In the current summer semester of 2022, an AI laboratory (link in German) has started operation at the Offenbach University of Art and Design (HfG) under the direction of Prof. Alex Oppermann, Department of Electronic Media. The lab is a novelty in the university landscape, as the HfG is the only art university to have received funding in the AI field from the federal and state governments. The task of the AI Lab, which is supervised by technical staff, is to promote collaboration between artists, designers and AI researchers. To this end, it provides a prototyping workshop, workstations, equipment and materials for cross-university projects. In this way, interdisciplinary teams can test start-up ideas, which are supervised in their development until they become spin-offs.
As a central component of the AI lab, the university says it will establish a robotics workshop “that will allow students to work creatively and experimentally with technologies such as physical computing, robotics, computer vision and rapid prototyping using 3D printing and CNC machines, as well as robotic arms.” Using these technologies, AI-generated shapes, prototypes and works can be represented in three dimensions and reused, whether as design models or sculptural forms. Moreover, by integrating machine learning techniques, students will be able to develop their own robots and/or autonomous systems, prototypes, art objects, and complex installations using technologies such as object and motion tracking. By learning how AI can be conceived and how it can be used to design, technology and society will be connected through art and design.
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