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enkis - Establishment of Sustainable Study Programs for Responsible Artificial Intelligence at the Freie Universität Berlin

Principal Investigator:
Research Team:
Funding:

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) - »Federal and State Initiative to Promote Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education« [Grant 16DHBKI025]

Term:
Dec 01, 2021 — Nov 30, 2025
Contact Person:
Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller-Birn

The goal of the project »enkis« is to establish sustainable study programs for responsible artificial intelligence at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a central topic in computer science research, and its development has lasting implications for society. Recent advances in AI research and application have raised many expectations about its potential role in solving major challenges, such as climate change, healthcare and crisis management. Despite promising developments, there is a growing concern about undesirable and even serious effects of AI-based technologies – including discrimination, invasion of privacy, or manipulation of choice. In view of these risks and concerns, computer science faculties across Europe are facing the challenge of reorganizing their curricula. The overall goal is to work towards a European perspective of responsible informatics that not only focuses on teaching the technological foundations of AI, but also how to analyze, understand and mitigate the social, ethical and legal implications of AI-based technologies.

Based on these considerations, the project »enkis« will strengthen the teaching of AI-related topics in computer science education at the Freie Universität Berlin. This is done with a pronounced focus on fostering ‘critical reflection’ among future professionals, scientists and non-technical experts regarding existing approaches and limitations as well as potentials in AI.

The Human-Centered Computing (HCC) Research Group, as part of the project, is transforming and extending our course offers in the Master program and beyond. The course's focus lies on the design of AI technologies, in particular on how we can prevent discrimination against individuals or inhibit invasion of privacy by basing the design and development of user interfaces and AI-based systems on the values associated with Responsible AI. Furthermore, it will highlight the challenge at hand to provide users of AI technologies with explanations regarding the data or models used in such a way that fairness and transparency is ensured. Its goal is to foster an understanding of social responsibility while integrating AI in products and systems. The course will be exploring didactically innovative concepts to prepare students to think critically, reflectively and empathically. It will be subject to continuous critical evaluation and will provide guidelines for future courses on responsible AI. Based on the experiences with this lecture, a fully conceptualized and documented OER (Open Education Resource) course will be published.

The project »enkis« is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the »Federal and State Initiative to Promote Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education«. 

Project partners: