Life, day-to-day activities, work – artificial intelligence features in all areas of individual and social interaction. The benchmark for the successful development and application of artificial intelligence is its benefit to people and society. The Civic Innovation Platform, which was founded by the Policy Lab Digital, Work & Society within the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), serves as a forum for this: work partnerships can be formed within the platform for people to jointly develop and then submit ideas for AI providing benefits for the common good in all kinds of different societal or business areas.
With the AI is what we make it competition, the BMAS is seeking to specifically promote the very early stage of the innovation process, as the necessary resources in the area of social technology design have only been available in isolation until now. The ‘AI is what we make it’ idea contest was initiated to close this gap in the funding system and to support AI providing benefits for the common good at the idea stage both financially and conceptually.
We want AI to be used in such a way that it benefits everyone, not just a select few. We are consciously training our sights on the social and fair application of AI.
Federal Minister Hubertus Heil
The first idea contest: more than 100 entries, 25 winning project ideas
More than 100 entries were submitted in the first round of the idea contest. In a pitch process conducted virtually, the panel comprising experts from the CIP’s circle of cooperation partners selected the top 25 project ideas [PDF]. The factors taken into account included the ideas’ benefit to the common good, the intended use of AI, their innovative character and their sustainability.
At the award ceremony held on 10 March, the winning ideas in the areas of ‘Knowledge & Learning’, ‘Administration & Democracy’, ‘Inclusion & Diversity’ and ‘Work & Participation’ were honoured by Federal Minister Hubertus Heil. In addition to support with the development of the idea concepts, a win comprises prize money of up to 20,000 euros per project.
The panel of experts consisted of the cooperation partners of the Civic Innovation Platform and was represented by the following experts:
- Daniel Abbou, KI Bundesverband e.V.
- Andreas Bethke and Jana Mattert, German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV)
- Anika Krellmann, Local Government’s Joint Agency for Administrative Management (KGSt)
- Matthias Peissner, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (Fraunhofer IAO)
During the award ceremony, the panel commended the ideas and gave insights into the winning drafts. Each drawing on their different expertise, the panellists made valuable suggestions for further development of the ideas, the idea being to turn the ideas into workable concepts and potentially effective projects.
The first step: networking and close dialogue
Following the award ceremony, the award winners attended an initial networking workshop to get to know one another and engage with the experts. The conceptual support provided includes holding workshops in the course of the ongoing process to assist the teams with developing their draft ideas in terms of their AI usage, aspects of accessibility, applicability, etc.
An overview of the winning project ideas can be found on the Civic Innovation Platform website. The next round of the idea contest is likely to be announced this spring. Anyone who is interested can register now, come together in project teams on the platform and prepare a draft idea for submission.