Although the organizers - the team of the Saltus Group "Responsible AI" and the team of the ELLIS Unit Freiburg had hesitated at first, but after an overwhelming majority of the invited speakers were willing to participate in a video conference, the decision was clear: the "Global Perspektives on Responsible AI" will not be postponed or even cancelled, but would actually be held globally - virtually as a video conference.
That this decision turned out to be the right one can now easily be shown in numbers after the conference: a programme with 40 lectures, plenary discussion and interview, spread over two full days, over 120 registrations from more than 20 countries, at least 40 participants throughout the entire duration and live participation by experts from Australia, China, the USA or South Korea - some of them with very challenging local time zones.
"We had great presentations and very intense discussions about the question what “Reponsible AI” means from the perspective of different disciplines", said Prof. Dr. Silja Vöneky, member of the Saltus Research Group and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law. "The exchange couldn't have been better under the current circumstances." Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard, Director of the ELLIS Unit Freiburg, who has now co-organised the second virtual conference, was also enthusiastic: "My session was amazing". The two days were intensive and varied due to the different formats such as lectures, plenary discussions, interviews and the interactive small breakout sessions.
Prof. Oliver Müller said: "We are so enthusiastic about the virtual conference that we are almost a little afraid that the virtual format will also shape future exchanges - which would be a real pity because Freiburg is a great place for our scientific dialogue". And this dialogue needs to be continued. Dr. Philipp Kellmeyer is sure: "The conference shows that shaping AI development and use today and in the future is a task for all of society. To this end, science plays a crucial role not only for responsible research and innovation but also for fostering the interdisciplinary shared understanding of ethical, legal and social aspects of human-AI interaction."
The conference is intended to be a prelude to further exchange and cooperation: one goal is the publication of an accompanying conference volume. The Saltus Group with Prof. Burgard, Dr. Kellmeyer, Prof. Müller and Prof. Vöneky from Freiburg would like to thank again all participants and the dedicated help of their team.