Germany


Facebook Is Hoping to Advance Ethics Research Regarding Artificial Intelligence

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Facebook and the Technical University of Munich are joining forces on the creation of an independent ethics research center for artificial intelligence. The social network will provide $7.5 million in funding over five years for the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, with director of applied machine learning Joaquin Quiñonero Candela saying in a Newsroom post that the aim is to advance the growing field of ethical research on new technology and to study the fundamental issues that are specific to the use and impact of AI. Candela called TUM one of the world's top-ranked universities in the AI field, saying that the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence will tap into the school's work in subjects such as robotics, machine intelligence and the social implications of AI. He added that Germany's creation of government-led ethical guidelines on autonomous driving and its work with European institutions on ethical frameworks for AI will also benefit the center. TUM Prof. Christoph Lütge will lead the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, working with "a diverse advisory board of representatives from academia, civil society and industry."


Facebook funds AI ethics center in Munich DW 20.01.2019

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Facebook announced on Sunday that it will help create an independent ethics research center for artificial intelligence (AI) with the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The technology giant said it will provide $7.5 million over five years as "an initial funding grant." With the AI industry growing at unprecedented levels, its use and impact have come under increased scrutiny, with some experts warning of the potential for unexpected consequences from its application. Technology companies, including Facebook and Google, have come under significant pressure from governments and research institutes to do more to protect people affected by AI applications. "From Facebook potentially inciting ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, to Cambridge Analytica seeking to manipulate elections, to Google building a secret censored search engine for the Chinese, to anger over Microsoft contracts with (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to multiple worker uprisings over conditions in Amazon's algorithmically managed warehouses -- the headlines haven't stopped," said New York-based research institute AI Now last month.


TUM launches Munich Center for Machine Learning (MCML)

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The Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München TUM) has launched the Munich Center for Machine Learning (MCML). MCML is funded by Germany's Federal Ministry of Research. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are crucial technologies for today's and tomorrow's digital economy. TUM says that MCML will be connecting key areas of expertise from computer science, data science, and statistics. AI or artificial intelligence includes software technologies that make machines and other devices think like humans.


Stung by Cambridge Analytica debacle, Facebook backs election integrity, AI initiatives in Germany

The Japan Times

MUNICH, GERMANY - Facebook has launched German initiatives to defend election integrity and examine the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI), its operations chief said on Sunday, seeking to convince skeptics it is serious about privacy and democracy. The world's largest social network had a tough 2018 as it was buffeted by revelations that U.K. consultancy Cambridge Analytica had improperly acquired data on millions of its U.S. users to target election advertising. Founder Mark Zuckerberg has been grilled by lawmakers on the data lapses and, according to newspaper reports, U.S. regulators are discussing fining Facebook for violating a binding agreement to protect the privacy of its users. "We are not the same company that we were in 2016 or even a year ago," Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told the DLD Munich technology conference. "We have a fundamentally different approach to how we run our company today."


Facebook to set up institute for ethics in AI

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San Francisco: Facebook on Sunday said that it will create an independent Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI) with an initial grant of $7.5 million. In collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany, the institute will help advance the growing field of ethical research on new technology and will explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI. "The institute will conduct independent, evidence-based research to provide insight and guidance for society, industry, legislators and decision-makers across the private and public sectors," said Joaquin Quinonero Candela, Director, Applied Machine Learning, at Facebook. The institute will address issues that affect the use and impact of AI, such as safety, privacy, fairness and transparency. "At the TUM Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, we will explore the ethical issues of AI and develop ethical guidelines for the responsible use of the technology in society and the economy," said Professor Dr Christoph Lutge. The institute will also benefit from Germany's position at the forefront of the conversation surrounding ethical frameworks for AI "including the creation of government-led ethical guidelines on autonomous driving" and its work with European institutions on these issues.


Facebook backs Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence with $7.5 million

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Facebook will donate $7.5 million for the creation of The Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, a research center being made to explore topics such as transparency and accountability in medical treatment and human rights in human-AI interaction. The announcement was made today during a speech by COO Sheryl Sandberg at the Digital Life Design (DLD) conference in Munich, Germany and is Facebook's first investment in an independent center to study ethics in AI, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. The money will be doled out over the course of the next five years for the institute being formed now at the Technical University of Munich. Dr. Christoph Lütge, a professor at the school, will serve as director. Like initiatives undertaken by other AI research think tanks, the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence will work to share its research through conferences and symposiums with the wider community of AI practitioners.


Machine learning for image restoration

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Fluorescence microscopy usually involves a trade-off between producing a quality image and having a healthy sample. Illuminating the sample with higher laser power strengthens the fluorescent signal but risks damaging biological samples and photobleaching fluorescent dyes. Imaging at a slower frame rate with lower laser power often produces high-quality images but sacrifices information in samples that move. When such compromises hinder the recording of high-quality images, researchers often try to improve the images after the fact. To that end, Loïc Royer at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub in San Francisco and Martin Weigert, Florian Jug, and Eugene Myers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, have developed content-aware image restoration (CARE), a convolutional neural network trained on features specific to the system being observed.


Robot re-creates the gait of 290-million-year-old creature based on fossil find in Germany

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON - How did the earliest land animals move? Scientists have used a nearly 300-million-year-old fossil skeleton and preserved ancient footprints to create a moving robot model of prehistoric life. Evolutionary biologist John Nyakatura at Humboldt University in Berlin has spent years studying a 290-million-year-old fossil dug up in central Germany's Bromacker quarry in 2000. The four-legged plant-eater lived before the dinosaurs and fascinates scientists "because of its position on the tree of life," said Nyakatura. Researchers believe the creature is a "stem amniote" -- an early land-dwelling animal that later evolved into modern mammals, birds and reptiles.


News - Research in Germany

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For many people, speaking off the cuff to a large audience does not come easily. But without professional feedback, rehearsing speeches and presentations can be a tough process. A psychologist, a management scientist and an IT specialist have developed an online training tool that uses artificial intelligence to evaluate users' speaking skills and personal characteristics. The team has now established the start-up Retorio at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) to launch the software on the market. It's a scenario many people can relate to – standing all alone in front of an audience, clutching a microphone with clammy hands and finding one's mouth has gone dry.


SEMANTiCS 2019

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SEMANTiCS conference is the leading European conference on Semantic Technologies and AI. Researchers, industry experts and business leaders can develop a thorough understanding of trends and application scenarios in the fields of Machine Learning, Data Science, Linked Data and Natural Language Processing. The 15th edition will be hosted this year in Karlsruhe (Germany).