Gründung KI-Zentrum Hamburg © BWVI

New competence center for artificial intelligence established

ARIC to pool know-how and promote Hamburg's AI ecosystem

Plans were presented Monday (September 30, 2019) in Hamburg’s Rathaus for the start of the organisational structure and further development of the Artificial Intelligence Center Hamburg (ARIC) e.V. Launched in late August, the centre is set to bundle interdisciplinary know-how in artificial intelligence (AI) across industries and to advance its ecosystem. Launched by companies, universities and research institutions, ARIC will link up practical applications and research. The centre’s first office will open in the Dockland in November with five employees and an annual budget of EUR 400,000.

Bundling AI activities

“The future topic of AI is preparing the ground for the innovativeness and competitiveness of our companies. Strengthening and promoting this potential is of central importance to Hamburg,” said Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation when presenting the plans. “The competence centre is a central point of contact for bundling and boosting the various initiatives and activities in AI across sectors and topics,” he added.

“It is now important to provide resources, capacity and investment and start working on concrete cases,” said Bernd Appel, Managing Director of Lufthansa Industry Solutions GmbH & Co. KG and founding member. The question of whether an application can be successful across a wide range of companies arises, he added. ARIC will become a meeting point for experts and interested users. Obstacles will be removed to delve deeper into the subject matter and to discover all the positive potentials of these technologies. Artificial intelligence is being discussed ambivalently, and some have concerns and ethical reservations. Critics fear job losses or control losses through this key technology.

AI not new in Hamburg

“AI is deeply rooted in science across Hamburg and will accompany us closely in future. I am all the more pleased that ARIC is now bringing together the activities and competencies of science and business,” said Lothar Hotz, CEO of Hamburger Informatik Technologie Center e.V., Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Hamburg. “One of the centre’s core tasks is to transfer knowledge in AI between business, science and society,” he noted.

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