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Education and AI applications for business central topics during visit to Lamarr Institute

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Jonathan Grunwald, member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Parliament, visited the Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence with his team on June 21, 2023. The small delegation came to Sankt Augustin to Fraunhofer IAIS, one of the Lamarr Institute’s partner organizations, to learn first-hand about the topics of digitization, education and Artificial Intelligence. The politician and his staff were received by the director of the Lamarr Institute Prof. Dr. Christian Bauckhage, the managing director Heike Horstmann and the head of press and public relations Katrin Berkler.

The visit began with a practical demonstration on the application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in business. Tobias Deußer, a researcher at the Lamarr Institute, presented Sustain.AI, an AI-based software that analyzes sustainability reports. Such reports on sustainable business published by companies or research institutions can be quickly and easily searched and analyzed with the software based on specific keywords and topics. The analysis tool thus creates a quick overview; employees of auditing companies and controlling departments, for example, benefit from this. The software was developed by Lamarr scientist Maren Pielka and her team, which also includes Tobias Deußer.

Education was another central topic, as the Lamarr Institute is committed, within the AI4Schools project and the Roberta-Initiative, to arouse enthusiasm for computer science and Artificial Intelligence already at school. Sandra Halscheidt, Business Developer at Fraunhofer IAIS, and Thorsten Leimbach, Head of the Roberta Initiative, presented the AI4Schools initiative and AI applications in the Open Roberta Lab.

The OpenRoberta Lab is a freely available open source platform with which even elementary school children can learn programming. The latest extension of the graphical programming interface was presented, which now also includes artificial neural networks and thus offers pupils an easy introduction to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

An overview of the Lamarr Institute and its development was given by Prof. Dr. Christian Bauckhage. The director presented research on high-performance, trustworthy, and sustainable AI solutions and emphasized the strong focus on applications and the commitment to education and society that unites Lamarr Institute researchers.

Following the presentations, there was an intense exchange on the role of the Lamarr Institute in the development and competitive position of the entire region. Points of contact also emerged on the subject of educational opportunities, and in particular the promotion of skills in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).