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Cooperation from North Rhine-Westphalia starts lighthouse project for AI certification »made in Germany«

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Minister Pinkwart: We make the use of artificial intelligence trustworthy and secure in order to play a leading role in the further development of the economy and society

It helps us with language assistance, medical diagnostics or the prediction of maintenance cases in production: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is behind many innovative services that increasingly support business and society. In order to strengthen trust in this technology and acceptance, strong players in North Rhine-Westphalia are developing AI certification "made in Germany".

A corresponding cooperation agreement was signed by Arne Schönbohm, President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS in the presence of Digital Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart.

BSI and Fraunhofer IAIS are developing test procedures that serve as the basis for technical standards and norms. To this end, both are working together with partners from Germany and Europe. The first major project to be launched in early 2021 is the "Certified AI" project of the Artificial Intelligence Competence Platform North Rhine-Westphalia AI.NRW. In this project, companies, among others, define the concrete requirements for test procedures and carry out pilot tests.

Minister Pinkwart: "With our outstanding competencies and the strong AI.NRW network, North Rhine-Westphalia can play a leading role in the further development of the economy and society. In order to achieve this, we make the use of artificial intelligence trustworthy and secure. Independent certification of AI systems helps us to do this: It strengthens confidence in modern IT technology and is also recognized internationally as an important competitive advantage. With the development of marketable test methods, we are approaching our goal in large steps. This important project with strong partners from North Rhine-Westphalia demonstrates the great innovative power that contributes to establishing the brand 'AI made in Germany'.

Artificial intelligence is a key technology of the present day: To enable companies to achieve decisive competitive advantages by using AI, systems should be trustworthy and function reliably. This requires verifiable technical standards and norms that allow for a neutral evaluation of systems and that also provide consumers with information about guaranteed properties of AI technologies. The cooperation between BSI and Fraunhofer IAIS enables the intensive collaboration of experts in order to establish technical product and process tests of AI systems in the economy.

BSI President Arne Schönbohm: "Artificial intelligence is a central technology of digitization. AI methods are increasingly being used in the course of digitization and on a large scale for security-critical tasks. As the creator of secure digitisation in Germany, the BSI is therefore also intensively involved in this topic and supports the Federal Government in promoting the technologically and economically successful and socially accepted use of AI solutions in Germany. The trust of the users is important for the acceptance of new technologies. This is achieved, among other things, through transparent testing, evaluation and certification of AI systems. The basis for uniform standards and norms is the development of test procedures, which we are now tackling with our long-standing partner Fraunhofer IAIS. With the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs we also have a reliable partner who creates and promotes good framework conditions for innovation.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel, head of Fraunhofer IAIS: "Fraunhofer IAIS attaches great importance to the development of trustworthy AI solutions and has continuously expanded its research focus on AI protection over the past few years. By developing our test procedures with a view to AI certification, we are creating reliable standards for the development and evaluation of AI systems. Already next year we will conduct the first audits with companies. I am pleased that with BSI we have a strong partner with many years of experience in establishing standards in IT on our side. Now we have to set the course for certification together and bring the key players together. In the further development of the test procedures, practical suitability and marketability are to be further improved in close cooperation with the economy.

To this end, a major project will be launched at the beginning of 2021, which will be funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia within the framework of the competence platform KI.NRW. Renowned partners from research and application work together in the project, including the University of Bonn, the University of Cologne, the RWTH Aachen University, the German Institute for Standardization DIN, as well as numerous DAX 30 and other companies from various sectors such as telecommunications, banking, insurance, chemicals and trade. In industry- and technology-related user groups, the participants define concrete needs, establish criteria and benchmarks for testing in practice and carry out pilot tests. This broad participation process ensures that the procedures develop into generally accepted standards for AI systems and their verification, while being accompanied by legal, ethical and philosophical considerations.

About Fraunhofer IAIS

As part of the largest organization for application-oriented research in Europe, the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS in Sankt Augustin is one of the leading scientific institutes in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data in Europe. With its approximately 300 employees, the institute supports companies in optimizing products, services, processes and structures as well as in developing new digital business models. Fraunhofer IAIS thus shapes the digital transformation of our working and living environment.

About the BSI

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in Bonn designs information security in digitization through prevention, detection and reaction for the state, economy and society. As the federal cyber security authority, the BSI's task is to make Germany digitally secure. Since its foundation in 1991, the BSI has developed into a competence centre for information security issues, whose professional expertise is nationally and internationally recognised.

About KI.NRW

The AI.NRW competence platform is developing North Rhine-Westphalia into a leading location for applied artificial intelligence in Germany. As the central state umbrella organization, KI.NRW combines the triad of top-level research, innovation and entrepreneurship. The aim is to accelerate the transfer of AI from top-level research to industry, to establish a lead region for professional qualification in AI and to provide impulses in the social dialogue. In doing so, AI.NRW places people and their ethical principles at the centre of the design of artificial intelligence. The state funded AI.NRW is headed by Fraunhofer IAIS.

This is a copy of the official notification of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

for official publication


Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation,
Digitisation and Energy of the State
of North Rhine-Westphalia

Berger Allee 25
40213 Düsseldorf
0211 61772-143
presse@mwide.nrw.de