Working life of the future: Science Year 2018 kicks off

Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka opened “Science Year 2018 – Working life of the future” on 19 February at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Berlin. The Plattform Lernende Systeme and the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) are involved in a variety of formats.

“We want to see a future where humans steer and control progress, not vice versa. One where the human is able to manage the changes in the working world. Education and research are key here”, said Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka at the kick-off event for the Science Year. She continued to say: “We must now focus our efforts on preparing humans for the working life of the future by adapting and developing vocational skills. If we succeed in that endeavour, our goal of full employment in Germany is entirely feasible.” The Science Years are a joint initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Science in Dialogue (WiD). Their purpose is to present research findings to the public and promote a dialogue with society.

The digital transformation and the associated developments in artificial intelligence are the drivers of the changes in the world of work. According to Henning Kagermann, President of acatech, the goal must be to reap greater prosperity and more good work from this transformation. This will call for new, flexible forms of cooperation, lifelong learning and future-focused participative processes in companies. “We must give people more credit and integrate them as capable workers in the shaping of the world of work”, said Mr Kagermann at the event. Mr Kagermann and acatech President Dieter Spath are members of the 2018 Science Year steering committee.

The Plattform Lernende Systeme, co-chaired by Federal Minister Johanna Wanka and Dieter Spath, has a working group “Future of Work and Human-Machine Interaction” which focuses on the ways in which artificial intelligence will change the world of work. Issues include: What skills will be required for the development and operation of self-learning systems? How can workers be prepared for this task? How must the systems be designed so that human-machine interaction works to the benefit of humans, relieving them and supporting them in their work tasks? The working group, headed by Elisabeth André (Augsburg University) and Wilhelm Bauer (Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO), is currently drawing up concrete application scenarios. Representatives of the Plattform Lernende Systeme will be providing their expertise through a variety of formats in a public debate on these questions during the Science Year.

For more information on Science Year 2018 go to

Further information:

Birgit Obermeier / Linda Treugut
Press and Public Relations

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