AI & Robotics

Our Content Highlights for long winter evenings: AI & Robotics

The days are getting shorter, the evenings longer - the winter is exactly the right time to read and stream extensively. And as an alternative to watching the hundredth repetition of “A Christmas Carol”, it might be worthwhile to take a closer look at various aspects of digitalisation. That's where our recommendations come in - today on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

Tip 1: AI dossier from the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

by Hanno Lenz, Innovation Steering at ERGO

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is working on AI solutions that improve our everyday lives: Traffic systems for safe roads, service robotics in medicine and care, the evaluation of huge amounts of data from earth observation for climate protection and disaster management, intelligent assistance systems for pilots and air traffic controllers, sensitive lightweight robotics for more safety in production and much more. There is a wealth of exciting contributions and application examples at But watch out: When browsing through the pages, it's easy to forget the time...

Tip 2 : YouTube documentary on the use of AI in modern smartphones

by Ingo Schenk, Digitalisation Communicator at ERGO

In this almost 17-minute clip - sponsored by Qualcomm - the YouTube channel Pocketnow examines the processes that take place in your smartphone when you trigger its camera: How is it possible that their pictures - despite much simpler hardware - look as professional to the untrained eye as those from much more expensive professional cameras? What algorithms are at work there to recognise motifs, optimise the ISO value and other settings, simulate depth of field and focus on the contours of a head, for example, while the pixels in the background appear blurred? Ingo says: “A fascinating foray behind the lens of our smartphones and into the ever-evolving world of artificial intelligence. Worth seeing!”

How Artificial Intelligence Makes Phones Smarter

Tip 3: A book about AI, robotics and ethics

by Hanno Lenz, Innovation Steering at ERGO

What is AI actually allowed to do? The authors of “<Ethics> in KI und Robotik” (in German; Hanser Verlag) get to the bottom of this question. Autonomous vehicles are coming onto our roads, robots are being proposed for a variety of tasks in healthcare – from assisting the elderly to being used in operations – and algorithms are deciding on loan applications and even on the use of automated weapons systems. Against this background, it is increasingly important to discuss the ethical foundations and implications of the use of AI and robotics in our society. This book offers an introduction to the topic that does not presuppose any technical, legal or philosophical knowledge. It addresses issues of trust, responsibility, liability, privacy and risk in users' relationship with AI systems and robotics.

Tip 4: Philosophical conversation about artificial consciousness and the nature of reality

by Maximilian Lipa, Innovation Steering at ERGO

Joscha Bach is the Vice President of Research at the AI Foundation and previously researched at MIT and Harvard. Bach studies the functioning of the human mind, intelligence, consciousness, life on Earth and the possibly simulated structure of our universe. With Lex Fridman he talks about artificial consciousness and the nature of reality. Among other things, the almost three-hour conversation is about sentience verus intelligence, the connection between the mind and the universe, ways out of self-destruction with AI and the role of emotions. A feature-length contribution that is well worth watching.

Joscha Bach: Nature of Reality, Dreams, and Consciousness | Lex Fridman Podcast #212

Tip 6: AI uncovers greenwashing

by Markus Sekulla, freelance digital consultant

Neil Sahota introduces an artificial intelligence that helps uncover "greenwashing". "ClimateBert" deconstructs corporate statements, annual reports, claims and other materials to evaluate climate-related claims and measure actual performance. Neil Sahota is the author of "Own the A.I. Revolution: Unlock Your Artificial Intelligence Strategy to Disrupt Your Competition" and is working with the United Nations on the AI for Good Global Summit initiative. Sahota is also an IBM Master Inventor, former head of the IBM Watson Group and professor at the University of California, Irvine. Note: There is a charge for this article.

Tip 7: Humanoid bots in our everyday lives

by Kristina Tewes, Social Media Manager and Online Editor at ERGO Group

Professor Nadia Magnenat Thalmann has been Director of the interdisciplinary Institute for Media Innovation at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) since August 2009. In her lecture, she describes the technical possibilities of a humanoid robot and outlines what this type of social bot can do for disabled or elderly people at home or in nursing homes. She describes in a case study the humanoid bot Nadine, which recently supported the nurses in a nursing home. The social bot can sense moods and emotions and remember people and actions.

What can a humanoid robot do in our daily life? A few case studies - Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, NTU

Tip 8: Scray Smart?

by Markus Sekulla, freelance digital consultant

Former Chief Business Officer at Google, Mo Gawdat, shares his insights on AI in his book „Scary Smart“. What seems to be a true horror szene in the first chapters, is brought to hopeful end with a positive look at what we can still do to let humans be the leading force on this planet.

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