AI Research

AI research itself is not new; its beginnings date back to the mid-1950s. Leading U.S. computer scientists, mathematically qualified individuals, and linguists met for a joint research project - their vision at the time: machines solving complex tasks that require human intelligence, without each individual step being pre-programmed.

That the field of artificial intelligence (AI) currently stands out so much is the result of the unfolding of decades of research efforts. In the past century, there have been repeated high phases of AI research, during which, however, among other things, the technical sophistication of the existing computers and networks was not sufficient and thus the high expectations could not be met to the full extent.

In recent years, however, we have again seen significant growth in the field of AI research. Applications that have attracted attention have emerged around the world in quick succession. Various AI applications are already integral parts of many people's daily lives, such as AI-based voice assistants on computers and smartphones. Important reasons for the rapid development are the exponential growth in computing and storage power as well as improved methods. Interest in AI continues to grow. But researchers still have much work to do to develop ethically compliant AI systems that relieve and assist humans with more everyday tasks.

The potential of AI to analyze broader data sets, identify concepts and patterns in data, and enable human-machine communication is unfolding in nearly all sectors and numerous business processes.

To explore the methodology and potential of AI, research is devoted to various AI capabilities, for example:

  • Capturing and representing knowledge about the world, for example, in fraud detection;
  • Solve problems through logical reasoning, for example, in asset management;
  • Establish goals and sequences of actions that enable progress toward them, e.g., in network optimization;
  • Understand written and spoken language, e.g., in real-time translation; and
  • Making inferences about the world based on sensory input, e.g., in autonomous vehicles.

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

In Germany, AI research came into sharper focus with the founding of the DFKI in 1988. In the process, German scientists made a name for themselves, especially in speech understanding, image processing and robotics.

For more than 30 years, DFKI has been working on applications in all AI fields. During this time, hundreds of projects have been implemented with industry partners - with significant impact beyond the German-speaking region. DFKI projects address the entire spectrum from application-oriented basic research to market and customer-oriented development of product functions.

Currently, about 1,080 employees from more than 65 nations are researching innovative software solutions with a focus on the following topics

  • Smart data & knowledge services,
  • Cyber-Physical Systems,
  • Multilingual Technologies,
  • Plan-based Robot Control,
  • Educational Technologies,
  • Interactive Textiles,
  • Robotics, 
  • Algorithmic Business and Production,
  • Innovative Retail,
  • Information Systems,
  • Embedded Intelligence,
  • Smart Service Engineering,
  • Intelligent Analytics for Mass Data,
  • Intelligent Networks,
  • Agents and Simulated Reality,
  • Augmented Reality,
  • Speech Technology,
  • Cognitive Assistance Systems,
  • Innovative Factory Systems,
  • Marine Perception and
  • Smart Enterprise Engineering.

The success: more than 140 professors from our own ranks and more than 97 spin-off companies with approximately 2,500 highly qualified jobs. 

Further information

Detailed information on the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) can be found at