2023 AI Week: Experts Discuss the Challenges and Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence

28/09/2023

It'd be hard to get much more expertise on artificial intelligence into one room!  No less than four of the German-based AI Humboldt Professorships were represented on Wednesday evening's stage at the very well-attended Digital Church in Aachen to exchange views on the future of AI.

 

Of course, when we talk about AI, the focus quickly turns to the risks, loss of control, a possible threat to the workplace and other fears. It falls to the experts to explain these risks and therefore also to reduce fears. As such, the safety and reliability of AI systems played a major part in the discussion - not least, it is a focus of the work of Humboldt Professor Holger Hoos, who researches and teaches at RWTH, to make AI systems accessible to non-experts. Aimee van Wynsberghe from the University of Bonn, an expert in the field of AI and ethics, also sat on the podium. But the more important topic of the evening was the great opportunities offered by AI. It will play a decisive role in all important fields of the future - in climate protection as well as in medicine, mobility and a sustainable lifestyle. The question "What can our society gain from AI?" excited the many visitors at least as much as the risks. The guests also asked whether the gap with the USA or China in AI expertise could still be made up. "Yes," said the experts, but "it will be a tour de force." A tour de force that will cost a lot of money. Among other things, new powerful computing capacities will have to be built.

In "Poster Sessions", the Digital Church was also a stage for young AI researchers who presented their projects and discussed them with the visitors. Mansi Sharma from the German Research Center for AI in Saarbrücken, for example, inspired visitors with a mind-reading machine - AI that recognizes an intention, whether it's which bar of chocolate on the supermarket shelf you're looking for or where you've misplaced the wrench in the workshop. It can be frustrating, he says, not to find what you're looking for - AI, he promises, could one day help with that.