Under the motto “Computer Science & Sustainability”, the Gesellschaft für Informatik e. V. (GI) held their virtual annual INFORMATIK conference from September 27th to October 1st, primarily to promote the topic of sustainability in information technology. Over 150 lectures and discussions as well as more than 50 workshops were broadcast from a Berlin broadcasting studio. At the same time, the international conference on environmental information and communication technology EnviroInfo 2021, the 44th edition of the conference on artificial intelligence KI2021 and the GI student conference SKILL 2021 took place.
More sustainability in IT
A central topic at INFORMATIK 2021 was sustainability, which was primarily about reducing CO2 consumption in general. According to GI managing director Daniel Krupka, the focus is on the area of crypto currencies – to be more precise, on how digital currencies can be produced without consuming a lot of energy. Wherever it is helpful, predictive maintenance should also be carried out, for example to replace spare parts for machines before a defect occurs, in order to prevent the entire machine from failing. There were also methods for more efficient code and methods that use less data.
The concept of “Sustainability by Design” is intended to ensure that sustainability is “inherently involved in the creation process” and is thus already taken into account during the design of the software. In order to be able to implement this sustainability, socially sustainable IT needs diverse development teams.
More computer science and IT in schools
In an international comparison, Germany scores poorly in the field of digital learning, but that’s not all: Companies, researchers and politicians are repeatedly calling for IT lessons in schools. In countries like Estonia and Lithuania, according to Krupka, significantly more is being done for digitization in schools and daycare centers.
In Germany there are those supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, among others The House of Little Scientists Foundation, which is currently developing advanced training for teachers on the subject of research-based learningto help integrate digital learning opportunities into the classroom. Still, more could be done. The corona crisis in particular has highlighted deficiencies in the area of digital education. How you can teach children the logic of AIs in a playful way remains a big topic for Krupka.
Third wave of AI
In the future, more and more tasks will be replaced by machines. In certain use cases, AIs can work better than humans, for example in autonomous driving. Prof. Dr. Kristian Kersting argues in his lecture for a third wave of artificial intelligence: People should no longer be afraid of new technologies, since AI systems are only tools that execute rules programmed by humans or generalize data sets.
Prizes and awards
Konrad Zuse Medal
With the Konrad Zuse Medal, awarded every two years, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Weikum a recognition for his contributions to computer science. President of the GI, Prof. Dr. Hannes Federrath: “He has developed scalable query systems and an effective ranking of query results for the intelligent organization and search of information, especially in Big Data, which are available in structured databases as well as largely semi-structured or unstructured. Gerhard Weikum has made significant contributions to Construction of knowledge bases that already serve as the basis for AI-based search engines. “
As part of the event this year, the GI honored four people who “have made an outstanding contribution to computer science”. Dr. Oliver Deussen, Dr. Constanze Kurz, Prof. Dr. Mathias Weske and Prof. Dr. Heidi Schelhowe were appointed fellows. The awards were made virtually. “With Prof. Dr. Oliver Deussen, the GI is honoring one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of visualization. A special focus of his work is the representation of plants, landscapes and ecosystems. Oliver Deussen attaches great importance to an understandable and popular science Communication of his research topics. “
The GI appoints IT talents with extraordinary ideas and achievements as Junior Fellows. Matthias Marx (University of Hamburg), Dr.-Ing. Fereshta Yazdani (Lufthansa Industry Solutions) and Michael Schaub (RWTH Aachen University) were honored at INFORMATIK 2021. As part of the Junior Fellowship, the award winners, who have proven themselves early on in the areas of IT security, big data and network research, receive technical and financial support from GI for the implementation of ideas.
The Austrian receives the dissertation award jointly awarded by the GI, the Austrian Computer Society (OCG) and the Swiss Computer Science Society (SI) Dr. Daniela Kaufmann for her doctoral thesis on the verification of multipliers at gate level. The research work was submitted to the Johannes Kepler University Linz and deals with the formal verification of arithmetic circuits using algebraic proof techniques. Since digital circuits have to work correctly to avoid errors, Dr. Kaufmann developed a verification tool during her doctorate that can be used to automatically verify multipliers.