Wolfgang Faber’s work is concerned with exploring how to present meaning in such a way that it can be processed by computer. His research efforts are closely linked to artificial intelligence. He told us how machines can become more rational.
Older people – especially in rural areas – often suffer from loneliness, which can subsequently become a health problem. The INTERREG project ECARE aims to tackle social isolation with the help of new digital communication options.
Nearly half of all mental illnesses have their origins in the early childhood years of the affected persons. In adulthood, these often emerge as chronic illnesses with negative consequences for the individual’s social life, economic productivity, and quality of life.
The world appears to lie in ruins: Climate change is making itself felt in environmental disasters. People in need are heading north; politics responds with nationalism. The concept of “do-gooders” bears negative connotations, although what we do need is people doing “good”; people who put their actions at the service of a better world. We spoke to the cognitive psychologist Stephan Dickert and the philosopher Alice Pechriggl about why it is so difficult to implement a change of mind.
Theoreticians who model processes mathematically in order to identify potential for optimisation sometimes draw from unexpected sources of inspiration. Paul Schweinzer spoke to ad astra about natural phenomena and economic models.
This statement was the title of a TIME article, which was included in the magazine’s special report on “The Drone Age”. We asked Christian Bettstetter to tell us what today’s drones can do and what drone(swarms) are not yet capable of. One thing is certain: Our airspace is going to be much busier in the future.
Jennifer Simonjan’s work focuses on camera networks. In conversation with ad astra she tells us why she does not fear ubiquitous camera surveillance, what she recently learned in Atlanta about nano cameras, and what it took for her, a first-generation student from an environment that was hardly technologically-minded, to gain her current position.
As a general rule, simply starting a business cluster in a green field does not tend to work, as Max-Peter Menzel explains. He specialises in the geography of innovation and production. “Smarter” concepts offer greater promise.
Sawmills can already transform wooden logs into planks at lightning speed. In contrast, the process of unloading the logs from the truck and transferring them to the sawmill is relatively slow. A project funded by the FFG is now exploring ways to automate this step.
Every minute, video material amounting to roughly 400 hours of viewing time is uploaded to YouTube. Users watch one billion hours’ worth of videos every single day, according to the channel’s own statistics. This data traffic between the YouTube “cloud” and the terminal devices, more than half of which are mobile devices, requires efficient organisation. The computer scientist Radu Prodan specialises in the efficiency aspects of these distributed and parallel systems. In the following interview, he discusses the possibilities and impossibilities that still lie ahead and that present enormous challenges for technology, humankind, and nature.