KW 27: Using AI to achieve greater resource efficiency; OST recruits drones and AI to combat invasive neophytes; Habitat 2.0: Facebook launches interactive 3D AI learning environment


Using AI to achieve greater resource efficiency: A study investigated whether AI methods are suitable for efficiently using natural resources such as water, energy and materials in the manufacturing sector to avoid greenhouse gases. The focus was on small and medium-sized enterprises that often lack time and personnel to get an overview of the possibilities of AI and also the necessary expertise to select and implement AI projects. According to the study, the integration of AI and digitalization can be the next step on the way to exploiting resource efficiency potential in production environments.

OST recruits drones and AI to combat invasive neophytes: A project at the Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences aims to use commercially available drones and AI to detect harmful non-native plant species so they can then be removed by humans. These so-called invasive neophytes, by lacking natural enemies, displace native plants and harm wildlife that cannot find food and nesting sites in the plants.

Habitat 2.0: Facebook launches interactive 3D AI learning environment: To train a robot to navigate a house, you either need to give it a lot of real time in a lot of real houses, or a lot of virtual time in a lot of virtual houses. The latter is definitely the better option, and Facebook and Matterport are working together to make thousands of virtual, interactive digital twins of real spaces available for researchers and their voracious young AIs.

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A critical look at AI in schools: AI-supported technologies based on machine learning, educational data mining or learning analytics can bring considerable relief to students and teachers. This is the conclusion of a trend study published on Thursday, which was conducted on behalf of the Deutsche Telekom Foundation by the mmb Institute Society for Media and Competence Research in Essen. The potential of the technologies is great – and in part still untapped, the authors write. They could help support students with special needs. Especially because the student body is becoming increasingly heterogeneous in terms of performance and language levels, special needs, socio-cultural differences and the need to catch up due to the coronavirus.

Hesse’s AI continues to develop: The Hessian Center for Artificial Intelligence is receiving 40 million euros in state funding for a total of six research projects. The money will be used to provide excellent basic research, concrete practical relevance with answers to important challenges of our time and aid the transition in business and society. During the five-year start-up phase, the state will establish 20 additional professorships for the research center. The fact that AI often still has to operate in tandem with human operators is one of the problems the institute wants to improve. Some problems AI can’t solve yet, which is why most programs involve routing to a human. The goal of the Hessian Innovation Center is to reach the third wave of AI: „These are AI systems that can acquire human-like communication and thinking skills.“

ZF accelerates ADAS validation with AI: The ZF Group is introducing a new scalable suite of data and AI-based services for ADAS virtual engineering and digital validation – called helps car manufacturers accelerate the development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. This can be applied to systems developed by both ZF and other Tier 1 suppliers. It can be applied both on a high-resolution, multi-sensor synchronized dataset based on real-world driving of all scenarios and the corresponding number of kilometers required for the global validation of an L2+ ADAS system. As well as on a proprietary AI technology developed with the Israeli tech company Cognata.

Continuing education: Free crash course on AI in production
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In facial recognition, AIs identify white men completely, but black women only 65 percent of the time


Reallabor demonstrates AI-supported production of a sustainable cup: In a current use case, Fraunhofer IOSB-INA is researching the production of a sustainable reusable cup in fully networked production in the Reallabor Smartfactory OWL together with Kuka. For this purpose, the AI reallab collects data streams from plants and processes and makes them freely available to AI developers and companies on a platform. The goal is the fully networked and AI-supported production of a reusable cup made of a bio-based plastic that does not require any petroleum at all. At the same time, the recycling cycle specially organized by Cuna Products GmbH is also to be sustainable.

GaussiGAN: You can see if the giraffe is standing correctly when AI kicks in: Researchers from Adobe and others demonstrate a GAN AI that learns 3D representations of objects and can then position them in images. The 3D representations learned by an AI system have sections for the neck, legs, back, chest and torso, and can thus be placed in different body positions – sometimes the neck turns, sometimes it bends into a tree. The generated texture always automatically adapts to the new body posture. In the future, further developments of GaussiGAN should also be able to be trained with real-world images that do not offer perfect conditions for AI training, such as few viewing angles and complex backgrounds that make image analysis difficult. A more robust AI model trained in this way could reliably place new objects or retexture existing ones in image processing programs.


Calculated emotions: It is usually systems such as Actionunit 12 that are referred to when talking about artificial intelligence for emotion recognition or „emotional AI.“ The term is generally used for technologies that capture biometric data such as faces or voices and use this as the basis for automated conclusions about a person’s emotion. For example, according to the Fraunhofer Institute, humanoid robots could support therapy for children with autism. „Some children with autism might prefer to talk to a robot rather than a human, because the reactions are more predictable,“ says Dominik Seuß. The robot would help them recognize the feelings of their counterpart, or show them how to express their own feelings. There would also be an application that evaluates the facial expressions of the person at the wheel in vehicles and then warns of cognitive overload.


„AIs will not be constrained in the same way or subject to the same limitations as humans. They will think like aliens.“
Security expert Bruce Schneier in his new report, „The Coming AI Hackers,“ on the future of what happens when people start using AI’s for hacking businesses and banking.


German government launches support for AI startups: The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is increasing the EXIST program and the German Accelerator by a total of around 46.5 million euros until the end of 2024. The additional money is primarily intended to support startups in the AI field. It is also intended to promote the networking of universities and research institutions with existing AI companies and the business community.

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