Björn Thümler, Lower Saxony's Minister of Science and Culture, visited the L3S on 27 April to find out about research projects on artificial intelligence. The Minister accepted the L3S's invitation as part of the AI Theme Week, taking place from 27 April to 3 May 2022. The occasion is the publication of Lower Saxony's artificial intelligence strategy, "Human-centred AI for Lower Saxony," on 3 May. L3S Director Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Nejdl welcomed the Minister to an informative programme with "Artificial Intelligence @ L3S - Top Research in Europe, Innovation for Lower Saxony".
In his welcoming address, the President of Leibniz Universität Hannover, Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, emphasised the importance of artificial intelligence as a key technology and praised the L3S as Lower Saxony's centre for AI research. With its interdisciplinary approach, the L3S follows the demand of the Science Council not to limit AI research to computer science but to include law, social sciences, and the humanities. The L3S has recognised the signs of the times and acquired major projects on the topic of AI, including the International Leibniz Future Laboratory "Artificial Intelligence", which is funded by the BMBF with 5 million euros and brings outstanding scientists and guest professors from all over the world to the L3S. As another example, the President mentioned the Leibniz AI Academy conceived by the L3S. Students of Leibniz Universität Hannover from various disciplines will be able to acquire skills in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) there in the future. The federal and state funding initiative "Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education" supports the Micro-Degree Programme with a total of around 4 million euros.
Minister Thümler was pleased that the L3S is now permanently funded by the state of Lower Saxony after twenty years and expressed his gratitude to the L3S for raising ten times the state grant in third-party funding. He emphasised the great need for Germany to catch up in artificial intelligence. The data is available, and it is now a matter of making it available.
In his introductory talk, Prof. Nejdl made clear how outstanding and diverse AI research is at the L3S. For example, the L3S ranks fourth in publications in computer science in Germany and is among the top 20 in Europe. The projects presented range from AI applications in medicine, business, and science to trustworthy AI and cooperations with startups to machine learning with quantum computers.
During a tour of a poster exhibition on AI projects, the Minister gained an insight into individual projects in conversation with scientists and startups and was impressed by the facets of AI research at L3S and the opportunities that reliable and trustworthy AI offers for business and society.
For more information on AI projects at L3S, visit www.L3S-KI-Niedersachsen.de