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First joint Inria-DFKI Summer School on Artificial Intelligence – IDESSAI 2021

| Press release | Health & Medicine | Image Recognition & Understanding | Human-Machine Interaction | Saarbrücken

Trustworthy AI and AI for medicine were the two thematic pillars of the first joint summer school of the French national research institute for digital science and technology Inria and DFKI. IDESSAI 2021, which took place entirely virtually due to the pandemic and was hosted by DFKI, reached approximately one hundred students in the academic environment of both institutions in France and Germany. In six keynotes and twelve courses, almost 40 renowned speakers from many European countries gave insights into their research work.

IDESSAI 2021 (Inria-DFKI European Summer School on AI) offered participants a broad environment for exchange with renowned experts from science and industry. In dedicated poster and demo sessions, participants had the opportunity to present their work and discuss it with other students and AI experts. Both tracks discussed the potential and possibilities of AI applications in the industry with sector representatives and spin-offs in a joint panel. The Summer School was aimed at Master and Ph.D. students from all areas of AI such as machine learning, knowledge representation and reasoning, search and optimization, planning and scheduling, multi-agent systems, natural language processing, robotics, or computer vision.

The European network initiative CLAIRE was present with an information kiosk. CLAIRE (Confederation of Labs for AI Research in Europe) is a European network for promoting AI, in which Inria and DFKI are strongly involved. CLAIRE's goal is to position Europe as a global leader in the field of human-centered AI.

"Trusted AI and AI for medicine are the areas where Europe has the greatest potential," said Prof. Dr. Philipp Slusallek, Executive Director DFKI Saarbrücken and Inria-Coordinator at DFKI. "With the summer school, Inria and DFKI have brought their partnership in the scientific field to life and shown that the idea of human-centered, European AI can be advanced by this cooperation."
Inria and DFKI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in artificial intelligence on 22 January 2020, the first anniversary of the Aachen Treaty. Based on this official partnership, the two scientific institutions are working on current challenges for AI technologies, which are also at the forefront of economic issues, as part of a joint European strategic research and innovation agenda. These include Trustworthy AI (validation, certification, explainability, privacy), AI for medicine, Frugal AI (resource-conservative algorithms, hardware, and systems), Hybrid Human-AI Teams and Interactive Learning, AI and Numerical Simulation (Digital Twins, Digital Reality).

In specific projects, the two partners are researching in overlapping teams on early detection of psychiatric diseases (MePheSTO), novel approaches to image recognition in complex and dynamic environments (Moveon), and multilingual semantic technologies for linguistic and multimodal communication (IMPRESS). Projects dealing, among other things, with high-performance computing and AI topics for the agricultural industry are in the planning stage.

From the very beginning, another important focus of the cooperation between Inria and DFKI has been the promotion of young scientists. The next joint summer school is planned for 2022.

About Inria
Inria (Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique) is the French national research institute for digital science and technology. World-class research, technological innovation and entrepreneurial risk are its DNA. In 200 project teams, most of which are shared with major research universities, more than 3,900 researchers and engineers explore new paths, often in an interdisciplinary manner and in collaboration with industrial partners to meet ambitious challenges.
As a technological institute, Inria supports the diversity of innovation pathways: from open source software publishing to the creation of technological startups (Deeptech).

About DFKI
The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) has operated as a non-profit, Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) since 1988. Today, it maintains sites in Kaiserslautern, Saarbrücken, Bremen, a project office in Berlin, a laboratory in Lower Saxony, and branches in Lübeck, St. Wendel, and Trier.

DFKI combines scientific excellence and commercially-oriented value creation with social awareness and is recognized as a major "Center of Excellence" by the international scientific community. In the field of artificial intelligence, DFKI has focused on the goal of human-centric AI for more than 30 years. Research is committed to essential, future-oriented areas of application and socially relevant topics. With a staff of about 1,250 employees from more than 65 countries, DFKI is developing the innovative software technologies of tomorrow. 

More information


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Philipp Slusallek

Executive Director DFKI Saarbrücken and Inria-Coordinator , DFKI

Dr. Anselm Blocher

Operative Coordinator for German-French AI Cooperation , DFKI

Press contact:

Heike Leonhard, M.A.

Team Corporate Communications , DFKI Saarbrücken