Center for AI

IBM and fortiss establish Center for AI Research

Artificial Intelligence
The Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger opens the joint AI Centre of IBM and fortiss. Photo: A. Eckert/fortiss
Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Harald Rueß, Scientific Managing Director of fortiss. Photo: A. Eckert/fortiss

IBM and fortiss, the research institute of the Free State of Bavaria for software intensive systems and services, founded a joint research center for artificial intelligence (AI). The partners will develop reliable and secure AI technologies for business and society. This center will be located at the IBM Watson IoT Center in Munich.

Companies and administrations in Bavaria are currently facing the challenge of working out the potential of AI technologies in order to develop new products and to embrace new business areas and services. In this context researchers also have to face questions regarding trustworthiness of these technologies.

Business and society need AI technologies that can make timely and reliable decisions in uncertain, complex environments and situations. The decisions made by machines, robots or vehicles should not only be comprehensible and explainable, but also resilient against incorrect inputs and targeted attacks. Modern AI systems also have to process ever larger amounts of data, just as they can gain useful insights from small amounts of data - without compromises on confidentiality and privacy.

In the joint facility, more than 50 scientists from IBM and fortiss will research and develop new AI-supported software solutions. The partners aim to explore and develop potential of AI for mission and business critical IoT (Internet of Things) applications. Particular focus will be placed on: AI-supported assistance systems for transparent decision support, prototyping of new digitized citizen services, and reliable, secure control of autonomous robots, distributed production systems and critical supply infrastructures (e.g. energy and water).

Expand research partnership

"A strong partner ecosystem consisting of industry and research is crucial to sustainably tap the potential of AI. We are therefore very much looking forward to expand our research partnership significantly with fortiss and thus creating an important and global connected center for AI research in Bavaria," explains Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D,  General Manager Watson IoT.

"Artificial intelligence is one of the key drivers for future economic development. We are proud that fortiss and IBM will jointly develop these trendsetting technologies in Bavaria. They are of outstanding importance for the competitiveness of Bavaria as a high-tech location," comments Hubert Aiwanger, Bavarian State Minister for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.

Dependability of software-based systems

"As one of core disciplines of computer science, engineering of the immaterial, AI has every opportunity to flow its applications directly into industrial products over a very short distance - from basic research and idea production to the development of prototypes," explains Dr. Harald Rueß, Scientific Director of fortiss.

 "fortiss brings its preliminary work on the reliability of software-based systems to the joint AI laboratory, which can lead to improved AI algorithms with clear benefits and great confidence. And in the field of AI potentials we will jointly investigate how the benefit contribution of such AI algorithms can be estimated and implemented in a more differentiated and realistic way, also for medium-sized companies," says Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar, speaker of the fortiss board of directors.

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