Artificial Intelligence: Nearly 10 million euros in funding for new projects

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.

Illustration: Phonlamai Photo - shutterstock.com
The funding initiative is aimed at researchers from the fields of technology, the social sciences and/or the humanities (Illustration: Phonlamai Photo - shutterstock.com)

"The newly approved projects in the funding initiative "Artificial Intelligence and the Society of the Future" focus on areas where AI systems are already being used or are about to be used in the near future, such as in medical diagnostics or preventive remote therapy, but also in financial market forecasting, scientific image processing and journalism," says Dr. Henrike Hartmann, leader of the funding department. "The researchers involved are thinking one step ahead, anticipating the impact of AI on society and how to steer it in a positive direction."

For example, the project titled "Towards Responsible AI in Local Journalism" is investigating how AI applications can help local newsroom research create and distribute articles – a measure designed to help them cope with the economic and social challenges they face. "Responsible" tools – according to the team led by Freigeist Fellow Prof. Dr. Neil Thurman of the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich – are those that not only increase the economic efficiency of newsrooms, but also take into account professional values and ethical standards. The project team comprises researchers from the fields of communication, media, law, journalism and computational linguistics from Munich, Leipzig, the Netherlands and Norway. The Foundation will provide around 1,412,000 euros over the next three years.

All seven selected projects are scheduled to run for three to four years and will each receive around 1.5 million euros in funding.

Project overview:

The initiative "Artificial Intelligence and the Society of the Future" has been running since 2017, and a total of 33.9 million euros has been approved to date. In 2022, the initiative will be updated in terms of content.