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Visitors from Einstein Center for Digital Future

Interdisciplinary research, digitization and social relevance were keywords during the visit of researchers from Einstein Center for Digital Future in Berlin, coming to UiA as guests at the Center for Digital Transformation. 

Plans of further collaboration. From left: Dr. Leif Skiftenes Flak, CeDiT/UiA, assoc.prof. Sara Hofman, CeDiT/UiA, PhD Ireti Amojo, ECDF and Dr. Christian Meske, ECDF.

Major investment into digitization research

Professor Christian Meske and PhD candidate Ireti Amojo visited Kristiansand this week, to become better acquainted with UiA's academic environments and talk about their own research projects. The two of them represent the Freie Universität in Berlin's enormous research initiative "Einstein Center for Digital Future" (ECDF). The research center Centre for Digital Transformation (CeDiT) hosted the visit, and the parallel between the two centres is clear. They both concentrate on digitization, interdisciplinarity, high quality research and interaction with society. The aim of the visit was to become better acquainted with each other's research areas and discuss opportunities for collaboration.

The ECDF has become Berlin's main centre for digitization research. The centre has an ambitious plan to house 50 professors, who come together from various universities and disciplines to conduct research on digitalization. The development is a public-private collaboration in which more than 30 companies, organizations, Berlin's five universities and more than ten research institutions contribute. The purpose is to build an interdisciplinary research environment where the best young "digital heads" from all over the world develop, shape and stimulate digitalization in science, the economy and society. The research is divided into the following core areas; digital infrastructure, methods and algorithms, as well as innovation related to digital health, digital society, digital industry and services.

Such an environment inspires the leader of CeDiT, Leif Skiftesnes Flak:

- It is impressive to see what a formidable effort that they have made in Berlin, says head of CeDiT Leif Skiftesnes Flak. It is also interesting that we share the same goals and experience many of the same issues. We have benefited greatly from sharing experiences on interdisciplinary collaboration, and we have discussed opportunities for concrete research collaboration between the centres. For us who are in the phase of developing a centre, it is of great importance to get acquainted with similar professional environments elsewhere in Europe and the world.

Research area of artificial intelligence

Examples of research areas presented during the visit were various methods for analyzing and classifying statements in social media, and how artificial intelligence technology works when it "learns" to recognize, for example, hate speech from Twitter. Christian Meske's research focuses on communication and systems for interaction, digital transformation of workplaces and artificial intelligence within organizations. He presented his research project related to "Explainable AI and Sentiment Analysis".

In her PhD project, Ireti Amojo focuses on "Digital Nudging and Enterprise Social Bots". During her visit, she presented various aspects of "enterprise social bots" used as a tool to connect employees across established social and professional patterns.

Learn more aboute the Berlin initiative here.

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