Bilateral Artificial Intelligence: Discovering the Next Dimension of AI

The FWF-funded Cluster of Excellence (CoE) “Bilateral Artificial Intelligence” aims to provide AI with significantly better and broader skill acquisition and problem-solving abilities. Headed by Sepp Hochreiter (JKU Linz), the CoE board of directors includes renowned AI experts such as VCLA Co-Chair Agata Ciabattoni and VCLA Board Member Thomas Eiter.

At a press conference held at the offices of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) on May 6, 2024, the FWF announced the approval of a new Cluster of Excellence, “Bilateral Artificial Intelligence – Discovering the Next Dimension of AI,” in the presence of Martin Polaschek, Federal Minister for Education, Science, and Research, and Christof Gattringer, president of the FWF. In the evening, selected guests were invited to a reception at the Urania observatory to celebrate the installation of the new cluster.

In this new Cluster of Excellence, the major Austrian players in the field of Artificial Intelligence are teaming up to combine symbolic (logic-based) and sub-symbolic (machine learning-based) AI. The underlying idea is to imitate the organization of the human brain: According to the Brain Lateralization Hypothesis, the left hemisphere is in charge of language and logical reasoning, whereas the right hemisphere is dominant in performing visual-spatial tasks. Similarly, AI would benefit from a bilateral structure in which Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (left hemisphere) informs Machine Learning (right hemisphere) to create synergy effects. This approach will improve the skill acquisition and problem-solving abilities of AI, thereby making existing technologies even better.


Agata Ciabattoni, Christoph Lampert, Sepp Hochreiter, Gerhard Friedrich, Martina Seidl, Thomas Eiter, Axel Polleres (from left to right) © FWF/Daniel Novotny

The research centers that participate in this Cluster of Excellence are Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien), Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (JKU Linz), Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (AAU), Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), Technische Universität Graz (TU Graz), and Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU Wien). The board of directors consists of Sepp Hochreiter (JKU Linz), Agata Ciabattoni (TU Wien), Thomas Eiter (TU Wien), Gerhard Friedrich (AAU), Christoph Lampert (ISTA), Robert Legenstein (TU Graz), Axel Polleres (WU Wien), and Martina Seidl (JKU Linz).


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