Intelligent systems are already having a direct impact on the way we go about our lives. Such systems are set to trigger one of the biggest processes of change that modern civilisation has ever seen. The state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany is already home to leading research institutes active in the field of artificial intelligence. Over the coming years, Porsche will also play an active role in establishing a top international location for artificial intelligence: the Cyber Valley. Other partners involved in implementing the project include the University of Stuttgart and University of Tübingen, the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and companies such as Bosch, Daimler, BMW, ZF Friedrichshafen and Facebook.
The Cyber Valley is also set to establish an international centre for basic research and a founder platform for marketable applications. To this end, talented young scientists of the future will benefit from outstanding training together with up to 100 PhD students.
With its work in the fields of digitalisation and electromobility, Porsche is already making a major contribution to development work in this area. “The end of the decade will see us bring the first purely electric sportscar onto the market”, says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG.
“The Mission E project not only underlines the significance of our headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen – it is also a key milestone for Baden-Württemberg as a technological hub. The Cyber Valley initiative is the ideal complement for working on the key technologies of tomorrow, across different industries and physical locations, and for training talented young scientific minds in these areas.”
As an initial measure, the state is financing a total of nine Cyber Valley research groups alongside industrial partners and a consortium of foundations based in Baden-Württemberg. A total of ten professorships will also be created at the universities in Stuttgart and Tübingen, to promote the importance of the Cyber Valley initiative on an international scale. Two joint professorships at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems will also ensure the project maintains its focus long term. The state of Baden-Württemberg is also financing two additional professorships.
What’s more, the partner companies are offering two endowed chairs in Stuttgart and Tübingen. Summer 2017 will then see a graduate school set up by the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the universities in Stuttgart and Tübingen – the International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems.
In a second stage of expansion, a new building will be erected to give the Cyber Valley initiative a physical home. This building will serve as a base for one of Europe’s largest research collaboration projects in the field of artificial intelligence. More than EUR 50 million is set to be invested in expanding the Cyber Valley initiative over the coming years.
The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) is used to describe the concept of intelligent systems that are capable of fulfilling the complete cycle of perception, understanding and action. As a result of this intelligence, the systems are able to operate in complex and dynamic environments without external influence – skills that obviously come naturally to humans and animals. When developing intelligent systems, scientists attempt to understand the relevant control mechanisms as they appear in nature and transfer these mechanisms to artificial systems.
In the future, artificial intelligence will not only be a virtual concept, but also a physical one that we will encounter in our real-life environment. Starting points for this form of development are not just found in autonomous driving and industrial production. Self-learning systems can also play a key role in diagnosing and treating illnesses, in evaluating vast quantities of data, as well as in rescue operations. Essentially, these system can be deployed in any application where it is no longer possible to send in a person, or where sending in a person would be dangerous.