Interdisciplinarity in university-wide AI initiatives is imperative – and difficult

At Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany), researchers from a wide variety of disciplines from the obvious information science to disciplines as far apart as sociology, medicine or communication studies have recently joined forces in a university-wide working group on artificial intelligence. Since the scope of possible research problems in AI range from fundamental technological ones to ones of the application and reception of AI in different domains, ones concerning ethics and law, and others concerning AI in intelligent agents of social simulation such an interdisciplinary set-up looks very appropriate.

At the round table, we would like to share and discuss with the attendants the challenges we have faced with respect to finding the right balance of the aspects to be covered in a first step, to bridge the considerable gaps between different disciplinary cultures and to use a methodologically and culturally very diverse network to proceed to common research projects, up-to-date teaching, university governance lobbying as well as effective outreach measures.

Round table hosts:

  • Petra Ahrweiler, TISSS LAB, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
  • Christoph Bläsi, Gutenberg Institute for World Literature and Written Media, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
  • Stefan Kramer, The Data Mining Group, Institute for Computer Science, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
  • Simone Ohlmann, Institute for Psychology, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz