Plattform Lernende Systeme aims to put Germany at the top of the artificial intelligence league table

Germany is leading the way when it comes to researching and developing artificial intelligence (AI). If this expertise can be put to use quickly, Germany can secure global technological leadership and drive forward the responsible use of self-learning systems both at home and abroad. This is what the Steering Committee of Plattform Lernende Systeme – an initiative of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) – affirmed in its mission statement on 18 April.

©BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel

For many years, researchers in Germany working on artificial intelligence have been highly productive. According to the Steering Committee’s mission statement published in April, Plattform Lernende Systeme offers AI experts a place where they can collaborate and pool their expertise with an aim to transforming this know-how into marketable applications and tapping into the economic potential of self-learning systems.

“Self-learning systems and artificial intelligence help people tackle complex tasks in a safer and easier manner. Examples include accident-free automated and autonomous driving, more precise medical diagnoses and life-saving robots in emergency situations. In this respect, self-learning systems and artificial intelligence are the cause and catalyst for a leap in innovation that is already taking hold in the economy and wider society. Europe and Germany need to take the lead in shaping this development. This will enable us to retain our competitive position, quality of life and rates of employment,” says Elmar Degenhart, member of the Lernende Systeme Steering Committee and Chairman of the Executive Board at Continental, adding: “We still have a long way to go in terms of research and development to make self-learning systems available that are sufficiently reliable and benefit people in their everyday lives. What’s important for us is to ensure the resulting technology is used responsibly and to foster trust in its potential.”

The use of AI raises numerous social, ethical and legal questions. The platform is looking to discuss these aspects in a broad public dialogue. “If self-learning systems take on social tasks, they will also bear responsibility for ethical issues such as fair treatment and non-discrimination. Self-learning systems therefore need to be designed so that they are capable of benefiting society and making morally justifiable decisions. The autonomy of machines and systems should always come second to control and human welfare,” says Regina Ammicht Quinn, member of the platform’s Steering Committee and spokesperson for the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tübingen.

Self-learning systems help people in the workplace and the demands placed on employees are changing. Training and qualifications are consequently key when it comes to deploying artificial intelligence. In its mission statement, the platform expressed its commitment to enhancing skills for developing and handling self-learning systems. This will have an impact on the way employees are trained in companies, the way specialists are trained in data analytics and on the development of artificial intelligence study at universities. Moreover, the platform believes it is important to empower people so they can handle AI confidently and independently on a daily basis and contribute to discussions surrounding its effects on society.

The experts in the platform’s seven working groups develop specific scenarios from different areas of application such as mobility and healthcare in order to demonstrate the opportunities and risks that come with self-learning systems. In doing so, they seek to share ideas with other digitalisation and AI initiatives – both on a national and international level.

The Steering Committee constitutes the management level of Plattform Lernende Systeme, making decisions on content and strategy and shaping the focus of the platform. Its members include prestigious scientists and economists specialising in important subjects, disciplines and sectors in the field of self-learning systems. Further information is available here.

Read the mission statement.

Further information:

Linda Treugut / Birgit Obermeier
Press and Public Relations

Lernende Systeme – Germany's Platform for Artificial Intelligence
Managing Office | c/o acatech
Karolinenplatz 4 | 80333 Munich

T.: +49 89/52 03 09-54 /-51
M.: +49 172/144 58-47 /-39

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