University of Bremen: Federal Government strengthens Bremen as a science location

The federal-state initiative “Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education” supports two projects at the University of Bremen. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is thus strengthening Bremen as a science location in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).
The joint project IMPACT (implementation of AI-based feedback and assessment with trusted learning analytics in universities) is about the (partially) automated analysis of texts. Along the Student Life Cycle , prospective students, newcomers and students should receive text-based, highly informative and personalized feedback in the orientation and entry phase, during the course of studies and at the end of course work. The University of Bremen, the FU Berlin, the HU Berlin and the distance university in Hagen are involved under the direction of the Goethe University Frankfurt .

The Bremen sub-project is led by the University’s Chief Digital Officer , Professor Andreas Breiter, and Dr. Christina Gloerfeld headed. Andreas Breiter is looking forward to using new processes in conjunction with the other universities and thus being able to support students and teachers in all subjects. “The ethical, legal and social implications of the use of AI are particularly important to us . In this project, we will design AI in a data protection-friendly and user-centered manner. ”The project is funded with a total of 5 million euros.

Development of robotics learning systems for universities
The interface between robotics and artificial intelligence, also known as cognitive robotics, will play an important role in overcoming societal challenges in the future. Intelligent robotic systems can, for example, take on central functions in healthcare and in supporting physically handicapped people in their own homes. A prerequisite for this is not only the further scientific development of these technologies, but also the training of specialists and young scientists. The University of Bremen is now expanding its outstanding position at this point: The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has approved around two million euros in funding for the development of a comprehensive learning system.

The project with the title “Integrated learning environment for cognitive robotics” (IntEL4CoRo) pursues the approach of competence-oriented teaching. This means that the students are enabled to apply their knowledge and develop it independently. The scientists at the University of Bremen under the direction of Professor Michael Beetz and Dr.Yildiray Ogurol want to achieve this by integrating practical elements into their learning environment. For example, students should work intensively with control systems for robots and physics-based simulations. This should help to illustrate the concepts from the courses. At the same time, the students test the skills they have acquired by further developing the learning system themselves. For this purpose, a research team from the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IAI) and the Center for Multimedia in Teaching (ZMML) was put together. They are supported by the University’s Center for Networks (ZFN) and the Cognitive Systems Lab (CSL), the Virtual Academy Sustainability (VAN), the Public Health course and the Center for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI).

In addition, the learning system is designed for the implementation of theses, team-based software development projects and robot competitions. All work that is carried out with the system should be transferable to real robots. The system itself is implemented as an open source project so that anyone interested can work on it or build their own versions on it.

“Concentrated know-how in AI research”
“I am very happy about this funding for our university,” says the rector, Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter. “The University of Bremen is a world leader in AI research.” Only recently, the special research area EASE – Everyday Activity Science and Engineering was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a further four years. “Here there is concentrated know-how to advance digitization in higher education with the help of artificial intelligence.”

The Senator for Science and Ports, Dr. Claudia Schilling: “The acceleration of technological change and digitization, also caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, makes the training of AI specialists particularly urgent. At the same time, the use of AI -based technology can also improve the quality, performance and effectiveness of higher education. Paying attention to ethical aspects is an important prerequisite for the acceptance and successful use of AIin higher education and is very important in Bremen. I am therefore very pleased that with the projects we have won, we can focus even more clearly on the acquisition of skills and the use of AI in university teaching, including its ethical, legal and social significance. As a result, the outstanding research strength in AI -based and cognition-inspired robotics in Bremen is optimally complemented and the AI ecosystem is placed on an even broader basis. “

About the federal-state initiative “Artificial intelligence in higher education”
With the funding initiative, which is endowed with around 133 million euros and reaches 81 universities across Germany, the federal and state governments are striving to develop the key AI technology effectively across the university system, announced the Joint Science Conference (GWK). A total of 40 individual projects from universities and 14 joint projects from several universities are funded. On the one hand, it is about measures that contribute to the qualification of future academic specialists. For example, universities are supported in the development of courses or individual modules in the field of artificial intelligence. On the other hand, universities are involved in designing AI-supported learning and exam environments are promoted. The selected projects are expected to receive funding from December 2021 for a period of up to four years. The maximum funding amount is two million euros for individual projects and five million euros for joint projects.

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