Reasoning computers

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.

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People need other people

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.

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Psychologically healthy children are more likely to grow into healthy adults


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.

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When will we (finally) choose a better world?

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.

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How we communicate with machines

Research on human-machine-interaction has advanced significantly in recent years according to computer scientist David Ahlström. He spoke to us about stumbling blocks and future potential for improvement.

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The quest for the perfect team

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.

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The end of the West?

Within the scope of an introductory seminar course, Johannes Dafinger and his students Anna Ogris and Julia Schator are studying Americanisation and Westernisation in the years following the Second World War and up to the early 1970s. Over the course of this quarter century, Austria and (Western) Germany were firmly integrated into the “Western” community of values. At the same time, the role model of the US-American “way of life” radiated across (Western) Europe and other parts of the world. Dafinger and his students explored the diverse manifestations of the Americanisation of culture, politics and economics and finally asked themselves the question: is the West at an end?

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Taking control of electricity consumption and storage

Austria has set itself the target in computational terms to cover 100% of total electricity consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030. Photovoltaics, wind and hydro power will serve as driving force. A conversation with smart grids expert Wilfried Elmenreich about the intelligent management and optimisation of renewable energy.

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