I am a computer scientist, technology and innovation consultant and philosopher with a keen interest in artificial intelligence and other future emerging technologies. I particularly enjoy grappling with topics that relate to ethical principles and AI, digitization and technological development.
Technology: Robotics & AI
My technical background is Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. I am particularly interested in semantics in artificial sign users such as robots. My technical dissertation focused on Symbol Grounding, i.e. the question as to how meaning can be grounded in physical interaction with the world. Some of my research interests, foci and findings are:
- Adaptive systems generate models of the environment and of the selection function driving the adaptation. Therefore, learning systems such as neural networks develop anticipatory representations that are driven as much by the selection function as they are driven by the input to the system.
- Symbol grounding is mostly automatic model construction and has little to do with language.
- Meaning in artificial autonomous sign users is the anticipation of successful referral outcomes.
I have also contributed to two Book Sprint textbooks on the topics of ethics, robotics and AI.
I designed and managed the EU project EPIC – Europe’s ICT innovation partnership with Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The aim of EPIC was to strengthen ties between these regions through academic, industrial and political partnerships in the areas of ICT. Focal topics within ICT included artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital economy, spatial intelligence, ICT in transport, Internet of Things and Europe’s Digital Single Market.
Our society – and science in particular – is shifting from technology- and science-push to what has been called the post-scientific society. In such a society, innovation, i.e. realizing new technological opportunities quickly and efficient is even more important than fundamental research. I am particularly interested in “Ideas and Creativity” in innovation, which happens to be the title of a course I teach at the Vienna University of Technology.
In the area of technology policy, I worked on the European Commission’s “Important Project of Common European Interest IPCEI in microelectronics”, which focused on expanding the continent’s industrial production capabilities. I have also extensively supported FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) Flagship Projects, which are visionary long-term, large-scale research initiatives tackling major science and technology challenges, as well as the FET Flagship Study.
As a research strategist – and as a philosopher – I am interested in the longer-term perspective of organizing research and technology development. This includes questions of managing research, designing and implementing research programmes and devising research and innovation policies. Research management and RTD and innovation policy for me boils down to practical philosophy.
Philosophy: Digital Humanism & Epistemology
I am interested in epistemology and the theory of science. My dissertation in philosophy addresses “Innovation and knowledge” and how these terms are connected.
- Knowledge can be defined as the anticipation of successful interaction outcome.
- Knowledge is not interest-neutral.Our technoscientific way of approaching knowledge prepares predictive and technological answers tuned to specific demands.
My interest in the subject of digital humanism – where the humanities intersect with digital technologies – continues to grow. I recently participated in the interdisciplinary panel discussion ‘Ethical Challenges in the Digital Age: Mission for a Digital Humanism in Research and Technology Development’.
The Interplay of Art & Technology
I designed and managed the EU project FEAT on Future and Emerging Art and Technology. This successful initiative demonstrated and analysed the contribution of the arts to innovation and technology research.