Press Release 086/2021

KIT Science Week: The Human Being in the Center of Learning Systems

For a Week, Karlsruhe Will Focus on AI – Science, Industry, Politics, and the Society Will Meet
The KIT Science Week is a new participative and interactive type of event launched by KIT and its partners. (Graphics: KIT)
The KIT Science Week is a new participative and interactive type of event launched by KIT and its partners. (Graphics: KIT)

Robots taking over assembly tasks, assistance systems supporting the diagnosis of diseases, self-driving cars: Learning systems are increasingly becoming parts of our lives. Consequently, the first KIT Science Week headed “Der Mensch im Zentrum Lernender Systeme” (The Human Being in the Center of Learning Systems) will focus on artificial intelligence (AI). The new type of event organized by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) from October 5 to 10, 2021 will combine a scientific conference for top-level international researchers discussing the development of dependable, tangible, and adaptable human-inspired AI technologies with dialog events for close exchange with citizens.

“Excellent science needs dialog. We do not only need exchange within the science community, but also with society. Global challenges, such as the energy and mobility transition, climate protection, or digitization can only be managed by us all together,” says the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka. “At KIT, we conduct research for the society. This also means discussing with people outside of KIT, and taking up and addressing their ideas. This is exactly what we want to do during the KIT Science Week.”

The KIT Science Week is a new participative and interactive type of event launched by KIT and its partners. It will give experts from science, industry, politics, and culture the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions. In addition, citizens of the city and region are invited to join innovative online events, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or escape rooms. During visits of the laboratories of KIT, workshops or dialog events, they can experience artificial intelligence and applications of AI-based technologies and innovations. Prominently staffed panels, citizens dialogs, ZAK Talks, and the TEDxKIT event will provide the opportunity to ask questions and to reflect on opportunities and risks associated with learning systems. The KIT Science Week, as a combination of a scientific conference with public events, addresses both scientific experts and interested citizens.

“With the KIT Science Week, we are deliberately going new ways in the transfer of knowledge and technologies as well as in the dialog between public and science,” says Professor Thomas Hirth, KIT Vice-President for Innovation and International Affairs. “For the first time, we will combine a scientific conference of leading researchers from all over the world with events for active participation of citizens.”


Selected Events

Opening of the KIT Science Week with a Keynote by Human-computer Interaction Expert Susanne Boll
on Tuesday, October 05, 2021, 18.00 to 21.00 hrs

Artificial intelligence is a technology changing everything. Which new opportunities for society are opened up by AI? First answers will be given by Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT, Thomas Strobl, Deputy Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg, and Gabriele Luczak-Schwarz, First Mayoress of the City of Karlsruhe. The program will be complemented by a talk of Professor Susanne Boll, renowned scientist and human-computer interaction expert. She is professor at the University of Oldenburg and studies the development of interactive technologies for the benefit of humans in increasingly automated and AI-based living and working situations. After her speech, Susanne Boll will answer questions of the audience.

For more information and registration, click: www.scienceweek.kit.edu/english/423.php

Panel Discussion: “AI, Take Over! How Much Control Does Artificial Intelligence Need?”
on Thursday, October 7, 2021, 18.00 hrs

Artificial intelligence is taking effect everywhere. What are the consequences for humans? Where does AI reach its limits? How much control does it need? And not least: How do we ethically analyze the potentials of this new future-oriented technology? At the discussion, Sascha Lobo, net activist, blogger, and expert for digitization of industry and society, will explain why AI, in his opinion, is strongly underestimated and why it is overestimated what AI means in the context of digitization, how AI is used by digital economy, and how AI is changing the world. Then, the panel of Cawa Younosi, Head of HR of SAP Germany, Dr. Anna Christmann, Spokeswoman for Innovation and Technology Policies for Bündnis 90/Die GRÜNEN at the German federal parliament, Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT and Member of the Steering Committee of the Learning Systems Platform established by the federal government, and Professor Barbara Deml, Head of the Institute of Human and Industrial Engineering of KIT, will discuss latest AI developments from the scientific and economic perspectives.

For more information and registration, click: www.scienceweek.kit.edu/english/panel-discussion.php


Citizens Dialog “Künstliche Intelligenz in unserem Alltag“
on Saturday, October 9, 2021, 10.00 to 17.00 hrs

How is artificial intelligence received by citizens? What do they like to know about applications of AI? Which hopes, expectations, and concerns do they associate with this technology? The citizens dialog “Künstliche Intelligenz in unserem Alltag“ (artificial intelligence in our everyday life) looks of answers. It is organized by KIT’s Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) and will take place at the TRIANGEL Open Space (Kaiserstraße 93). The participants are invited to express their opinions and expectations in the areas of energy supply, autonomous driving, and robotics and to exchange their opinions with other citizens and experts.

For further information and registration until Sunday, October 3, 2021, click www.itas.kit.edu/buergerdialog.php (in German)


ZAK Talks: Public Symposium, Matinee, ARTE Film Night, and Reading

The ZAK Talks will focus on the question of how AI technologies can help the society and will also consider potential negative impacts and desired scenarios. Interdisciplinary presentations and discussions at IHK Karlsruhe, an ARTE Film Night at ZKM Karlsruhe, and a reading at the Baden State Theater in Karlsruhe organized by ZAK I Center for Cultural and General Studies of KIT will cover the topic of artificial intelligence in discursive and artistic-esthetic ways.

For further information and registration, click: www.zak.kit.edu/zak_talks (in German)


According to the latest Corona Ordinance of the State of Baden-Württemberg, a 3G proof will be required for admission. Please wear a mask during the complete event.

Further information on the KIT Science Week www.scienceweek.kit.edu/english/index.php

For the program, click: www.scienceweek.kit.edu/english/program.php

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

swi, 28.09.2021
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Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Sandra Wiebe
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41172
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