AI recommendations for the German government
Outstanding researchers approach Berlin with a clear message
Outstanding AI researchers have approached the German government with seven recommendations for artificial intelligence. These recommendations were drafted and approved unanimously during the summit of Alexander von Humboldt Professors in AI at RWTH Aachen. One of the initiators was Prof. Dr. Vincent C. Müller, who conducts research into AI and ethics at FAU.
The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is the most prestigious German research prize and is only awarded to top researchers who are internationally active and are pioneers in their field. In Germany, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorships for Artificial Intelligence are an important component of the German government’s AI strategy, “which is why we are hoping for positive feedback and a good response to our suggestions,” says Humboldt professor Holger Hoos, from RWTH Aachen. The proposals range from general suggestions (“funding for AI research in Germany on the basis of a broad view of artificial intelligence”) to very specific proposals such as building AI computing and data centers as critical components of sustainable, AI-based innovation. According to the experts, expanding existing infrastructure is not enough.
“A few weeks ago,” explains Hoos, “the German government announced investments in AI.” The details are not yet known, but the researchers hope that the Aachen recommendations will provide valuable input in order to ensure that financial aid is used as efficiently as possible, “to avoid slipping further behind China and the USA.”
Seven recommendations for the German government on artificial intelligence (AI)
The following recommendations were drafted and approved unanimously by all professors attending the summit of Alexander von Humboldt Professors in AI, organized by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the end of September in Aachen.
- Funding for AI research in Germany based on a broad view of artificial intelligence that also includes relevant non-technical disciplines (such as cognition services, sciences, social sciences, ethics).
- Ensuring technological independence in the area of AI, a crucial aspect for our economy and society. Very sizable investments will be required at the national and EU level if these goals are to be met. These expenses ought to be equivalent to the investments in the USA and China.
- Funding large, dedicated AI computing and data centers as critical components of sustainable, AI-based innovation. Simply expanding the existing high-performance computing infrastructure is not a feasible option, as structural and operational requirements differ considerably.
- Continuing funding for the Alexander von Humboldt Professorships for Artificial Intelligence. It should be ensured that a greater variety of candidates are suggested and accepted for appointment, in particular candidates who are not German.
- Funding additional ERC research projects. Each year there are a number of AI-related ERC research applications that are assessed as worthy of funding (“over the threshold”) but cannot be funded for budget reasons. We suggest funding these applications in a non-bureaucratic way, providing the funds are spent within a German research institution.
- Creating structures that ensure that the government’s measures and strategies in the area of AI are influenced by a wider number of researchers in AI (e.g. by establishing a new standing committee or advisory board) and implemented efficiently. These structures should be based at a high level of government (minister or secretary of state), in order to ensure they have adequate power to be responsive, take action and make decisions.
- Advice for the German government from the Alexander von Humboldt Professors of AI (e.g. for the efficient and effective structuring of AI funding). This group of leading researchers are global leaders in the area of AI and also have a broad base of experience gained through many years of working abroad. We are ready!
The 19 researchers named below, all leading experts in their field and representative of all areas of AI according to Professor Holger Hoos, drafted and signed the recommendations:
- Prof. Dr. Wil van der Aalst (Process and Data Science, RWTH Aachen University),
- Prof. Dr. Oliver Brock (Robotics, TUBerlin),
- Prof. Dr. Samarjit Chakraborty (Sustainable Computing, planned), Universität Passau
- Prof. Dr. Peter Dayan (Artificial Intelligence and Neurosciences, University of Tübingen, and Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics)
- Prof. Dr. Hector Geffner (Machine Learning and Reasoning, RWTH Aachen University)
- Prof. Dr. Holger Hoos (AI Methodology, RWTH Aachen University)
- Prof. Dr. Yaochu Jin (Nature-Inspired Artificial Intelligence, Bielefeld University)
- Prof. Dr. Vincent C. Müller (Theory and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, FAU Nürnberg)
- Prof. Dr. Sayan Mukherjee (Artificial Intelligence, Leipzig University and Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences)
- Prof. Dr. André Platzer (Logic of Autonomous Dynamical Systems, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
- Prof. Dr. Marcus Rohrbach (Multimodal Reliable AI, Technische Universität Darmstadt)
- Prof. Dr. Daniel Rückert (AI in Medicine, Technical University of Munich)
- Prof. Dr. Angela Schoellig (Robotics and AI, Technical University of Munich)
- Prof. Dr. Suvrit Sra (Artificial Intelligence, Technical University of Munich)
- Prof. Dr. Radu Timofte (Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision, University of Würzburg)
- Prof. Dr. Heike Vallery (Artificial Intelligence in Control and Automation Engineering, RWTH Aachen University)
- Prof. Dr. Ingmar Weber (Artificial Intelligence and Societal Computing, Saarland University)
- Prof. Dr. Aimee van Wynsberghe (Applied Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, University of Bonn)
- Prof. Dr. Angela Yu (Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience, TU Darmstadt)
Prof. Dr. Vincent C. Müller
Chair of Theory and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (Alexander von Humboldt Professorship)
Phone: +49 9131 85 71170