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Expansion of cooperation with Japan – International Workshop on Augmentation & Amplification at DFKI

Under the scientific "Extending and strengthening the human cognitive faculty" a workshop was held at the DFKI in Kaiserslautern in mid-January. Around 80 scientists, including the leading heads of Japanese AI research, met there. The "International Workshop on Intelligence Augmentation and Amplification - IAA 2019" focused on networking and exchange between renowned researchers from both countries on relevant topics related to artificial intelligence (AI).

The background of the international meeting was the ambitions for joint research projects. Similar to programmes of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) also has a competitive research fund. The JST is currently running three programmes in this area on the topics of Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Information Processing and Symbiotic Interaction.

Prof. Dr. Salvatore Barbaro, State Secretary for Science in Rhineland-Palatinate, opened the top-class workshop: "Rhineland-Palatinate recognised the opportunities and potential of the future technology of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at a very early stage and identified this field of research as a strategic priority topic for itself. With the DFKI in Kaiserslautern, Artificial Intelligence has found a centre with significance throughout Germany and Europe. With its many years of expertise in the field of AI research, over 70 spin-offs and a large number of patents, the institute is one of the world's largest research centres in its field. It is ideally positioned for the future in national and international competition and is therefore an excellent venue for this workshop".

The direct benefit of the workshop for Germany, Japan and their respective research landscapes is based on the synergies of cross-national cooperation. "United we stand - divided we fall" - under this credo, networking and scientific cooperation can also be seen as an instrument for jointly asserting oneself in global competition.

"Artificial intelligence has the unique potential to help solve complex problems where they go beyond human possibilities. It can expand a person's cognitive abilities and thus be a congenial assistance. The Japanese vision of human-centered AI is very similar to the German one. Japan is therefore an ideal partner for jointly developing and researching technologies, establishing international standards, defining ethical norms and competing with China and the USA", says Prof. Dr. Andreas Dengel, head of the Kaiserslautern site and organizer of the workshop at DFKI.

Dr. Herbert Zeisel, Head of Research for Digital Change at the BMBF: "With the Federal Government's AI Strategy, we want to secure Germany as a research and business location and promote the diverse applications of AIs in all areas in the interests of tangible social progress and in the interests of the citizens. Our ideal image of AI is one that puts people at the centre and also takes care of the cultural and ethical framework conditions. International cooperation with Japan, as well as with other like-minded states of the EU and beyond, is extremely important in order to create a counterweight to the companies and countries that are aligning AI development without regard to data protection and personal rights".