News

UPDATE: JAII Lecture by Steffen Eger on June 2(!), 16:00-17:30 CET via Zoom, "Evaluation Metrics, Natural Language Generation and Humanities Applications"

May 24, 2022
We continue our JAII lecture series with a talk by Dr. Steffen Eger, currently substitute professor in Bielefeld, and also independent research group leader “NLP for the Humanities” at TU Darmstadt. Steffen will talk about "Evaluation Metrics, Natural Language Generation and Humanities Applications".
Abstract:
In this talk, I will present our ongoing works in the context of (i) evaluation metrics for natural language generation (especially machine translation) and (ii) natural language generation (NLG) itself. Regarding (i), I will speak about efficiency, explainability, reproducibility, among others, of recent BERT-based evaluation metrics. Regarding (ii), I will speak about abstract-to-title generation, poetry and argument generation as well as cross-lingual cross-temporal summarization. I will (iii) finally talk about humanities and social science applications including social solidarity in times of crises and change of biases over time.
You can register for the Zoom lecture below, we are very much looking forward to it!

Inauguration of Paderborn University’s new high-performance computing centre

May 2, 2022
On Friday, 29 April, Paderborn University celebrated the official opening of its new high-performance computing centre which houses the “Noctua 2” supercomputer. The roughly 340-square-metre computer hall, home to the HPC (High Performance Computing) system and its possible expansion, is at the heart of the research building.
"With more than 140,000 latest generation AMD Milan CPU processor cores and particularly powerful Nvidia A100 graphics card accelerators, we are increasing our existing computing power tenfold. This takes us into a completely new order of magnitude, enabling even the most demanding computer simulations in the natural, material and engineering sciences. In computer systems research, too, we are setting a focus on research and infrastructure that is unique in Europe by further expanding the computer partition with particularly energy-efficient, programmable FPGA-based hardware accelerators," explained Professor Christian Plessl, Chairman of the Board of PC2.

Hybrid Lecture by Humboldt Professor Yaochu Jin on April 27, 16:15-17:45 CET, "Towards Evolutionary Developmental Artificial Intelligence"

April 07, 2022
Together with the Faculty of Technology of Bielefeld University, the JAII will co-host the inauguration lecture by Prof. Yaochu Jin. The lecture will be a hybrid event, taking place in the CITEC lecture hall (located on the ground floor of the CITEC) and online via Zoom.
Prof Jin is an Alexander von Humboldt Professor for Artificial Intelligence (endowed by the German Federal Ministery of Education and Research) at the Faculty of Technology, Bielefeld University. His main research interests include data-driven evolutionary optimization, multi-objective optimization, evolutionary learning, secure and privacy-preserving machine learning, and evolutionary developmental systems. Prof Jin is presently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COGNITIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL SYSTEMS and the Editor-in-Chief of Complex & Intelligent Systems. He was named by the Web of Science as “a Highly Cited Researcher” in 2019 and 2020.
Abstract:
Considering the limitations of the deep learning approach to artificial intelligence, this talk proposes to understand and emulate human intelligence from an evolutionary developmental perspective. We first provide a brief introduction to the biological findings about evolution and development of human brain and nervous systems. Then preliminary computational models of neural and morphological evolution and development are presented. Experimental results reveal that energy minimization is a main principle behind the organization of nervous systems and there is a close coupling between body and brain in evolution and development. Finally, we describe some recent advances in computational modeling of neural plasticity embedded in the reservoir computing and discuss their influences on the learning performance of echo state networks and spiking neural networks. The talks is concluded by an outline of future research.
You can register for the Zoom lecture below or join us in person in Bielefeld; we are very much looking forward to it!

Strengthening the regional network for AI research: project SAIL is being funded!

March 29, 2022
North Rhine-Westfalia funds five research networks with a total of 81 Million Euros. One of those networks is SAIL, "Sustainable Life-cycle of Intelligent Socio-Technical Systems". SAIL builds on existing collaborations between Bielefeld and Paderborn University, the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, and the OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The aim of SAIL is to strengthen interdisciplinary research ties in core AI, engineering, and the social sciences and humanities, as well as establishing a strong transfer chain from basic research to industry applications. As a central node of the research network, the JAII will play an important role in SAIL, and we are looking very much forward to the begin of the project in Summer.

Water-Futures: "Making water supply sustainable"

March 29, 2022
For those who are interested in how AI can make water supply more sustainable, we recommend a blog entry from Bielefeld University that discusses the ERC Synergy Grant Project "Water-Futures", that JAII director Barbara Hammer is involved in.

DataNinja: Upcoming virtual spring school on "Artificial Intelligence – perspectives and challenges of real data"

March 7, 2022
The DataNinja Spring School is aimed at PhD students as well as master students or interested researchers from the broad area of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The goal is to provide in-depth tutorials on current hot topics which are spanning the spectrum of current Machine Learning approaches with a specific focus on explainable models that allow for inspection. Furthermore, the tutorials are geared towards providing hands-on experiences and empowering the participants to directly apply or transfer methods onto their own tasks or problems.

Open Call for proposals within the VEDLIoT project!

March 1, 2022
VEDLIoT – “Very Efficient Deep Learning in IoT” is an EU H2020 ICT-56-2020 funded research project running for 36 months, driven by challenging use cases in key sectors like automotive, automation, and smart home. The main objective of VEDLIoT is to develop the next generation of connected IoT devices utilising distributed deep learning.

You can become part of the project by applying for an Open Call project. Around ten research experiments are expected to be funded incorporating additional use cases in the project utilising the developed technologies. The call is open now and has a deadline on 8th of May 2022 at 23:59 CEST; each proposal can have a budget of up to 120.000 €. It is expected that open call projects leverage VEDLIoT technologies for their own AI-related IoT use case, thereby broadening the VEDLIoT use-case basis and help making the overall concept more robust. More information can be found on the project website.

JAII Lecture by Prof. Michael Beetz on the 10th of March, 16:00-17:30 CET, "Knowledge representation & reasoning in CRAM"

February 22, 2022
We continue the JAII Lecture Series with a talk by Prof. Dr. Michael Beetz (University of Bremen, head of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence). He will talk about "Knowledge representation & reasoning in CRAM - a cognitive architecture for robot agents accomplishing everyday manipulation tasks."

Abstract: Robotic agents that can accomplish manipulation tasks with the competence of humans have been one of the grand research challenges for artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics research for more than 50 years. However, while the fields made huge progress, this ultimate goal is still out of reach. I believe that this is the case because the knowledge representation and reasoning methods that have been proposed in AI so far are necessary but too abstract. I propose to address this problem by endowing robots with the capability to internally emulate and simulate theirperception-action loops based on realistic images and faithful physics simulations, which are made machine-understandable by casting them as virtual symbolic knowledge bases. These capabilities allow robots to generate huge collections of machine-understandable manipulation experiences, which robotic agents can generalize into commonsense and intuitive physics knowledge applicable to open varieties of manipulation tasks. This will equip robots with an understanding of the relation between their motions and the physical effects they cause at an unprecedented level of realism, depth, and breadth, and enable them to master human-scale manipulation tasks.
You can register for the lecture below; we are very much looking forward to it!

JAII Lecture by Prof. Max Welling on the 10th of February, 16:00-17:30 CET, "The Impact of Deep Learning on the Natural Sciences"

Update February 8, 2022 January 19, 2022
We continue the JAII Lecture Series with a talk by Prof. Dr. Max Welling. He will talk about "The Impact of Deep Learning on the Natural Sciences".

Abstract: Deep learning has significantly changed the fields of speech recognition, computer vision and natural language processing, to name a few. What’s next? We are currently witnessing fast progress in the application of deep learning to scientific computation, such as protein folding, weather prediction, and molecular simulation. In this talk I will discuss a number of important tools and concepts that are pushing the frontier of this new disruption. In particular I will discuss graph neural networks for the prediction of molecular properties and the numerical integration of PDEs, and flows for molecular synthesis. We also discuss the important concept of incorporating symmetries in these models through equivariant layers. We will end with some thoughts on the impact on sustainability and health that these new breakthroughs might enable.
Max Welling is a research chair in Machine Learning at the University of Amsterdam and has various other positions, such as serving on the founding board of ELLIS. You can register for the lecture below; we are very much looking forward to it!

Update: JAII Lecture Series with Kristian Kersting, "Making Deep Machines Right for the Right Reasons" postponed

January, 2021
The Lecture by Prof. Kristian Kersting (AIML lab @ TU Darmstadt) in January had to be postponed. We will try to reschedule the lecture.

Abstract: Deep neural networks have shown excellent performances in many real-world applications. Unfortunately, they may show “Clever Hans”-like behavior—making use of confounding factors within datasets—to achieve high performance. In this talk, I shall touch upon explanatory interactive learning (XIL). XIL adds the expert into the training loop such that she interactively revises the original model via providing feedback on its explanations. Since “visual” explanations may not be sufficient to grapple with the model’s true concept, I shall also touch upon revising a model on the semantic level, e.g. “never focus on the color to make your decision”. Our experimental results demonstrate that XIL can help avoiding Clever Hans moments in machine learning. Overall, this all illustrates the benefits of a Hybrid AI, the combination of neural and symbolic AI.
The talk will be a virtual event. Please register here to receive the Zoom link:

Inauguration lecture by Yaochu Jin postponed

November, 2021
The inauguration lecture by Humboldt professor Yaochu Jin, which was planned for December as a hybrid event, has been postponed due to the current developments in the Corona pandemic. The lecture will be rescheduled as soon as conditions allow (possibly in March 2022) and announced on this website.

Colloquium with Marius Lindauer on Efficient and Explainable AutoML on November 11! (virtual and in person)

November, 2021
First talk in JAII colloquium series: We are looking forward to a talk by Prof. Dr. Marius Lindauer, professor of machine learning at the Leibniz University of Hannover, on November 11, 16.15-17.45h.
Abstract: Automated machine learning (AutoML) supports developers by determining appropriate machine learning pipelines (incl. feature pre-processing, predictive model selection and hyperparameter optimization) and thus contributes towards achieving peak performance on a given machine learning task. However, we cannot ignore that humans are involved in the development of new machine learning applications. So, we have to strive for both, efficient AutoML and explainable AutoML.
This talk will first cover state-of-the-art techniques for AutoML, proposing a new technique for local Bayesian optimization, and how AutoML leads to new state-of-the-art performance on tabular datasets by using well regularized deep neural networks. In the second part of the talk, I will argue that full automation of machine learning design without any humans in the loop is not what developers are looking for, and propose ideas along the lines of explainable AutoML. Both together will not only lower the entrance barrier and increase performance of machine learning, but also of AutoML.
The talk will be a hybrid event, either join us in person in lecture hall H4, Bielefeld University main building or online via Zoom. Registration is necessary to either receive the Zoom link or to attend in person; the "3G" rule applies for the in-person event.
Please register here:

Chatbot developed at Paderborn University assists in data analysis

October, 2021
The “Intelligent Data Science Chatbot” project has developed a chatbot to simplify data analysis for users. The aim of the intelligent chatbot, developed within the scope of a research project by Prof. Dr. Axel Ngonga’s DICE group at Paderborn University, is to allow users to evaluate large data volumes quickly and easily. As a rule, more expensive tools, programming skills, and experts are required for this purpose, which is a cost factor that should not be underestimated, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises. Created as a web-based platform, the chatbot helps users perform independent analysis of their data.

Successful virtual kick-off of the JAII with over 100 participants

September, 2021
September 15th 2021 marked the kickoff of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Institute of the Bielefeld and Paderborn universities. Participants included the president of Paderborn and the rector of Bielefeld University, the founding members of the institute, as well as national and international guests.
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Sagerer, rector of Bielefeld University, and Prof. Dr. Birgitt Riegraf, president of Paderborn University, both stressed the importance of AI research for their university and the complementary expertise of both universities, as evidenced by several existing collaborations, also including the universities of applied sciences FH Bielefeld and TH OWL. Prof. Dr. Philipp Cimiano, co-director of the institute, sketched the core mission of JAII: He argued that the goal to pursue human-centered AI is about more than designing AI systems for humans, it is about establishing long-term partnerships where humans can dynamically shape the interface, process and outcomes of AI systems. The invited speaker, Prof. Dr. Frank van Harmelen from the VU Amsterdam, presented strengths and weaknesses of the traditions of symbolic and statistical AI, as well as new approaches to integrate both traditions, which was followed by a lively discussion of the potential of such approaches.

Kick off for the JAII with a talk by Frank van Harmelen on September 15

August, 2021
We are happy to announce the kick off event for the JAII, which will feature a greeting by the president of Paderborn University and rector of Bielefeld University, the director of the JAII and a talk by Prof. Frank van Harmelen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Title: "How to build AI systems that both learn and reason?".
Abstract: Truly intelligent systems will have to both learn from experience and reason with acquired knowledge. Progress in the two fields of knowledge representation and machine learning has lead to an explosion of publications on how to build hybrid, "neuro-symbolic" systems that combine the techniques from this hitherto separate fields, with hundreds of new proposals appearing in the literature in recent years. In this talk I will describe a modular approach to such neuro-symbolic systems that allows us to re-interpret and systematize this rapidly growing literature on "3rd wave AI" system.

A strong network for sustainable AI: Participation in "Netzwerke 2021" call

August, 2021
Bielefeld University and Paderborn University, together with the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences and OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts have participated in the "Netzwerke 2021" call of the MKW NRW. With their application, the universities plan to further strengthen their exisiting research ties by developing machine learning techniques for the entire life cycle of intelligent technical systems. This shifts attention from technological requirements, which are particularly prominent in the introduction phase, to societal and human needs, which are impacted by the long-term operation of intelligent technical systems. Insofar as the application is successful, the JAII would become the organizational hub of the project, facilitating the dissemination of best practices across all four collaborating universities.

Humboldt Professorship on evolutionary algorithms at Bielefeld University

July, 2021
Bielefeld University has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. It goes to the computer scientist Professor Dr.-Ing. Yaochu Jin. Jin is moving from the University of Surrey (Great Britain) to Bielefeld University in autumn 2021, complementing the research profile of the Faculty of technology through his focus on the multi-objective optimization of AI systems. The Humboldt Professorship enables researchers who have previously worked abroad to take up a professorship at a German university in order to carry out innovative research there. It is the most highly endowed international research award in Germany.

Constructing Explainability: New Collaborative Research Centre on artificial intelligence at the universities of Paderborn and Bielefeld

May, 2021
The German Research Foundation (DFG) has announced the formation of a new Collaborative Research Centre (TRR) “Constructing Explainability” at the universities of Paderborn and Bielefeld. Over the next four years, the foundation will provide about 14 million euros in support funding for this project. The highly interdisciplinary research program develops new approaches towards the explainability of AI that requires people to participate actively in socio-technical systems. The goal is to improve human-machine interaction, to focus on an understanding of algorithms, and to study this as the product of a multi-modal explanation process.

Inauguration of the research training group Dataninja on trustworthy AI

April 22, 2021
We are happy to announce the official inauguration of the research training group Dataninja on trustworthy AI. We will celebrate this with a kickoff meeting on May 3, (4 to 6 PM) – information and schedule can be found here. The training group is hosted at the CoR-Lab in Bielefeld and funded by the state of Norh Rhine-Westfalia.

Network for Transportation Innovations: Land supports RailCampus OWL

April 15, 2021
For transportation to be C02-neutral in the future, more people and goods need to be transported by rail. For rail transport to fully exploit its potential, innovative technologies are required. This is what the RailCampus OWL project is all about. Bielefeld University, the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, Paderborn University, and and OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Deutsche Bahn and business partners are developing a unique innovation network for intelligent and efficient rail technology at the Minden location.