fortiss researchers in focus

fortiss researchers in focus

Mariam mediates between human and AI.

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

Sure! My research at fortiss is divided into two main branches: Human-computer interaction and AI research. I'm particularly interested in the intersection between these two fields and how we can design interfaces that make it easier for people to interact with and benefit from AI technologies. Currently, I'm involved in several projects that bring together both academia and industry. One of the projects I'm most excited about is called "Tivity AI". It's aimed at helping non-expert industry practitioners to embed AI in their processes and increase their productivity. We're developing tools and interfaces that make it easy for people to use AI without needing to have a deep technical understanding of the underlying algorithms. One of the big questions I'm focusing on in my research is how to design interfaces that don't overwhelm users with too much information. As AI becomes more ubiquitous, we need to make sure that the interfaces we create are intuitive and easy to use. This is particularly important in industries where people may not be familiar with the latest AI technologies but still need to be able to use them effectively.

That sounds very exciting. Is there anything that you have done particularly well in the last few months?

Since I haven't been at fortiss that long, I can't emphasize much about the research topic yet. One of the things that has worked well for me, however, is getting on with the team, with whom I work closely. They're all nice and supportive, so it wasn't hard to integrate with them. I have to give credit to the onboarding process as well. It was perfect and really helped me to get up to speed quickly. I was given a clear overview of the company, its goals, and the projects I would be working on. Plus, I had plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get to know my colleagues. Overall, I feel like I've been able to settle in well and start contributing to the team's work. I'm excited to see what the future holds and how I can continue to grow and learn in this role.

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"I have to give credit to the onboarding process as well. It was perfect and really helped me to get up to speed quickly."

fortiss researcher Mariam Hassib

What is so exciting about Human-centered Engineering for you?

I find Human-centered Engineering to be an incredibly exciting and rewarding field to work in. My interest in this area started back in my bachelor's thesis, but I didn't fully realize how broad and diverse the field was until I started working in it more extensively during my master’s and Ph.D. What I find so interesting about it is that it's not just about designing user interfaces, but it's about designing the entire user experience. This includes thinking about how people interact with systems and devices, and how we can make those interactions as seamless and intuitive as possible. In particular, I'm fascinated by the challenges of designing systems that work well for users across a wide range of devices, from smartphones to smartwatches to voice assistants and beyond. It's not just about creating one good user experience but a cohesive and consistent experience across all of these different platforms. One area that I find particularly intriguing is the idea of using the body itself as a means of communication, rather than just relying on direct prompts or visual cues. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for how we can design systems that work well for people with different abilities and preferences. Overall, I think Human-Centered Engineering is an incredibly exciting and dynamic field, and I'm excited to continue exploring all of its different facets and possibilities.

Are there cultural differences in design you also need to consider?

Yes, absolutely. Cultural differences can have a huge impact on the design of products and systems, which we always need to consider when we're working on projects. The differences between cultures can be so significant that it can almost feel like we're designing for a different audience. I find the cultural aspect of design to be interesting and broad. There are so many different factors to consider, from language and communication styles to social norms and values. It's not just about creating a design that looks good, but about creating a design that resonates with people on a deeper level. One thing that I've noticed is that there can be a special perception that people have about certain designs based on their cultural background. For example, something that's considered modern and sleek in one culture might be seen as cold and impersonal in another. So, it's really important to have a good understanding of the cultural context in which the design will be used and to be willing to adapt and make changes as needed to ensure that it's truly effective and meaningful for the intended audience. Overall, I think cultural considerations are a really important part of the design process, and it's something that we always need to keep in mind as we're working on new projects. By taking the time to understand the cultural nuances and preferences of different audiences, we can create designs that truly resonate with people and help to bridge the gap between different cultures and communities.

"One of the things that I appreciate about the work environment at fortiss is that my colleagues are all doing really interesting research. It's great to be surrounded by such knowledgeable and passionate people who are all working towards a common goal."

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How did you learn about fortiss and what do you think of the work environment?

I learned about fortiss through some colleagues of mine at the Ludwig Maximilian University. I had been looking for job opportunities that would allow me to work at the intersection of academia and industry, and they recommended that I check out fortiss. What stood out to me about fortiss was the fact that they have a strong focus on Human-centered Engineering in their research. As someone deeply interested in this area, I was impressed by the work that fortiss is doing and the expertise that they bring to the table.
One of the things that I appreciate about the work environment at fortiss is that my colleagues are all doing really interesting research. It's great to be surrounded by such knowledgeable and passionate people who are all working towards a common goal. Additionally, I think fortiss does a fantastic job of partnering with the industry to ensure that their research is both relevant and impactful. The projects that we're working on are truly cutting-edge, and it's exciting to be a part of a team that is at the forefront of innovation and discovery. Overall, I'm grateful for the opportunity to work at fortiss, and I feel like the work environment is truly second to none. I'm excited to continue learning from my colleagues and contributing to the amazing work that we're doing here.

That makes us very happy. What drives you in your job?

One of the things that motivates me in my work is the fact that I get to work on projects that are much more applied than what I was used to working on during my time at university. Don't get me wrong, I loved the futuristic projects that I worked on in university, but there's something satisfying about working on research that has direct applications in industry. Another thing that motivates me is the fact that there is often a very different way of thinking between industry and academia. I find it interesting to navigate those different perspectives and find ways to bridge the gap between them to come up with solutions that work for both sides. Of course, there's also a lot of satisfaction that comes from seeing the results of my work out in the real world. Knowing that the research that I'm doing is making a difference in people's lives is a really rewarding feeling.
At the same time, there are still so many open questions in my field, and that's what makes it such an exciting area to work in. The amount of knowledge that we have about Human-centered Engineering and AI is constantly growing, and there are always new problems to solve and new ideas to explore. I enjoy problem-solving, and I love to come up with new ideas that push the boundaries of what we thought was possible. I also really appreciate the exchange that I have with my colleagues from the Machine Learning team. It's always great to get different perspectives and bounce ideas off of one another. Overall, I'm motivated by the fact that I get to work in such an interesting and dynamic field, and I'm excited to continue exploring new ideas and solving complex problems as I move forward in my career.

What advantages of working at fortiss would you point out to job applicants?

One of the biggest advantages of working at fortiss, in my opinion, is the fact that the team here is incredibly supportive and friendly. Another advantage that I've found working here is that the projects and research that we're working on are really interesting and engaging. I think that anyone who's looking for a supportive, positive work environment and wants to be part of a team that's doing interesting and innovative work would be a great fit for fortiss.

Where would you like to see your research results applied?

As someone deeply passionate about the potential of AI to transform the way we approach healthcare, I would love to see my research results applied in the medical domain. Specifically, I believe there is a lot of untapped potential in the diagnostic and treatment areas, and I think that AI has a crucial role to play in helping us unlock it. One area that I think is particularly ripe for improvement is the integration of machines into hospitals. While there has been some progress in this area, I believe there is still a long way to go before we fully realize the benefits of this technology. With AI integrated into these systems, we could see significant improvements in the speed and accuracy of diagnoses for a wide range of diseases. Of course, one of the biggest challenges in designing AI-based diagnostic systems is building trust among patients and medical professionals. There are still many people who are skeptical of AI, and who may not fully trust the diagnoses generated by these systems. That's why I think it's crucial to design interfaces that make communication between humans and machines as transparent as possible. By doing so, we can help build trust and ensure that patients feel comfortable relying on AI to help diagnose and treat their illnesses. Overall, I believe that the potential of AI in the medical domain is enormous, and I would be thrilled to see my research results contribute to this field in a meaningful way. By working to integrate AI into hospital systems and designing interfaces that build trust between humans and machines, I believe we can make significant progress in improving healthcare outcomes for people all around the world.