Talking with… Dr. Alexander Schulz

The vision of the AI Marketplace is to significantly increase the quality and efficiency of product creation processes through the use of artificial intelligence. But what exactly does the term Artificial Intelligence mean? And what opportunities does the AI Marketplace offer for AI providers and companies? Dr. Alexander Schulz (CITEC) provides the answers.

Dr. Alexander Schulz, what exactly do you do and what is your connection to artificial intelligence?
I am Alexander Schulz and work as a PostDoc at Bielefeld University at CITEC, the Center for Cognitive Interaction Technology. I am there in the research group on machine learning, which is about automatically learning contexts from data. This is an essential aspect of artificial intelligence (AI).

What exactly is AI?
There are various definitions. One common one defines AI as the science of creating intelligent machines or computer programs. Then, of course, there is the question of intelligence, which is more difficult to define. Often this is understood in terms of goal-oriented problem-solving abilities of humans. Here, interestingly enough, the so-called “AI effect” can be observed, in which activities that used to be considered intelligent are denied this as soon as they can be realized by a technical system. Examples of this are character recognition or playing chess at a professional level.

What services are being developed in the AI Marketplace for AI providers?
Since the AI Marketplace places a special focus on applications in product development, the services developed are located precisely at the interface between AI and product development. On the one hand, these include information about possible applications of AI in product creation in the form of exemplary challenges or as a potential map. Information about data structures that are frequently used in product creation and are not always directly known to AI providers is also part of the service spectrum. Both the challenges and the potential map have already been designed and are constantly being expanded. The information on data structures is currently in the design phase.

Furthermore, the consortium is developing an algorithm for matching providers and users. This algorithm itself uses artificial intelligence methods to determine, based on a new query, which categories of AI processes (e.g., natural language processing) are particularly relevant to the query. Based on such an assignment, companies that have particular expertise in one of these categories can then be suggested to users.

This algorithm is already at a deployable stage and is about to be transferred to the platform.

So what exactly do companies get out of it?
Here, of course, the transfer of research must be mentioned: We integrate new methods that have proven particularly promising in research into the AI Marketplace so that they can be reused in further processing pipelines. In this way, AI-providing companies can also benefit directly from research.

One particularly relevant aspect is, of course, the marketplace itself, which will implement a service store and an app store. Here, AI providers will have the opportunity to present their services and solutions and thus specifically address customers from the industrial environment. This gives them a new channel for targeted customer acquisition.

These marketplace concepts have been designed and are currently in the implementation phase. We expect availability on the platform in the course of 2022.

Would you like to make the potential of AI in product creation accessible to your company as well?
The AI Marketplace offers a wide range of services, from potential analyses on concrete potential benefits of AI, to the AI Readiness Check, which determines the current state of your company’s digitization, to data check-ups, in which the AI Marketplace team helps you optimize data governance. In addition, as a partner of the AI Marketplace, you can gain direct access to the offerings and research results from the project through our partner program.

Check here how you can benefit from the AI Marketplace

More expert interviews are available here:

Marc Foullois, Fraunhofer IEM
Ulrich Ahle, FIWARE Foundation
Chris Baisch, UNITY AG
Alain Pfouga, prostep ivip
Christoph Mertens, IDSA
Ruslan Bernijazov, Fraunhofer IEM


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