New Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS
Fraunhofer expands research on safety aspects of artificial intelligence
A ceremonial event will be held on the evening of December 3 to open the new Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS in Munich. Its research will focus on safety aspects of artificial intelligence: safe intelligence. The two areas of safety and intelligence are normally regarded separately but will now be combined. Fraunhofer IKS will be a central component of the State of Bavaria’s »Artificial Machine Intelligence« competence network. Six new professorships are being created for the institute’s work, including four at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Guests of honor at the opening ceremony on the evening of December 3 will include Dr. Markus Söder, Minister-President of the State of Bavaria; State Secretary Hubert Aiwanger; Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, President of TU Munich.
From autonomous driving to medical devices with unprecedented abilities for diagnosis and therapy: Cognitive systems are opening up new possibilities in countless areas. The foundation for innovative developments for the application of this technology is to harmonize safety and intelligence in the cognitive systems. These challenges are the research focus of the new Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS in Munich, which was founded on December 1 as the successor to the Fraunhofer Institute for Embedded Systems and Communication Technologies ESK.
At the opening ceremony for Fraunhofer IKS, Bavarian Minister-President Dr. Markus Söder said, »Artificial intelligence is the steam engine of the new digital world. With the Bavarian high-tech agenda, we are turning our state into a leading AI district. We are creating 100 AI chairs in the whole state — as many as the German federal government overall. The new Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems is a central pillar in our network. The innovation engine for Industry 4.0 and autonomous driving is here.«
»Fraunhofer IKS will strengthen applied AI research in innovative Bavaria in the long term and will become an important partner to key industry sectors of the Bavarian economy, like the automotive and mechanical engineering industries. The new institute is a central element of the Competence Network Artificial Intelligence and the high-tech agenda of the state government, and thus an important element of Bavaria’s digitalization strategy,« said Hubert Aiwanger, State Minister for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.
Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, said this about the opening of the new institute: »New developments based on artificial intelligence are decisive for our economic future and long-term positioning among the international competition. A key prerequisite for applying these new technologies successfully and getting them to market is trust in their safety. With its research in safe intelligence, the new Fraunhofer IKS is sending a clear signal and complementing our expertise in this strategically important field of research.«
Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, President of TUM, said, »With its one-of-a-kind ecosystem for AI and robotics, the greater Munich region is one of the front-runners worldwide. As part of our ONE MUNICH strategy, a key element of the TUM Agenda 2030 strategy, we are joining forces with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to make Munich an international leader in future innovations.«
»Artificial intelligence works well most of the time. But ‘most of the time’ simply isn’t enough when human lives are on the line, as is the case with autonomous driving,« said Prof. Mario Trapp, Executive Director of Fraunhofer IKS. »Safety must be guaranteed and the software must pose no risks to users. The mission of Fraunhofer IKS is to develop reliable software technologies for people.« The ability to combine intelligence with safety will decide the competition in many industry sectors, emphasized Trapp.
Fraunhofer IKS will become a cornerstone of the »Artificial Machine Intelligence« competence network
The Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS will play a key role in the »Artificial Machine Intelligence« competence network of the Bavarian state government. The network aims to build a bridge between basic and applied research. Its initial focus lies on developing resilient cognitive systems, resilient AI and AI for autonomous systems. In addition to the two Munich universities, TUM and LMU, other partners in the competence network include a variety of scientific and research institutions in Munich, Erlangen, Würzburg, Augsburg, Bayreuth, Ingolstadt and Amberg-Weiden.