Explaining machine learning

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How to deal with the growing mountains of data? Although artificial intelligenceHow to deal with the growing mountains of data? Although artificial intelligence and machine learning are mentioned more and more often in the media, many people don’t know much about them. The University of Tübingen has made a short film to help change that. Image: University of Tübingen 

New video clarifies important elements of artificial intelligence in lay terms

The University of Tübingen has produced a short film explaining the significance of research into machine learning. "In recent months there have been many media reports on the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning," Matthias Bethge explains. He is the University of Tübingen’s professor of Computational Neuroscience and Machine Learning. "We need to provide more information to the public about the basics of this important research area, which will be one of the key technologies of the 21st century," Bethge says.

The two and a half minute video uses graphics and simple terms to outline the basic principles of machine learning and shows some future applications in industry and medicine. "In the years to come we will increasingly produce vast amounts of data in areas of our life and work," says Andreas Geiger, professor of Learning-based Computer Vision at the University of Tübingen. "These mountains of data can only be reasonably evaluated by learning IT systems which get smarter as they deal with the data - and thus are able to work ever more precisely."

The video also mentions that we need to address possible risks of machine learning. As with other groundbreaking technologies, machine learning provides society with a tool that may be used productively or destructively. "So it is important for research in this area to be driven by publicly-financed, independent and transparent institutions," says Philipp Henning, professor of Machine Learning Methods, "We have to take seriously the fears of negative consequences for society and raise awareness of it among our students."

Professor Bethge adds: "The University is the ideal place to comprehensively research the effects for the individual and society and the way that new technologies are dealt with. The University of Tübingen stands for this concept of ambitious and at the same time responsible basic research in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning."