“SAIL Praxistag” at HSBI

Under the title “AI Research Meets Practice: Perspectives for Companies and Society,” the consortium project SAIL invited participants to the Applied AI Day at HSBI. In addition to contributions from research and industry on the subject of artificial intelligence and its use in practice, an exhibition showed possible applications of AI.

Everybody has been talking about artificial intelligence (AI) since language models like ChatGPT have become available to the public. But what does the use of AI actually mean for society? SAIL’s Applied AI Day, which brought together over 80 participants at HSBI’s conference centre, focused on this question. The interdisciplinary network SAIL, consisting of HSBI, Paderborn University, Bielefeld University and OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts (TH OWL), investigates how AI systems can be operated sustainably, transparently, safely and resource-efficiently throughout their entire life cycle.

“AI is a key innovation driver for the OWL region,” said Prof. Dr. Anant Patel, Vice President for Research and Development at HSBI, in his welcome speech. Subsequently, Prof. Dr. Barbara Hammer (SAIL’s overall project manager/Bielefeld University) presented the consortium project SAIL before handing over to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Schenck (SAIL/HSBI) who guided the audience through the programme.

Insights from industry: smart household appliances and imitation learning

In his keynote, Dr. Felix Reinhart of Miele & Cie. KG highlighted the development process of smart household appliances by means of machine learning, stressing that “the key success factor is to proactively create the necessary hardware and software infrastructures for the use of AI early on.”

Prof. Dr. Klaus Neumann then built the bridge to research. His experience at the Fraunhofer IOSB-INA in Lemgo and at Bielefeld University enabled him to shed light on both applied and theoretical aspects of AI innovations in automation. In his presentation “Imitation learning in robot-driven automation,” he emphasised that “low-cost robotics and imitation learning will make it possible to automate even those manufacturing processes for which this has not previously been cost-effective.”

Prof. Dr. Miriam Pein-Hackelbusch (SAIL/TH OWL) concluded the session on “AI in Industry” with a presentation on regulatory challenges in the use of AI in the pharmaceutical industry, also pointing out possible solutions.

AI in companies and society

In the subsequent session on “AI in Companies and Society,” Prof. Dr. Axel-Cyrille Ngonga Ngomo (SAIL/Paderborn University) spoke about applications of generative AI, focusing on “Retrieval-Augmented Generative AI,” a technique for improving the topicality and reliability of generative AI. Computer linguist Prof. Dr. Sina Zarrieß (SAIL/Bielefeld University) established the connection to society through her presentation on the automated recognition of hate speech. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Jungeblut (SAIL/HSBI) presented research on AI in smart home technologies that are intended to make it possible for people requiring care to live independently in their own homes for longer.

Experiencing AI applications first hand

Following the presentations, the participants had the opportunity to look at and try out the research products of the various working groups of SAIL, with 18 examples from practice being presented in a demonstrator exhibition in the university’s main hallway. These included prototypes and simulations that illustrated the application of AI in various areas. For example, the exhibition featured interactive chatbots, a demonstration of the experimental factories “Smart Factory OWL” at TH OWL in Lemgo and the “IoT Factory” at HSBI’s campus in Gütersloh, an AI-monitored care bed and an exoskeleton designed to make work easier for caregivers.  

“The great interest in the event shows that SAIL’s core idea of looking at the entire life cycle of AI from an interdisciplinary perspective is crucial for transferring AI to practice in the OWL region. This is the only way AI can benefit regional companies and society to a greater extent than centralised applications from large tech companies can,” was Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Schenck’s summary of the event.

This article is published under: https://www.hsbi.de/en/press-releases/applied-ai-day-at-hsbi-sail-network-presented-the-potential-and-the-challenges-of-artificial-intelligence-in-practice