fortiss researchers in focus

fortiss researchers in focus

Vivek teaches trust in data quality.

Hello Vivek. Can you give us some insights into your work at fortiss?

At fortiss, my work is focused on the reliability of AI-based software systems. I am specifically involved in developing a framework for dataset quality management in Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. This is a critical aspect because the quality of the dataset used to train, validate, and test AI models is directly proportional to the reliability of the system's performance. By developing this framework, I aim to enhance trust in the performance of AI-based software systems and make them safer in real-world applications.
In addition to my work on dataset quality management, I have also had the opportunity to work on some exciting projects in collaboration with BMW and Intel, where we have been developing & testing AI systems for automated driving vehicles. This has been an incredible opportunity to apply and prove the effectiveness and usefulness of our research work developed at fortiss. Overall, I am very passionate about the work that I am doing at fortiss and believe that our research has the potential to have a significant impact on the development of AI systems in the future.

That sounds very exciting. What is your research focus in this area?

My research focuses on data-centered AI (DCAI), an emerging field in the AI domain. My primary objective is to develop methods and techniques to improve AI systems' reliability and trustworthiness. Specifically, I am exploring how leveraging dataset quality and its enhancement can be used to achieve this goal. One of the significant challenges in AI is ensuring that the training test data is of high quality, diverse, and free from bias. My research is aimed at addressing this challenge by developing novel techniques for dataset quality management that can improve the performance and reliability of AI systems.

Is there anything that you have done particularly well in the last few months?

Over the last few months, I have been actively involved in two critical projects: KI-Absicherung and Better Scenario Testing. I am pleased to report that I have successfully delivered all the work packages defined for these projects, which included several critical milestones. In particular, I am proud of my participation in the presentation at the final event of KI-Absicherung in Berlin, where I showcased the results of our research and development efforts. This was a great opportunity to engage with other researchers and industry experts and exchange ideas on how to improve the reliability and safety of AI-based systems. Currently, I am submitting a research paper based on the results obtained in the above projects to the 34th IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE-2023). This is a significant achievement for me as it highlights the impact of our work and the recognition of its relevance to the broader research community.

When did you first become interested in programming?

I have been programming for the last six to seven years, and I find it an incredibly exciting and rewarding activity. What I find most exciting about programming is the ability to transform an idea or hypothesis into a working prototype. Being able to see something you've created come to life is incredibly satisfying, and it's one of the reasons why I love programming so much. I am naturally drawn to problem-solving and analytical thinking, and programming provides an excellent platform for me to apply these skills. I enjoy the process of breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components, and then developing elegant and efficient solutions to these problems. One of the most exciting things about programming is that it allows me to create new things and automate many processes, which can be extremely useful in various fields. I find the process of designing and building a new application, tool, or system from scratch incredibly satisfying, and I enjoy exploring new programming languages and frameworks to expand my skills and knowledge.

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"One of the things that I appreciate most about the working environment at fortiss is the close collaboration with industry partners and the Technical University of Munich. This allows me to work on projects that have real-world applications and to make meaningful contributions to the field of AI."

fortiss researcher Vivek Vekariya

How did you find out about fortiss?

As someone who is passionate about AI and its applications, I was constantly seeking out new opportunities to grow my skills and contribute to cutting-edge research in this field. I came across fortiss on LinkedIn, where I saw several interesting job postings related to my area of expertise. Intrigued by the organization's focus on applied research and its reputation as a leading research institute in Germany in this field, I decided to do more research. I visited the website and learned more about fortiss and its mission. I was impressed by the institute's focus on developing practical solutions to real-world problems and its collaborative approach to research and development. After reading more about fortiss and its ongoing research projects, I knew that it was a place where I could make a significant contribution and continue to grow my skills and expertise in AI. I decided to apply for a position, and I am delighted to be a part of this dynamic and innovative company today.

What does the working environment at fortiss offer you?

I am thrilled to be a part of the team at fortiss, and I can honestly say that the working environment here is one of the best that I have experienced in my career as a researcher. One of the things that I appreciate most about the working environment at fortiss is the close collaboration with industry partners and the Technical University of Munich. This allows me to work on projects that have real-world applications and to make meaningful contributions to the field of AI. The opportunity to work alongside experts from a variety of different backgrounds and disciplines is also incredibly valuable, as it provides me with new perspectives and insights that I might not have otherwise encountered. The culture at fortiss is also very supportive and collaborative, which makes it easy to share ideas and work together to achieve our goals. There is a strong sense of teamwork and a shared commitment to excellence, which creates a positive and dynamic working environment that is both challenging and rewarding.

What are your colleagues like?

I am fortunate to work alongside some truly exceptional colleagues at fortiss, and I have found that they are some of the most supportive and open-minded individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. One of the things that I appreciate most about my colleagues is their willingness to help out when problems arise. Whether it's providing technical assistance or offering guidance on a particular research question, I know that I can always count on my colleagues to be there for me when I need them. At the same time, my colleagues are also very open-minded and receptive to new ideas. They are always eager to listen to my perspective and to offer their insights and feedback, which has helped to broaden my understanding of the field and to challenge my assumptions in new and exciting ways. Of course, my colleagues are not afraid to be critical when it is warranted. They provide constructive criticism that has helped me to refine my research direction and to stay focused on the most important aspects of my work.

"As a researcher, I am driven to use my skills and knowledge to contribute to society and make a positive impact."

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What drives you in your work? What do you want to achieve as a researcher?

I believe that technology and research should serve a purpose beyond just commercial or academic success. As a researcher, I am driven to use my skills and knowledge to contribute to society and make a positive impact. In my work, I am motivated to constantly learn and improve my skills while exploring new ideas and avenues in the field of AI. Ultimately, my goal is to develop AI systems that are not only efficient but also trustworthy, transparent, and safe for real-world applications.

What is the biggest challenge for you?

The biggest challenge for me right now is bridging the gap between academia and industry and making sure that my work at fortiss is relevant and useful for real-world applications. However, the regular feedback and interaction with our industry partners, as well as the opportunity to present my work at scientific conferences, motivate me to continue and continuously improve the effectiveness of my research. I believe that the potential impact of my work on society is a strong driving force that motivates me to overcome any challenges that come my way.

Where do you want to see your research results in action?

My vision is to contribute towards building a better future with the help of reliable AI. I believe that AI has the potential to make a positive impact on society, but it is important to ensure that these systems are reliable and safe for everyone. Therefore, my goal is to develop a framework for dataset quality management in AI applications, which can enhance trust in the performance of AI-based software systems and make them safer in real-world applications.
With my research results, I would like to see them meet legal requirements coming from the EU AI Act and other safety standards.

What advantage at fortiss would you highlight for applicants? 

The biggest advantage of working at fortiss is the recognition of your ideas and the motivation to work towards them. fortiss provides an excellent platform to solve industrial challenges with closer ties with academia (an excellent opportunity to pursue a Ph.D. or Postdoc). A good cover letter is always helpful, highlighting your results and drawing an analogy between them and what you will be doing at fortiss. In addition, it is also always interesting to emphasize how you can contribute to the development of fortiss and what ideas you have to solve the challenges involved. My advice for other applicants would be to research the ongoing projects at fortiss and align their skills and interests accordingly. Showing a genuine interest in the projects and their potential impact would demonstrate commitment and motivation to contribute to the team. For tips during the application process, it is essential to showcase strong problem-solving skills, a passion for research, and an ability to work collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams. It is also important to demonstrate a willingness to learn and adapt to new challenges, as fortiss often deals with cutting-edge technology and research. Finally, being able to effectively communicate ideas and research findings to both technical and non-technical audiences would be a valuable asset in the application process.