Social science

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Institutional description

The Johannes Gutenberg University was founded in 1477 and is located in the capital of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where Johannes Gutenberg invented printing more than 500 years ago. Today, some 32.500 students, 10 percent from abroad, study at JGU (, making it one of Germany’s largest universities. With 75 fields of study and more than 260 degree courses, JGU offers an extraordinarily broad range of courses. JGU enjoys global eminence as a researchdriven university and regularly achieves solid positions in international research rankings. Successes in the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments have confirmed JGU’s academic status. Annually, about 700 PhD students complete their studies at JGU. Another attribute of JGU is its research-oriented teaching – which incorporates research-based topics in the curricula early on. Similar emphasis is placed on promoting and mentoring young research talents. JGU also considers the exchange of knowledge with society as one of its key duties. As an open university, JGU offers the populace a unique portfolio of information dissemination concepts that extend far beyond the scope of standard popular academic formats. Through its system of university governance, JGU makes sure that its members participate in the strategic planning and that outstanding academics get involved.

Research expertise related to AI FORA

Based in the Institute of Sociology is the Chair of Sociology of Technology and Innovation. With its attached Social Simulation infrastructure (TISSS Lab) it is engaged in the investigation of complex social systems. Analysing social phenomena around the production, the structures and the consequences of social innovations, helps to understand, describe and explain the complex dynamics and long-term effects of innovative change. For research, these complexity aspects require a computer-based lab research infrastructure, which supports a mix of quantitative and qualitative empirical methods combined with innovative methodological approaches from Computational Social Science such as social simulation. Especially, long term impact assessment of changes in interactional behaviour between stakeholders can be valuably addressed and investigated by such methodology.

Publications of institution

  • Ahrweiler, P., Frank, D., & Gilbert, N. (2019). Co-Designing Social Simulation Models For Policy Advice. In 2019 Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim) (pp. 1–12). Tucson, AZ, USA, USA: IEEE. (peer-reviewed publication published in July 2019)
  • Ahrweiler, P., Frank, D., & Gilbert, N. (2019). Co-Designing Social Simulation Models For Policy Advice. 2019 Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim) Tucson, AZ, USA (peer-reviewed accepted conference paper)
  • Frank, D., Juranyi, Z., Ahrweiler, P. & Kampis, G. (2019). Artificial Intelligence for Assessment: Prototyping responsible Technology Production for future Societies. Social Simulation Conference (SSC 2019), Annual Conference of the European Social Simulation Conference ESSA. Mainz, Germany (peerreviewed accepted conference paper; expected to appear in Springer Proceedings of SSC 2019 in 2020)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Petra Ahrweiler

Professor of Sociology, Johannes Gutenberg University, 55128 Mainz, Germany

Petra Ahrweiler is Full Professor of Sociology of Technology and Innovation, Social Simulation at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. Her appointment at JGU started in 2013 with getting leave for obtaining the position of Director and CEO at the EA European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, until 2017. Before 2013, she had been Full Professor of Technology and Innovation Management at Michael Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin, Ireland, and Director of its Innovation Research Unit IRU. Furthermore, she was Research Fellow of the Engineering Systems Division at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge/USA. She started her professional career with studying Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg, Germany. At Free University Berlin, Germany, she received her PhD for a study on Artificial Intelligence, and got her habilitation at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, for a study on simulation in Science and Technology Studies. Her main interests in research and teaching are the mutual relationship of new technologies and society, inter-organisational innovation networks, and agent-based models as methodological innovation in the Social Sciences. Petra Ahrweiler won various research prizes, has long experience in coordinating and completing international, mostly European research projects, publishes inter-disciplinarily in international journals, and has been awarded with fellowships of various scientific societies such as the German Academy of Technical Sciences acatech or AcademiaNet, the network of excellent female scientists in Germany.

Technical science

University of Augsburg

Institutional description

Founded in 1970, Augsburg University ( is one of the new modern universities in Bavaria. It has now approximately 18,000 students and is divided into eight faculties (Faculty of Applied Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Economics and Business, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Faculty of History and Philology, Faculty of Catholic Theology). Computer Science at Augsburg University stands for the combination of core informatics with applied subjects: medical informatics, engineering informatics, environmental informatics, geo informatics, economic informatics and media informatics under one roof. This broad network is a unique feature in Bavaria and in Germany. The research unit Human-Centered Multimedia (HCM) was founded in 2001 as part of the department of Computer Science at Augsburg University. The founding chair of the department is Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André, an internationally recognized top researcher in the fields “intelligent user interfaces” and “social computing” (Alcatel-Lucent Fellowship, ECCAI Fellowship, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Academy of Europe, SIGCHI Award, one of ten most influential personalities in German AI history). The members of the team have long-term experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of multimodal user interfaces, affective computing and social signal processing and conducted projects for the EU, the DFG, the BMBF and industries in this area. They have also been involved in the development of systems for social coaching, such as EU STREP TARDIS (Training young Adult’s Regulation of emotions and Development of social Interaction Skills) and BMBF EmpaT (Empathic Training Companions for Job Interviews) and developed techniques for social signal interpretation to assess the user’s social behaviors in job interview training.

Research expertise related to AI FORA

The core competence of the HCM Lab at Augsburg University lies in the exploration of new paradigms for the human-technology interaction, covering a wide range of sensors and interaction devices, including eye tracking systems, physiological sensors, touch-sensitive surfaces etc. The lab has profound experience with the development and evaluation of AI-assisted social assessment applications in the context of job interview training. Most recently, the HCM Lab has focused on the question of how to increase the transparency and interpretability of AI components – also those developed for social assessment – by personalized multimodal presentation techniques. The lab has furthermore developed a framework for cooperative machine learning called NOVA that supports active user involvement in the machine learning process. Following an interactive and exploratory workflow, the performance of a machine learning model can be improved by manual revision of the predictions, a process that uses confidence values to guide the inspection. The techniques in the area of cooperative transparent machine learning are of particular value to the co-creation lab to enable experiments with AI-based social assessment tools.

Publications of institution

  • Markus Langer, Cornelius J König, Patrick Gebhard, Elisabeth André: Dear computer, teach me manners: Testing virtual employment interview training. International Journal of Selection and Assessment 24 (4), 312-323, 2016.
  • Ionut Damian, Tobias Baur, Birgit Lugrin, Patrick Gebhard, Gregor Mehlmann, Elisabeth André: Games are Better than Books: In-Situ Comparison of an Interactive Job Interview Game with Conventional Training. Artificial Intelligence in Education 2015: 84-94
  • Alexander Heimerl, Tobias Baur, Florian Lingenfelser, Johannes Wagner and Elisabeth André: NOVA – A tool for eXplainable Cooperative Machine Learning. 8th International Conference on Affective Computing & Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2019). Best Technical Paper Award.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André

Full Professor of Computer Science (W3), Chair of Human-Centered Multimedia, Institute for Informatics, Augsburg University, Germany

Areas of Expertise: Intelligent Multimodal User Interfaces, Social Computing, Computer-Enhanced Learning Environments


Haus St. Ansgar

Bildungshaus St. Ansgar
Kloster Nütschau
Schloßstraße 26
23843 Travenbrück, Germany