An evening full of experiments, surprises, and artificial intelligence: the AI Center at the RWTH Science Night 2023
On December 10, 2023, the doors of RWTH Aachen University opened for the annual Science Night. As part of this event for the general public, numerous and diverse institutes, research groups and facilities of RWTH Aachen University present scientific projects and experiments that inspire and amaze young and old alike. This year, the RWTH AI Center took part for the first time with fascinating demos and aroused the curiosity of the general public.
The colorful exhibits and demos of the AI Center pointed to the range of current AI research and its practical application. The Chair of Data Science in Mechanical Engineering, headed by Prof. Trimpe, used drones, which particularly impressed the youngest visitors. These not only demonstrated the technological advances, but also illustrated the potential of AI in the field of mechanical engineering.
The Knowledge-Based Systems group, led by Prof. Lakemeyer, presented logistics robots based on AI algorithms. These robots impressively demonstrated how AI can increase efficiency and precision in logistics, which is particularly important in modern production environments.
Another fascinating demo dealt with the famous "Traveling Salesperson Problem". This illustrated how AI can be used to solve complex logistical challenges, which can have far-reaching implications for various industries. The Eardrummer, an AI program at Prof. Hoos' Chair for Artificial Intelligence Methodology, added a creative touch. This program generates a drumbeat based on a spontaneous melody played on the piano. An innovative combination of AI and music that illustrates the artistic possibilities of this technology.
Despite the success of the demos, an unexpected incident marred the evening. The planned lecture "Artificial intelligence: out of research, into everyday life" with the renowned professors Hoos, Trimpe, van der Aalst and Büsing in the CARL's largest lecture hall was interrupted by a fire alarm. The entire CARL had to be evacuated until the fire department's emergency services were able to let the visitors and exhibitors back into the building after just under an hour. Despite the excellent visitor response at the beginning of the lecture, the second half, including exciting insights into process mining by Prof. van der Aalst and optimization by Prof. Büsing, unfortunately had to be cancelled.
Nevertheless, visitors were not discouraged by this unforeseen event. The demos continued to be very popular and offered guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with the fascinating world of artificial intelligence until midnight.
Overall, the participation of the RWTH AI Center in the Science Night 2023 was a great success, underlining the public's enthusiasm and interest in developments in the field of artificial intelligence. The organizing team is optimistic and promises to be back next time with equally impressive demos.
Author: Maddy Ruppé