Artificial Intelligence and Society

Given the pace of innovation in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), many people are looking for orientation, explanation, classification. What opportunities does KI offer? Where are risks? The trust in our society will only grow, if the AI ​​development also deals with the ethical, moral and normative consequences of its actions. The Volkswagen Foundation supports this process with a constantly updated focus - and a funding initiative supporting the close collaboration of technology and social sciences.

The initiative focuses on joint, integrative research approaches in the social sciences and the engineering sciences. It is aimed primarily at postdoctoral researchers and professors at all career levels in the social and engineering sciences. The call is currently being revised.

During this conference, recent and future developments in research and application of artificial intelligence (AI) and their impact on societies are to be discussed. Oct. 12-14, 2022

With its "Artificial Intelligence" funding initiative, the Volkswagen Foundation is strengthening interdisciplinary and transnational research into the responsible further development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. It is now funding seven project consortia from the social and technical sciences with a total of 9.8 million euros in this context.  Dec. 08, 2021


Algorithms exhibit biases that may pose a threat to social cohesion. A collaborative research project led by Professor Dietmar Hübner is looking for solutions to a serious problem that will become increasingly pressing in the future. May 17, 2021

Im Rahmen des Programms LINK-Masters der Stiftung Niedersachsen und der VolkswagenStiftung erhalten zehn interdisziplinäre Projektteams jeweils 10.000 Euro, um ihre Ideen weiter auszuarbeiten. 10.03.2021

What are the consequences of automation of care for the quality of life and dignity of the elderly? An interdisciplinary research group is working on concepts that are better geared to the needs of elderly people and caregivers alike. The results are innovative ideas in caring for the elderly – that sometimes challenge taboos. Dec. 9, 2020

Veranstaltungsbericht: Künstliche Intelligenz in der Medizin war das Thema eines Herrenhäuser Forums am 14. Juli 2020 in Hannover. In der Diskussion mit Experten und Expertinnen aus Informatik, Medizin und Recht ging es um Verantwortung und Vertrauen. 22.07.2020

Many courts in the USA use software to assess the risk of recidivism of defendants. Should AI also be used in the German judicial system? An interdisciplinary research group is now seeking answers to the provocative issues raised in this context. June 11, 2020

Thanks to increasingly sophisticated voice control, communication between man and machine is making great strides. Will the dialog with intelligent systems change our society? June 2, 2020

Im Kurzinterview: Dr. Diana Serbanescu ist überzeugt, dass Theater und künstlerische Praktiken die Öffentlichkeit erfolgreich mit Forschung und Technik in den Dialog bringen können. 30.04.2020

Was der Weg zur 'perfekten' Künstlichen Intelligenz (KI) über uns aussagt. Autorin Theresa Hannig erläutert im Interview ihre Zukunftsvisionen und -bedenken. 27.04.2020

Ein Filmklassiker vorweg, eine tiefgründige Diskussion im Anschluss: Die Science Movie Night am 7. Februar beleuchtete den Umgang der Menschheit mit künstlicher Intelligenz und stellte grundsätzlich Fragen: Wie ist das Verhältnis von Mensch zur Maschine? Wie menschlich sind Roboter? Und warum haben wir so viel Angst vor unserer Technologie? 

Sabine Müller-Mall views AI from the perspective of a scholar of law and constitutional theory. In her opinion, we should take a closer look at the underlying algorithms, since they exert a normative effect and influence how we perceive things, communicate and act. 16.03.2020

In what ways is artificial intelligence (AI) impacting on our society? How can productively handle the population’s reservations towards AI applications? A conversation between the AI expert Fruszina Molnár-Gábor and the new Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, Georg Schütte. 05.02.2020

Computer scientists tend to frown upon ethics as a "wishy-washy" subject, although there are very good reasons why it should be part of their studies. Those who do look into it have to expect the consequences: Their perceptions change, sometimes even their whole life, and in some places disciplines finally come together. Insights into an academic shift. 03.02.2020

Social robots – the teachers of the future or at least learning assistants? A Herrenhausen Forum inquired into just how intelligent and empathic digital teaching robots can be and the significance of pedagogy in a subject area dominated by computer scientists. 29.01.2020

AI proves its communicative intelligence in computer games: it adapts to individual needs and gives a sense of achievement. An interdisciplinary project group wants to explore this potential in more detail. Dec. 12, 2019

Will the difference between humans and machines be minimized due to the fast development in artificial intelligence? Experts discussed this question at the Science Movie Night on November 22, 2019. The discussion is now available as audio-recording. Dec. 1,2019 

Summary report of the Leopoldina-Lecture that took place in Herrenhausen Palace November 8, 2019. With political scientist Lorena Jaume-Palasí and physicist Klaus-Rober Müller. Oct. 21, 2019

Emmanuel Letouzé, Letouzé is co-founder and Director of Data-Pop Alliance, a global coalition on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and development created in 2013. He held his keynote "Human Artificial Intelligence for Societal Resilience" at the Herrenhausen Conference "Extreme Events - Building Climate Resilient Societies". Oct. 18, 2019

Technology giants zealously guard their data records – a policy with strict laws that slows down data transfer. So how does research on AI in Germany organize its basic supply of data? Oct. 17, 2019

In its funding initiative on artificial intelligence (AI), the Foundation promotes close collaboration between the technical and social sciences in order to enable future-oriented AI research in the interests of society at large. An interview with the initiative's program directors. Sep. 30, 2019

Networks, algorithms and AI: For Stefan Heidenreich, Co-Author of the book "Postmonetär denken", digitalization opens up ideal conditions for the utopia of a moneyless economy. Sep. 04, 2019

Ethical aspects are rarely considered when it comes to the design and the programming of a robot. This is where Aimee van Wynsberghe, co-founder and co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, is stepping in. Aug. 8, 2019

Göttingen research project "Deep Movement Diagnostics" receives around 1.2 million euros for the development of three-dimensional reconstructions of movement Patterns. June 19, 2019

Less apprehension, in return for a more intensive social debate: Robot psychologist Martina Mara puts in a plea for a more visionary approach to robotics and artificial intelligence – and to bridge the gaps between the disciplines. May 13, 2019

From March 12 to 19, 2019, the established Spring School brought together scientists from neurobiology, computer science, engineering, psychology and philosophy in order to deal with senses and sensors across disciplines and with the data collected. March 21, 2019

A panel member of this year's German Research Summit, science journalist Manuela Lenzen discusses how artificial intelligence (AI) affects society. In the following interview, the author of "AI – What it can do and what awaits us" answers some fundamental questions on the topic. March 18, 2019

At a Herrenhäuser Gespräch on February 14, 2019, experts debated how we should deal with artificial intelligence: A discussion surrounding privacy, control and power at a time when the machines around us are becoming ever more intelligent. February 21, 2019

An exchange in the ethics debate surrounding technical progress: Self-driving vehicles was the topic of a panel discussion at the Herrenhäuser Forum held on January 15, 2019

The Volkswagen Foundation has approved funding of around 7 million euro in the engineering and social sciences for five interdisciplinary research clusters dealing with the challenges arising from the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on society. The projects range from the use of artificial intelligence as an aid to decision making in criminal justice to its effect on communication culture and AI-supported precision medicine. January 15, 2019