Programme 2020

What does Future Food taste like?

with Dr. Karlheinz Steinmüller and Prof. Dr. Reinhold Leinfelder | Host
Can we afford to continue to feed 7 billion, soon to be 8 billion people in the same way as we do today – some get fed with vast amounts of resource-wasting, usually far too cheap meat, while others get far below the minimum daily requirements? The answer is obvious: No! But then how? Researchers and food technicians are relying on algae, insects and cultivated meat. The latter involves breeding a piece of meat in a bioreactor made of animal cells. But do we really want to eat it? Before we start discussing the taste of farmed meat, we should rather rethink our food culture.

When Robots become humanoid

with Emma Braslawsky and Prof. Dr. Steffen Staab | Host: Eva Wolfangel
In the first half of the 19th century, the so-called Luddites smashed steam engines and mechanical looms because they assumed that these machines would rob them of their livelihood. Where are they today, the Luddites? Robots work in factories, money and tickets come from vending machines. As robots become more and more humanoid, they may even be used for the care of people with dementia. Advances in sensor technology, automation technology and artificial intelligence suggest that robots will soon conquer even more occupational fields.

How much reality can be simulated?

with Tad Williams and Prof. Dr. Michael Resch | Host: Eva Wolfangel
Simulations calculated by high-performance computers allow us to take a look into the future. This is true, and at the same time it is not true. After all, the calculated « look into the future » is nothing more than a mathematical continuation of previously made assumptions. Let us think about global warming. Or the spread of a pandemic. Or of streams of refugees. Depending on the assumptions we make, the results can be reassuring or frightening. But the central question is: What political decisions will follow from simulation? We were allowed to experience the extreme case of a lockdown recently.

Privacy by Design: Yes, you can have both: innovation and privacy!

with Prof. Dr. Jaap-Henk Hoepman | Host: Ernst O. Wilhelm
The combination of artificial intelligence with Internet of Things opens the door to fantastic application scenarios that we have only known from science fiction so far, such as so-called « smart devices », which are programmed to learn about our wishes in order to fulfil them to the extent possible. With so-called « smart toys », the close connection with one’s own self, already familiar from the smart phone, is supplemented by an additional dimension: The device becomes an object that is given a name and with which a « personal relationship » is established, in the course of which highly personal data is collected. What is the current situation regarding the protection of this data and what could a future look like in which we can use « smart devices » while at the same time protecting our privacy?

Cakes, Lies and A.I. – The representation of artificial intelligence in video games

with Dr. Andreas Rauscher
The unpredictable computer HAL from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 – Odyssey in Space (1968) went down in film history as the prototype of a neurotic artificial intelligence. Today its successors populate the a great variety of video games: The psychopathic computer GlaDOS from the Portal series (since 2007) tries to lure the players to their doom with a non-existent cake in an obscure labyrinth. Just like the artificial intelligence Shodan in the series System Shock (1994), it is one of the most prominent A.I. variants in video games. While on the screen HAL disturbs with his gentle voice, which stands in stark contrast to his murderous plans, the representation of artificial intelligence in the video game directly influences the game mechanics and the rule system.

The combination of game experience and motivational story, which is specific to games, is the focus of the lecture, which sets out on a search through the history of video games for various playful forms of artificial intelligence. Using carefully selected examples, the special creative and artistic possibilities of the video game will be discussed and presented for an up-to-date treatment of one of the oldest and most relevant topics in science fiction.