KW 5: ESA relies on AI systems in space, European research project uses AI to treat Covid patients, The Agri-Gaia project is to become an AI ecosystem for farmers


ESA relies on AI systems in space: The European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) are launching a research laboratory in Kaiserslautern, Germany, called ESA_Lab@DFKI. Scientists from both organizations will be researching AI systems for interpreting complex, extensive data from Earth observation or for collision avoidance of satellites in the new lab, DFKI and ESA announced jointly. The lab will take advantage of DFKI’s proximity to ESA’s European Space Operations Center (ESOC), in Darmstadt. ESA and DFKI have already cooperated in the field of space robotics and long-term autonomous systems.

European research project uses AI to treat Covid patients: Accelerated knowledge transfer, better analyses and optimized therapies can save lives, especially in the case of severe disease from the Covid-19 virus. Intensive care physicians from 13 European countries now want to use digital help to improve the treatment of Covid-19 patients. For this purpose, medical data such as respiratory rate and tidal volume, blood pressure, oxygen saturation or body temperature of up to 400 patients are monitored and analyzed simultaneously in real time using special software. These can be evaluated via AI systems and, so it is hoped, will decisively improve patient care and relieve the employees of intensive care medicine.

The Agri-Gaia project is to become an AI ecosystem for farmers: The German government is spending 11.75 million euros on the Agri-Gaia project. It will become part of the European cloud project Gaia X and equip the German agricultural and food industry with an all-round AI system. The aim is cross-manufacturer cooperation between farmers, machine manufacturers and service providers, including the food industry. While Economics Minister Peter Altmaier raves about the „creation of a competitive, sovereign data economy in the agricultural sector“, critics have expressed concern about the „transparent farmer“.

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AI software „Semantha“ for consumers: The AI system Semantha, developed by the Karlsruhe company Thingsthinking, caused a stir for the first time in 2018 when it publicly analyzed the coalition agreement of the federal government and found that 70 percent of it came from the Social Democrats SPD. In the meantime, the „inventors“ of the system have further developed the tool. Today, consumers can feed Semantha through the website “” with passages of a contract, clauses, or texts that they do not understand. The software then checks these for hidden pitfalls or contradicting formulations.

Startup develops AI for perfect employee search: Hitch is a talent discovery platform that offers the information based on data and on the development of applied neuroscience with Artificial Intelligence that companies need to select the best professionals, develop leaders and discover talents, that is, find that needle in the haystack for their key positions. „At Hitch, we help companies discover the talent they need to be successful,“ said Hitch CEO Gabriela Ceballos. „This launch makes finding talent an agile, intelligent and humane experience, injecting the right amount of technology to drive data-driven insights for better decision making.“

Study: AI language model GPT-3 Islamophobic: Artificial intelligence is developed by people with specific, consciously or unconsciously distinctive characteristics, worldviews, and prejudices. Scientists have long been pointing out that these characteristics can also be transferred to AI systems. Now, the most powerful language model currently on the market, GPT-3, has developed prejudices. Research by Abubakar Abid and colleagues from Stanford University has shown that the system developed by the startup OpenAI has anti-Muslim stereotypes. The developers admitted problems with inscribed prejudices in a scientific paper. Whether and how the algorithm can be optimized is currently still unclear.

Map: AI Park Germany shows an overview of the different AI applications of German startups
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Algorithm Watch: Report breaks down what goes wrong with authorities and companies when dealing with AI
Non-fiction book: New title by Murray Shanahan wants to convey a “neutral overview” of the AI
Studies: Training in the field of artificial intelligence becomes more multifaceted

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According to a study by ZEW Mannheim on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, only 6 percent of German companies use AI systems for their work, even if companies could generate up to 25 percent more sales.


Study shows EU how to pioneer in the data economy: The fight for the global leadership position in the field of artificial intelligence is in full swing – and fierce competition between the US, China and the EU. The latter has so far lagged behind, especially in the area of data protection. As a study by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) now emphasizes, there is a need in Europe for many more data pools with high quality standards that bundle and coordinate national AI projects and progress. Europe’s value-based approach to data protection offers the greatest challenge, but also the greatest potential. The authors place great hopes in projects such as the European cloud infrastructure Gaia-X. It is „a new gold standard“ to strengthen European data sovereignty.

AI helps archeology decipher centuries-old puzzles: Large parts of the population should be aware that the work of archaeological excavations and investigations is lengthy, complex and arduous. Artificial intelligence could shorten these processes and thus ensure faster and more accurate research results. There are already pioneers in this direction. One of them is Iris Kramer, a researcher with a bachelor’s degree in archeology. She has programmed an algorithm that uses lidar sensor technology to identify potential archaeological sites very quickly. For example, the depth of buried objects can be predicted in advance. Other AI projects specialize in the analysis of legacies such as feces. In this way, standardized conclusions can be drawn about the way of life of our human ancestors.


Robust artificial intelligence tools to predict future cancer: To catch cancer earlier, we need to predict who is going to get it in the future. The complex nature of forecasting risk has been bolstered by artificial intelligence tools, but the adoption of AI in medicine has been limited by poor performance on new patient populations and neglect to racial minorities. Two years ago, a team of scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Jameel Clinic (J-Clinic) demonstrated a deep learning system to predict cancer risk using just a patient’s mammogram. The model showed significant promise and even improved inclusivity: It was equally accurate for both white and Black women, which is especially important given that Black women are 43 percent more likely to die from breast cancer. But to integrate image-based risk models into clinical care and make them widely available, the researchers say the models needed both algorithmic improvements and large-scale validation across several hospitals to prove their robustness.


„For thousands of years there have been people who were sort of automatons and who did the jobs that nobody wanted to do. So there has always been an effort to mechanize this work. But the acceleration due to digital technologies in the late 20th and early 21st centuries is so enormous that we are no longer sure where this is going.“
The artist Mat Collishaw in a conversation with the “Monopol-Magazin” about artificial intelligence in art and the dangers for human behavior and their relationships through the application of the new possibilities by tech companies.


Google parent Alphabet with numerous AI controversies: Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has bet big on artificial intelligence as central to the company’s future, investing billions of dollars to embed the technology in the conglomerate’s disparate divisions. Now, it is one of his trickiest management challenges. Over the past 18 months, Google’s parent has waded through one controversy after another involving its top researchers and executives in the field. In the most high-profile incident, last month Google parted ways with a prominent AI researcher, Timnit Gebru, after she turned in studies critical of the company’s approach to AI and complained to colleagues about its diversity efforts. Her research findings concluded that Google wasn’t careful enough in deploying such powerful technology and was callous about the environmental impact of building supercomputers. Pichai pledged an investigation into the circumstances around her departure and said he would seek to restore trust.

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