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Source: Volkswagen Foundation15. Dec 20What opportunities does AI offer? Where are the risks? And above all: What do new technologies mean for society – and for each individual? To answer these questions, which consider not only the technical but also the ethical, moral and normative consequences of developments, science must also contribute. So that technical and social sciences can bundle their competencies for this purpose, the Volkswagen Foundation is creating the framework for interdisciplinary research networks with its funding initiative “Artificial Intelligence – Its Effects on Tomorrow’s Society” and, through interdisciplinary cooperation, enables changes of perspective that open up new insights and possible solutions. In the second round of approval for the initiative, the foundation’s board of trustees approved eight of the 17 projects that had been proposed for this initiative. In the interdisciplinary research groups, scientists from, for example, law, language and social sciences, as well as computer science, medicine, philosophy and cybersecurity have come together. The projects are designed to run for three to four years and each receive around 1.5 million euros in funding. The projects are dedicated to areas in which AI systems are already in use or will be used in the future, such as health care, social welfare systems, urban and traffic planning or incorrect information and opinion formation in social media. Overview of the eight approved projects Explainable Intelligent Systems (EIS) disciplines: Computer science, philosophy, psychology and law The project is about the explainability of AI-based decisions and thus one of the key questions of the use of AI systems in society. Prof. Dr. Lena Kästner, Prof. Dr. Georg Borges, Prof. Dr. Ulla Wessels, Dr. Markus Langer, Prof. Dr. Holger Hermanns, all Saarland University; Prof. Dr. Eva Schmidt, Technische Universität Dortmund Reclaiming Individual Autonomy and Democratic Discourse Online: How to Rebalance Human and Algorithmic Decision Making Disciplines: Psychology, Computer Science, Educational Research and Cybersecurity The research project focuses on targeted manipulation through false information on large Internet platforms and on the development of transparent information architectures. Project participants: Prof. Dr. Ralph Hertwig, Dr. Stefan Herzog, both Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin; Prof. Dr. Tina Eliassi-Rad, Northeastern University, Boston / USA; Prof. Stephan Lewandowsky, PhD, Prof. Dr. Awais Rashid, both University of Bristol, Bristol / Great Britain Human-AI-Interaction in Healthcare: Identifying Factors Contributing to Clinical Utility Disciplines: Psychology, Computer Science, Medicine The project focuses on the optimization of human-AI interactions in health care, among others in terms of improving patient safety. Project participants: PD Dr. Eva Lermer, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich; Dr. Marzyeh Ghassemi, University of Toronto, Toronto / Canada; Dr. Andreas Schicho, University Hospital Regensburg Bots Building Bridges (3B): Theoretical, Empirical, and Technological Foundations for Systems that Monitor and Support Political Deliberation Online Disciplines: Computer Science, Social Sciences, Psychology The project aims to develop tools and methods for identifying and operating manipulative “social bots” aims at strategies for possible countermeasures to support the free formation of political opinion on the Internet. Project participants: Prof. Dr. Philipp Cimiano, Prof. Dr. Elena Esposito, both Bielefeld University; Dr. Robert Ackland, Australian National University, Canberra / Australia; Prof. Dr. Udo Seelmeyer, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences; Prof. Dr. Tony Veale, University College Dublin, Dublin / Ireland Deliberation Laboratory (DeLab) Disciplines: Social Sciences, Philosophy, Sociology, Linguistics With the DeLab, the project aims at an AI intervention system with which constructive, sensible and responsible communication in social media across cultural boundaries Project participants: Dr. Valentin Gold, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen; Prof. Dr. John Parkinson, Maastricht University / Netherlands; Dr. Katarzyna Budzynska, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw / Poland; Prof. Chris Reed, Ph.D., University of Dundee, Dundee / Great Britain; Dr. Annette Hautli-Janisz, University of KonstanzConsequences of Artificial Intelligence for Urban Societies (CAIUS) Using Impact-Aware AI to Make Smart Cities Socially EquitableDisciplines: Social Sciences, Computer Science, Information SciencesThe project examines the opportunities and risks for the use of intelligent systems in urban and transport planning. Project participants: Prof. Dr. Kai Eckert, University of the Media, Stuttgart; Prof. Dr. Frauke Kreuter, Dr. Ruben Bach, Dr. Christoph Kern, Prof. Dr. Heiner Stuckenschmidt, all University of Mannheim AI FORA – Artificial Intelligence for Assessment Disciplines: Social Sciences, Sociology, Computer Science The project examines the status quo of AI-based social assessment, which underlies the distribution of public services. The findings should enable better AI technologies for social welfare systems. Project participants: Prof. Dr. Petra Ahrweiler, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; Prof. Dr. George Kampis, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH, Kaiserslautern; Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André, University of Augsburg, Prof. Nigel Gilbert, Ph.D., University of Surrey, Surrey / Great Britain; Dr. Alexandra Penn, CECAN Center for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus, Guildford / Great Britain Towards a Science of Curiosity Disciplines: Computer Science, Educational Research The aim of the project is to understand how children explore their environment in order to use a theory of childlike curiosity to develop this behavior in computer algorithms implement. This could result in robots that show a similar learning behavior. Project participants: Dr. Eric Schulz, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics; Dr. Georg Martius, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen location; Prof. Dr. Azzurra Ruggeri, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

You can find more information on the funding initiative “Artificial Intelligence – Its Effects on Tomorrow’s Society” at www.volkswagenstiftung.de/kuenstliche-intellektiven

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