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AI for students: AI-SKILLS project launched

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The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer limited to technical areas. In ECDF professor Elisabeth Mayweg's AI-SKILLS project, students from all disciplines will be able to deal with AI methods and AI technologies in a subject-specific manner.

The project is hand-on: "The project runs under the approach 'learning AI by doing AI'. We want the students to apply AI in a structured and methodologically reflective way and to relate it to their own, subject-specific issues," explains Mayweg. It aims to develop an AI certificate program that is part of the curriculum in all areas, where students learn and directly apply key technologies and methods. "An important part is also that legal and ethical issues are discussed in addition to methodological, technical and informational basics," says the ECDF professor.

At Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, there are already established university didactic and technical support structures such as the bologna.lab, a teaching and learning lab, and the Computer and Media Service, through whose use AI-interested teachers and students are brought together. The project focuses on methods of machine learning and symbolic AI. Teachers and students have access to a JupyterHub with powerful hardware, and computational essays, a combination of code, illustrations and explanatory text, are introduced as a form of examination. "In this way, we want to ensure that the focus is on the concrete application of AI methods, rather than just their description. For us, new competencies and a reflected application by the students are central," says Mayweg, who is subproject leader in the AI-SKILLS project.

The teaching and learning materials are available according to the principles of open science use and are constantly evaluated and further developed, taking into account the needs of students and teachers. This should contribute to the sustainable implementation and impact of the project. AI-SKILLS is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for the project period from December 2021 to November 2025.