Visiting professor researches “artificial consciousness”

Since September 2017, Karsten Wendland has been a visiting professor at ITAS. The media computer scientist addresses the subject of “artificial consciousness” in Karlsruhe, which is said to be the Holy Grail in the field of artificial intelligence.
Comes to ITAS with unusual questions: visiting professor Karsten Wendland (Photo: Uli Planz)

“The subject is so ‘spooky’ that only few people in academic life have so far systematically looked into ‘artificial consciousness’”, explains Karsten Wendland, who has a background in both science of technology and the humanities. He worked for five years at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Technology (Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Technikforschung – ZIT) at Technische Universität Darmstadt, has had his own business for many years, and has been a professor for media computer science in the field of technical documentation at Aalen University since 2008. Regarding his interest in questions of technology assessment and vision assessment, ITAS is “the perfect place” and the sabbatical term the ideal possibility to have a closer look at specialized fields like “artificial consciousness” and for interdisciplinary discussions. 

Subject with special challenges

At the moment, the first cooperative approaches with ITAS colleagues are made. At the same time, Karsten Wendland is also interested in the dialog with scientists and representatives from public and non-public institutions beyond the German-speaking countries. “Many still consider ‘artificial consciousness’ as suspect, they only open up once you’ve created mutual trust”, Wendland comments on the challenges of the subject. This is exactly where it is getting interesting.

Karten Wendland wants to contribute to the work in ITAS with lectures and panel discussions. A public symposium at the end of his visiting professorship and further co-operations, for example in the form of joint publications on the subject of “artificial consciousness”, are also planned. (09.10.2017)

Further information

  • Karsten Wendland’s staff page at Aalen University