By today’s signing of their cooperation agreement, the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the University of Augsburg (UNIA) and the Munich School of Philosophy (HFPH) have laid the foundation stone for the joint "Center for Responsible AI Technologies", which will bring philosophical, ethical and social science issues into the development of AI technologies in an integrated approach to research.
Supported by three newly created professorships at UNIA, TUM and HFPH and financed by "Hightech Agenda Bayern", the new cross-location center will make a valuable contribution to socially responsible and trustworthy AI innovations.
With the "Center for Responsible AI Technologies", the participating universities are significantly expanding their existing interdisciplinary cooperation between natural sciences and technology, human and social sciences and philosophy. The pilot project will be launched in the first quarter of 2022. The work of the center will therefore initially focus on the field of application "medicine, care, health". This research project will identify comparative central philosophical and ethical questions on the basis of use cases for the application of AI in laser therapy for basal cell carcinomas, in endoscopy and in radiology.
In the medium term, further fields of application are to be added in the areas "future of work", "mobility" and "climate, environment". In addition, there are plans to expand the cooperation to include the training of students and the area of scientific communication on the subject of AI. The center is embedded in an environment of several existing professorships at the three partner universities.
A professorship for "Theory of Science, Philosophy of Nature and Technology with a Focus on Artificial Intelligence" at the HFPH is dedicated to the philosophical foundations of the relationship between humans and machines. Closely linked to this is the professorship "Ethics of AI in Neuroscience" at TUM, which investigates AI topics from a social science and medical perspective. At the University of Augsburg, the appointment procedure for the professorship "Cyber Security and Safety-Critical Systems" is already underway.
"Throughout the entire innovation process, we must develop technologies by incorporating social science expertise in such a way that they are later also socially acceptable and trustworthy," says Thomas F. Hofmann, President of the Technical University of Munich.
"With the center, we want to integrate philosophy, ethics and social sciences into AI development right from the start. Philosophy and social sciences must not be operated as a repair shop after the fact. Rather, they must work together with the technical sciences in a targeted manner in order to promote socially responsible innovations and thus also increase social acceptance of AI," emphasises the President of the HFPH, Dr Johannes Wallacher.
Further developing artificial intelligence and allowing trust to grow "With our experienced experts in medicine, information technology and moral theology/ethics, we have the unique opportunity to further develop artificial intelligence, explain it and allow trust to grow. In the "Center for Responsible AI Technologies" we contribute to cyber security and the protection of infrastructure essential to security. Only in this way can AI develop its full innovative power for all areas of society," says Sabine Doering-Manteuffel, President of the University of Augsburg.