Facts instead of myths: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft hosts specialist conference on artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) and self-learning systems will become the drivers of industry in the coming years and will at the same time change many realms of society. Ensuring Germany’s competitiveness in this next stage of digital transformation requires an economy that is strong on innovation, research that is application-oriented, the appropriate framework, and societal dialogue. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, in cooperation with Germany’s digital association Bitkom, invited stakeholders to Artificial Intelligence Day, a networking event held in Berlin on 29 November.

“Artificial intelligence is making quantum leap progress and bringing radical change to our entire work and living environments”, said Mr Reimund Neugebauer, President of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, in his keynote speech at the Fraunhofer-Forum Berlin. “Putting Germany in the technology leadership over the long term requires not only technological solutions and new business models, but also a dialogue with society. After all, we must mobilise our AI potential and prepare the public for the changes to come.” This is exactly what the experts from different Fraunhofer institutes set out to do at the conference when they presented the latest research in their fields and the opportunities which the various applications in AI hold for industry and business. They also did away with some prevailing myths, for example that the decisions which AI systems make are more neutral and objective than those of humans, or that AI systems will soon be able to set their own goals and develop their own consciousness.

“The Plattform Lernende Systeme launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2017 will play a major role in the public debate in Germany about AI”, said Mr Neugebauer, who also serves as member of the Platform’s steering committee. “Germany is a pioneer in the field of AI, but there are many unanswered research questions and a need for discussion about which applications are feasible and desirable.” The Plattform Lernende Systeme brings together AI experts from science, industry, politics and civil society. As members in the platform’s working groups they develop potential courses of action and recommendations for the responsible utilization of self-learning systems.

The conference concluded with specialist workshops about solutions and developments in the application fields of medicine, Industry 4.0, energy and mobility. The event was hosted by the Fraunhofer Information and Communication Technology Group and Fraunhofer Big Data Alliance in cooperation with Germany’s Digital Association Bitkom. The conference introduced a new study on the potential and applications for artificial intelligence [Zukunftsmarkt Künstliche Intelligenz - Potenziale und Anwendungen] which is available for download at https://www.bigdata.fraunhofer.de/ki-potenzialanalyse (in German).

Further information:

Birgit Obermeier / Linda Treugut
Press and Public Relations

Lernende Systeme – Germany's Platform for Artificial Intelligence
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