research fields

Research focus on applied “strong AI”

The objective of the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIRO) is to take up current topics in artificial intelligence and research them for the sake of society while facilitating effective knowledge transfer to the practical domain within various industry sectors. The focus is also on a more holistic understanding of AI – as opposed to isolated individual scenarios, which is the typical practice today. Ethical and legal aspects of AI will play an important role.

Starting from the fundamental areas of intelligence (perceiving, reasoning and acting) along with a concept-based representation of knowledge, it is possible to distinguish interlinked research fields at the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIRO). These research fields reflect how CAIRO is organized: perception with conceptualization (perceiving), problem recognition and conceptual solving as well as realization of action concepts (acting) and conceptual learning (central reasoning).

Characterization of CAIRO's six functional fields of research

Signals and (sensory) stimuli must be detected (using intelligent sensors) and generally converted with the aid of situational knowledge into a perception concept (concept of what is perceived), which can then be interpreted and processed by a central reasoning apparatus. Besides natural language processing and computer vision, models and theories must be applied in order to operationalize the conceptualization processes.

One key reasoning ability involves recognition of the need to utilize an available perception concept (problem recognition). The utilization can take place through learning (inward utilization) or through derivation of an action concept (outward utilization).

A situation that was assessed as requiring change necessitates correction on the basis of an action. For this purpose, available knowledge must be used to define a target or solution concept, which must then be subsequently materialized through action.

Necessary changes and solution concepts that relate to physical objects call for realization of a motion sequence involving an extremity or a peripheral apparatus (arms, legs, grippers, etc.) along with creation of a corresponding action concept.

Necessary changes and solution concepts directed towards other intelligence media or which relate to them are to be realized as acts of speech and must be communicated in the form of spoken or text-based instructions, questions or statements. Necessary changes that are directed inwards or which relate to oneself are also acts of speech or communication that are addressed to one’s own reasoning apparatus (speaking with oneself).

Through learning, a utilization concept is either supplied as a new insight to the reasoning apparatus or the knowledge base, or known concepts are extended or linked. Newly emerging or modified knowledge can in turn represent a need for utilization and trigger further reasoning processes.

Strong or weak AI?

In order to realize intelligent machines (software implementation) in these areas, it is possible to make use of weak as well as strong AI approaches, or a combination of the two.

Determination of which approach is best suited for a given area is an important responsibility for CAIRO.