TU Wien Informatics

European Artificial Intelligence On-Demand Platform and Ecosystem—AI4EU

  • By Claudia Vitt
  • 2020-11-17

TU Wien Informatics is part of the pan-European consortium aiming to create and support collaboration among actors in AI.

Picture: Gerd Altmann

Artificial Intelligence is a disruptive technology. Its impacts will rival those of electricity or printing. Giant tech companies currently dominate many resources for the innovation of AI technology. How about everyone had the opportunity to access and use cutting edge technology, reach AI resources, and to talk to experts? This is one of the AI4EU project’s goals.

In January 2019, the AI4EU consortium was established to build the first European Artificial Intelligence On-Demand Platform and Ecosystem with the European Commission’s support under the H2020 program. AI4EU is the European Union’s landmark Artificial Intelligence project, which seeks to develop a European AI ecosystem, bringing together the knowledge, algorithms, tools, and resources from AI actors as there are scientists, entrepreneurs, SMEs, industries, funding organizations, and citizens in 28 countries.

Sharing all information on one platform and making AI available to all is one of the primary goals. The project consists of eight industry-led AI pilots, which will demonstrate the value of the AI-on-demand platform as a technological innovation tool. The pilots and research will showcase how AI4EU can stimulate scientific discovery and technological innovation.

The AI4EU platform is a website for networking and experimenting with AI technologies. Registration is free and provides access to a community of experts, a catalog of AI resources, and soon an experimental platform for assembling AI applications and running these applications without expert knowledge. Arising from the application of AI in real-world scenarios, research activities in five key scientific areas such as Explainable AI, Physical AI, Verifiable AI, Collaborative AI, and Integrative AI are conducted.

Getting Involved

Thomas Eiter and Peter Schüller from our research unit Knowledge-Based Systems are contributing to the AI4EU project. With their expertise in automated reasoning and knowledge representation, they develop concepts, algorithms, and systems that allow machines to solve real-life problems.

Together with their industry partners Fraunhofer and Siemens in Germany, they develop one of the eight pilot systems, called AI4Industry. “AI4Industry is about Production Planning—we tell the AI tool what we want to produce and how fast we need it. The AI tool tells us how this can be done or explains why this is not possible,” describes Peter Schüller, project assistant for the AI4EU project, one of the main objectives. They also contribute to scientific progress within AI4EU by advancing the state-of-the-art in integrative AI in the context of the HEX language. “Our working group developed the HEX language. HEX permits to integrate reasoning with logic programs and other computations, which is a challenging task. In AI4EU, we mainly use HEX to integrate planning with OWL ontologies as our project partners use them,” Peter explains. OWL ontologies are popular in the industry and describe a factory and its products and machines.

In the AI4EU Experiments Platform, which is not yet released, the team will contribute several modules for AI experiments, aiming to show to SMEs and non-AI-experts possible state-of-the-art AI technology. “For example, after uploading a spreadsheet with a list of box sizes, the spreadsheet could be converted to a logic program, and a solver then computes how to load these packages to one or more cars, so that we can transport everything with a minimum amount of cars,” says Schüller.

Ethics Observatory

Even though the potential of AI technology is vast, AI is not without risks. For instance, AI poses risks to the right to personal data protection and privacy, and equally so a risk of discrimination when algorithms are used for purposes such as to profile people or to resolve situations in criminal justice.

There are calls to assess the impact of algorithms and automated decision-making systems in all branches of society. For that purpose and to ensure that high ethical, legal, and socioeconomic standards will be adhered to, the AI4EU Ethics Observatory has been established. It can be reached over the AI4EU platform. The platform is open to everybody, independent from education and status in any organization.