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Government Supports Bremen as Scientific Location

The government and state initiative “Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education” is supporting two University of Bremen projects. By doing so, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is strengthening Bremen’s position as a scientific location in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).

The IMPACT network (“Implementierung von KI-basiertem Feedback und Assessment mit Trusted Learning Analytics in Hochschulen”) works on the (partially) automatized analysis of texts. In the student life cycle, prospective students, new students, and students are to receive text-based, highly informative, and personalized feedback regarding their work during the beginning orientation phase, their degree, and at the end. Under the lead of the Goethe University Frankfurt, the project also includes the University of Bremen, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the FernUniversität in Hagen.  
The sub-project in Bremen is being led by the university’s Chief Digital Office, Professor Andreas Breiter, and Dr. Christina Gloerfeld. Andreas Breiter is pleased that he can implement new methods together with the other universities in the network and that this supports students and teaching staff in all subject fields. “The ethical, legal, and social implications of AI implementation are particularly important to us. In this project, we will shape AI in a data-protection-friendly and user-centered manner.” The project will receive a total of 5 million euros in funding.

Development of Robotic Learning Systems for Universities

The interface between robotics and artificial intelligence - also known as cognitive robotics - will play an important role in the management of societal challenges in the future. Intelligent robotic systems can, for example, take on central functions in the health sector and support physically impaired people in their own home. One requirement for this is not only the further scientific development of such technologies but also the training of specialists and early-career researchers. The University of Bremen is expanding its outstanding position in this area: The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has granted the university around 2 million euros in funding for the development of a comprehensive learning system.

The project entitled “Integrierte Lernumgebung für kognitive Robotik” (IntEL4CoRo) follows the approach of skills-oriented teaching. This means that students are enabled to apply their knowledge and develop it autonomously. The researchers from the University of Bremen that are being led by Professor Michael Beetz and Dr. Yildiray Ogurol want to achieve this by integrating practical elements into their learning environment. For example, students are to work intensely with control systems for robots and physics-based simulations. This is to help in illustrating the concepts taught in class. At the same time, the students test their acquired knowledge by further developing the learning system themselves. Research teams from the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IAI) and the Center for Multimedia in Higher Education (ZMML) have been combined for this purpose. They are being supported by the Center for Networks (ZfN) at the university, as well as the Cognitive Systems Lab (CSL), the Virtual Academy of Sustainability (VAN), the Public Health degree course and the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI).

The learning system is being created for the realization of final theses, team-based software development projects, and robot competitions. All the work that is realized with the system is to be able to be transferred to real robots. The system itself will be an open-source project so that all interested parties can work on it or develop their own versions.

“Bundled Know-How in AI Research”

“I am very pleased about this funding for our university,” says the President, Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter. “The university is one of the global leaders in AI research.” Only recently, did the Collaborative Research Center EASE - Everyday Activity Science and Engineering receive a further four years of funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG). “We have bundled know-how here so that we can foster the digitalization in higher education with the help of artificial intelligence.”

The Senator for Science and Ports, Dr. Claudia Schilling: “Thanks to the acceleration of the technological transformation and digitalization, which was also triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the training of AI experts has become particularly urgent. At the same time, the implementation of AI-based technology can improve the quality, performance abilities, and efficacy of university education. The consideration of ethical aspects is an important prerequisite for the acceptance and successful usage of AI in higher education and is significant to us in Bremen. That is why I am extremely pleased that both the acquisition of skills, as well as the use of AI in university teaching are being looked at more closely in terms of ethical, legal, and social significance within the aforementioned projects. By doing this, the outstanding research strength of Bremen in AI-based and cognition-inspired robotics is being optimally expanded on and the AI ecosystem is growing its foundations.”

About the Government and State Initiative “Künstliche Intelligenz in der Hochschulbildung”

With the funding initiative, which has access to 133 million euros and covers 81 universities in Germany, the government and states are trying to effectively roll out the key technology that is AI across the breadth of the higher education system, stated the Joint Science Conference (GWK).  In total, 40 individual university projects and 14 network projects involving several universities are being supported.  On the one hand, the focus is on the measures that contribute to the qualification of future academics. In this way, universities are supported in the development of degree courses or individual modules in the field of artificial intelligence. On the other hand, universities are being supported in the creation of AI-based learning and exam environments. The chosen projects will most probably be funded from December 2021 for up to four years. The maximum funding amount for individual projects is two million euros and five million euros for network projects.

Further Information:

Read the GWK’s press release: www.gwk-bonn.de/presseaktuelles/pressemitteilungen

https://ai.uni-bremen.de/

https://www.uni-bremen.de/universitaet/organisation/chief-digital-officer-cdo


Contact:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter
Chief Digital Officer
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-56570
Email: cdouni-bremen.de   

Prof. Dr. Michael Beetz
Institute for Artificial Intelligence
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-64000
Email: ai-officecs.uni-bremen.de  

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