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Collaborative funding for higher education: Artificial intelligence helps learning

With the funding initiative “Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education”, the federal and state governments are supporting artificial intelligence at a total of 81 universities. The joint project “HAnS” (University Assistance System), in which Hof University of Applied Sciences is participating together with seven other universities under the coordination of the TH Nuremberg, will receive a funding amount of five million euros.

Image: pixabay;

The objective of the “HAnS” project is an intelligent university assistance system that collects teaching and learning materials from different subjects in audio and video format on a learning experience platform.

Platform prepares learning materials

The materials will be prepared for further artificial intelligence (AI) applications using speech recognition. The learning material is thus made searchable and automatically compiled according to criteria such as subject area, language or required prior knowledge. Based on this, an AI tutor will be developed that automatically generates exercises and learning objective checks based on predefined patterns. The process of technical development will be accompanied by the project partners in an interdisciplinary manner and continuously reviewed.

AI is changing society

“In the coming years, artificial intelligence will change society, the economy and people’s everyday lives worldwide,” explains the chairman of the Joint Science Conference, Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann, Minister for Economics, Science and Digitalization of the state of Saxony-Anhalt. “With the funding initiative, the federal and state governments are helping to ensure that universities continue to improve the skilled workforce for business and society in the field of AI, while also being pioneers in the application of AI.” Deputy Chair of the Joint Science Conference, Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research, added: “Artificial intelligence is one of the central key technologies of the future. We need top talent in the field of artificial intelligence in Germany and Europe so that we can shape our lives in the future with technological sovereignty and in line with our European values. And we want to use the potential of artificial intelligence, for example, to individualize teaching and learning processes at universities.”

Prof. Dr. Dietmar Wolff; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

Preparing for use at other educational institutions

“The HAnS collaborative project bundles existing expertise in the areas of software architecture, machine learning, language and text understanding, didactics, educational science, and data protection and ethics – we are very pleased to receive this funding,” said Prof. Dr. Dietmar Wolff, vice president of teaching at Hof University of Applied Sciences.

Prof. Dr. Dietmar Wolff, Vice President Teaching at Hof University of Applied Sciences

The project acts as an interdisciplinary innovation driver for AI in higher education and will be implemented by all participating universities and prepared for use at other educational institutions.

Start in December 2021

A total of 40 individual university projects and 14 collaborative projects involving several universities are being funded as part of the federal-state funding initiative “Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education.” With the funding initiative, the federal and state governments are striving to effectively unleash artificial intelligence across the breadth of the higher education system, for example in the design of AI-supported learning and examination environments. The selected projects are expected to receive funding for a period of up to four years starting in December 2021.

Project information on “HAnS” (University Assistance System)

Project coordination: Nuremberg University of Applied Sciences Georg Simon Ohm (THN)

Partner universities:

  • Nuremberg Protestant University of Applied Sciences (EVHN)
  • Ansbach University of Applied Sciences
  • Augsburg University of Applied Sciences
  • Hof University of Applied Sciences
  • Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences
  • Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences (HSWT)
  • Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences (THI)
  • Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences (TH OWL)

Tasks of the project partners:

  • Project coordination and evaluation (THN, EVHN, TH OWL)
  • Technical development (THN and THI)
  • Disciplines, didactics and methodology (TH OWL, EVHN, HS Ansbach, HSWT)
  • Ethics, acceptance and data protection (HS Hof, HS Augsburg, THI)
  • Data, data structure and integration (THN, THI, TH OWL, HS Hof, HS Augsburg, HS Neu-Ulm, HSWT, HS Ansbach, Virtual University of Bavaria, ORCA)

Rainer Krauß

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