Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) comprise technologies that have begun to impact industry, science and society in an unprecedented way. Speech and image recognition are prominent examples of applications that became reliable and commonplace over the last few years and that we find in devices we use every day. Ever more AI/ML-based technologies are employed in industrial settings, they shape how services are provided and products are manufactured, and they open entirely new avenues for research. Their impact on everyday life will make AI and ML one of the major transformative forces in the 21st century.
The scale of public and private investments, the surge in research and the intensity of policy debates highlight the relevance, potential and urgency of empowering researchers to apply AI/ML.
We are convinced that coordinated efforts and cooperation are key for success: Integrating field-specific and technological excellence, ensuring quality and providing swift access - that is what the Helmholtz AI Cooperation Unit is about. As Germany’s largest research organisation, the Helmholtz Association’s 19 research centres collect, store and analyse vast amounts of data - information and data science is both a natural and explicitly defined strategic focus. It is the ideal place to be and the time is right to tap this treasure trove of data to develop tools and applications based on AI and ML.