How does artificial intelligence influence working and learning in the region?
Establishment of the regional competence center KARL starts in Karlsruhe
April 7, 2021
On April 1, 2021, the establishment of the regional competence center "Artificial Intelligence for Work and Learning in the Karlsruhe Region" (KARL) started in Karlsruhe. The application of artificial intelligence (AI) will have far-reaching effects on the work organization and work content of many employees. "This particularly affects the Karlsruhe region as the national 'Digital Hub for Applied AI' and leading IT cluster in Europe. KARL aims to help understand these impacts and turn them into competitive advantages for companies in the region and beyond by conducting a holistic study of AI applications and building sample solutions in practice," emphasizes Dr. Frank Mentrup, Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe.
KARL is one of four competence centers nationwide selected so far within the BMBF funding priority "Future of Work: Regional Competence Centers for Labor Research". KARL is being funded with a total of almost 8 million euros over the first four years. The project is coordinated by the Institute for Learning and Innovation in Networks (ILIN) at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. "With KARL, we are pursuing the goal of designing human-centered AI-supported work and learning systems in close cooperation between science and practice and illustrating them in concrete practical applications," explains Prof. Dr. Steffen Kinkel, head of ILIN and coordinator of KARL. Also involved in the project are:
- renowned scientific organizations in the region: The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Organization (IFAB) and the wbk Institute of Production Engineering, as well as the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft with the Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB) and the Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI)
- ten leading companies in the development and application of AI-based solutions (ADAC Nordbaden, Adesso AG, ArtiMinds Robotics GmbH, Blanc und Fischer GmbH & Co. KG, Datalyxt GmbH, EDI GmbH, INIT GmbH, Kinemic GmbH, Optimum GmbH, SICK AG)
- the CyberForum e.V. as the leading high-tech entrepreneur network in the region
KARL's research focuses on five fields that are particularly important in the context of the operational introduction and use of AI-supported working and learning systems:
- Selection of suitable methods and introduction processes
- Transparency and traceability of AI-based solution proposals
- Qualification and learning by and for AI
- Data quality and protection
- Ethical and legal issues of the introduction and application of AI systems
The focus of the investigation and testing is on the four application areas of mobility, knowledge-intensive services, manufacturing, and education, which are particularly strongly represented in the Karlsruhe region. AI systems are increasingly being used here and are prognostically exerting a strong influence on future working and learning systems.
"We design the AI-supported working and learning systems emerging in the research project together with the practice partners, test them, and then implement them in demonstrators. Together with Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, the participating KIT institutes, and the other research institutions, we want to use the resulting demonstrators to make both AI and its effects on humans tangible," says Professor Gisela Lanza, head of the wbk Instituts für Produktionstechnik and KARL project coordinator at KIT.
An online platform networks and represents real places of experiencing, trying out and learning, such as learning factories, real labs or demonstrators of the practice partners. "The platform expands our AI location Karlsruhe around the Applied AI Digital Hub and establishes a central point of contact that offers interested stakeholders low-threshold access to the showcase solutions developed at the interface of AI, work and learning," explains David Hermanns, managing director of the CyberForum. Furthermore, the results will be incorporated into education and training programs offered by the participating universities to ensure sustainable competence development. These open approaches to the developed solutions offer the opportunity to best exploit the potential of AI for work and learning in the Karlsruhe region.
The KARL research and development project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the program "Future of Value Creation. Research on Production, Services and Work" and is supervised by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors.