Europe's leading scientists in the field of machine learning, a core area of artificial intelligence (AI) research, on April 3 met with Baden Württemberg’s Minister President Winfried Kretschmann and Science Minister Theresia Bauer at the Neues Schloss in Stuttgart. The top researchers from Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, and Switzerland convened to advance the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS), an AI research cooperation supported by several European countries. The scientists gathered upon invitation by the Royal Society and Leopoldina, the UK’s and Germany’s National Academies of Sciences.
On March 26, 2019, the cabinet approved a 20 million-euro package of measures to further strengthen artificial intelligence. Among other things, the state of Baden Württemberg is investing a further 1 million euros for a fellow program under the ELLIS umbrella. In addition, up to 100 million euros are earmarked for the co-financing of projects that strengthen the competitiveness of industry and science in the field of AI. The aim is to make Baden-Württemberg a pioneer in this research field. This also includes support for ELLIS.
The ELLIS initiative was founded last year by Europe’s leading researchers, and the establishment of the ELLIS Society followed in December. Its goal is to drive excellence in Europe’s AI research, foster economic development, and help ensure that advances in AI technologies benefit society as a whole. The scientists work at the top research institutions in the field of machine learning, among them the Max Planck Institutes in Stuttgart, Tübingen, and Saarbrücken, the French national research institute for the digital sciences (INRIA), the universities of Amsterdam, Cambridge, Oxford, and Tübingen, University College London, the Alan Turing Institute, ETH Zurich, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and leading research labs from American and European companies.
The 20 scientists attending the event discussed how each participating research institution will be involved in the collaboration. The scientists moved ahead in implementing a Europe-wide fellow network to advance the state of the art in AI for the benefit of European societies. They also elaborated on how to involve top international industry research labs and how to best foster start-ups that will become the major AI players of the future.