“AI between Scientific Research and Societal Impact”

Gerhard Friedrich, James Larus, Helga Nowotny, and Paul Timmers discuss societal impact of AI research.


This panel discussion is part of the opening event. For further information: CAIML Opening Event.

Gerhard Friedrich (University of Klagenfurt, Austria)

Gerhard Friedrich is a chaired professor at the Universität Klagenfurt, Austria and received his PhD in computer science from the TU Wien. He is Dean of the Faculty of Technical Sciences and directs the Intelligent Systems and Business Informatics research group. Previously he managed the Department for Configuration and Diagnosis Systems at Siemens Austria, implementing numerous knowledge-based systems. Gerhard Friedrich also led many research projects and was a research fellow at Siemens Corporate Research and at the Stanford Research Institute. His research interests include recommender systems, knowledge-based systems, knowledge acquisition and maintenance, automated configuration of products and services, automated planning and scheduling as well as automated diagnosis and repair of systems. Gerhard Friedrich served as program committee member for numerous distinguished conferences such as the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence or the WWW. He was an area chair at the 13th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning 2012, and a senior PC member at the ACM Recommender Systems Conferences 2010, 2011, 2012 and a chair of the Conference on Prestigious Applications of Intelligent Systems – PAIS 2014. Gerhard Friedrich is an associate editor of AI Communications and the International Journal of Mass Customization. In 2012 he became a fellow of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence.

James Larus (EPFL, Switzerland)

James Larus is Professor and Dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Prior to joining IC in 2013, Larus was a researcher, manager, and director in Microsoft Research for over 16 years and an assistant and associate professor in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Larus has been an active contributor to numerous communities. He published over 100 papers (with 9 best and most influential paper awards), received over 40 US patents. Larus received a National Science Foundation Young Investigator award in 1993 and became an ACM Fellow in 2006. Larus received his MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989, and an AB in Applied Mathematics from Harvard in 1980.

Helga Nowotny (Former President of the European Research Council)

Helga Nowotny is Professor emerita of Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich and former President of the European Research Council. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University, New York, and a doctorate in jurisprudence, University of Vienna. She has held teaching and research positions at universities and research institutions in several countries in Europe and has been actively engaged in research and innovation policy at European and international level during her entire professional career. Among other, she is currently a member of the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development and Visiting Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; member of the Board of Trustees of the Falling Walls Foundation, Berlin; and Vice-President of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. She has received numerous awards such as the rarely awarded Gold Medal of the Academia Europaea, the Leibniz-Medaille of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften and the British Academy President’s Medal. Helga Nowotny is the recipient of many honorary doctorates, among them from the University of Oxford and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She has published widely in science and technology studies, STS, and on social time. Her latest publications include “The Cunning of Uncertainty” (2015), “An Orderly Mess” (2017) and „In AI we trust. Power, Illusion and Control of Predictive Algorithms“ (2021).

Paul Timmers (University of Oxford, UK and European University Cyprus)

Prof. Dr. Paul Timmers is research associate at the University of Oxford (Oxford Internet Institute), professor at European University Cyprus and co-founder of the cybersecurity expertise centre Cyber.Cerides. He is also a visiting professor at Rijeka University, senior advisor to EPC Brussels, board member of Digital Enlightenment Forum and supervisory board member of the Estonian eGovernance Academy. He has been Director at the European Commission dealing with EU legislation and funding for cybersecurity, e-ID, digital privacy, digital health, smart cities, e-government. He was also cabinet member of European Commissioner Liikanen and until recently advisor to the European Commission, DG SANTE on digital health. He worked as manager in a large ICT company and co-founded an ICT start-up. Paul holds a physics PhD from Nijmegen University, MBA from Warwick University, was awarded an EU fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill, and obtained cybersecurity qualification at Harvard.


You can find the recording of the entire opening event below. The panel discussion begins at 1:56:19.

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Opening of TU Wien's Center for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/BZEBl6A9wec