions format.

Baden-Württemberg innovation culture put to the test bench

The FZI concluded the day with a panel discussion on the innovation culture of Baden-Württemberg in the worldwide comparison with the USA, China and Israel. Dr. Wolfgang Fischer, divisional head of projects and cluster of the innovation agency e-mobil BW, Oliver Winzenried, CEO of Wibu-Systems, divison manager of the FZI and historian Dr. Thomas Meyer, who has been working in large joint projects for many years and Philip Kessler from the Karlsruhe start-up understand.ai, discussed about this topic. The circle noticed that political and social frameworks play a decisive role in shaping innovation cultures. In Baden-Württemberg, it is also historically evolved structures that currently bring an orientation in many SMEs to the regional and national market with them. In contrast, due to their small home market, Israeli start-ups would normally think right from the beginning supra-regionally and globally and also the activities of US-American innovation companies would not only focus their own nation. Winzenried, who operates worldwide with branches in China, the USA and Japan, explained that he always counted on local staff in developing other markets, which were familiar with characteristics of the different countries. The panel participants discussed also about the transferability of other models on the German economy. Kessler interposed that all methods have their advantages and disadvantages and that every company thus has to find its own suitable path. Basically, he encouraged to continue to think big, in order to achieve ambitious goals and not to give up plans, like the creation of a European Google. Fischer noted that a presentation of the structural change through politics and stakeholder was important. Meyer agreed and emphasised that it was a simultaneous task of politics, business and research to create awareness in good economic times and to prepare measures. It would be necessary to make essential adjustments today, for a future-oriented medium-sized economy in Baden-Württemberg.

The complete programme of the FZI Open House with details on the lecture titles can be found at url.fzi.de/open-house. The next FZI Open House will take place in February 2020.

Image material for download can be found at www.fzi.de.

About the FZI Research Center for Information Technology

The FZI Research Center for Information Technology, with its head office in Karlsruhe and a branch office in Berlin, is a non-profit institution for applied research in information technology and technology transfer. Its task is to provide businesses and public institutions with the latest research findings in information technology. It also qualifies young researchers for their career in academics or business as well as self-employment. Led by professors from different faculties, research teams at the FZI interdisciplinarily develop and prototype concepts, software, hardware and system solutions for their clients. The FZI House of Living Labs provides a unique research environment for applied research. The FZI is the innovation partner of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Further information

Julia Feilen, Communications
FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik
Haid-und-Neu-Str. 10-14, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 721 9654-943
Email: feilen@fzi.de
Web: www.fzi.de/en

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