SAIL delegation visits Johns Hopkins University in the USA

Artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainability are key topics that require global collaboration. A delegation from the SAIL network therefore recently travelled to the USA to exchange ideas with researchers from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and present the “Sustainable Life-Cycle of Intelligent Socio-Technical Systems” (SAIL) research network.

SAIL investigates the interaction between humans, AI and technology over the entire life cycle of a system. The focus is on the sustainable and long-term development of socio-technical systems in real life. The SAIL consortium deals with basic research in the field of AI and its effects from the perspective of the humanities and social sciences as well as with concrete applications in the field of “Industry 4.0” and digital healthcare. The network, which is funded by the NRW Ministry of Culture and Science, includes Paderborn University, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences and OWL University of Applied Sciences.

Exchange of ideas and future cooperation opportunities

Prof Dr Axel Ngonga, Nadine Jochimsen and Dr Franziska Schloots from Paderborn University visited the JHU campus in Baltimore, MD, together with Prof Dr Wolfram Schenck from Bielefeld University, Dr Ole Pütz from Bielefeld University and Dr Katja Simons from the Campus OWL New York office. There, the delegation exchanged ideas with JHU researchers about potential cooperation opportunities, such as collaboration within the framework of fellowship programmes.

The delegation from OWL also met with representatives of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Washington, DC, to discuss opportunities for research cooperation between Germany and the USA.

At the public event “How Sustainable is Artifical Intelligence?” there were also six flash talks at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center in Washington D.C., and a panel discussion on “Large Language Models: Risks and Opportunities for Science and Society” in which Ngonga and his colleague Dr Kenton Murray from JHU discussed the importance of “Low Resource Languages” for sustainable “Foundation Models”.

The trip was supported by the joint Campus OWL liaison office in New York and by the office’s network, including the German Embassy in Washington D.C., the German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH New York), the German Research Foundation (DFG) in Washington D.C. and the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Further visits to JHU are planned in the future to further intensify the collaboration.