TRR 318 rep­res­en­ted at re:pub­lica 2023

Researchers from Transregio 318 will present AI systems and interactive robots at this year's re:publica in Berlin. The installation "Approachable Artificial Intelligence: How explanations improve the understanding between AI and humans" invites visitors to interact with AI systems and try to teach robots how to move. The installation is part of the off-stage program at re:publica, which runs from 5 to 7 June.

"With our installation at re:publica, we want to allow visitors to try out and explore AI systems," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anna-Lisa Vollmer. She leads the subproject subproject B05 'Co-constructing explainability with an interactively learning robot,’ in TRR 318. "How a robot reacts to human instructions and carries them out can deviate from the initial expectations. With explanations and visualizations, we want to improve the interaction between humans and machines.”

Part of the installation is a Jaco 2 robot arm by Kinova which the researchers have enabled with machine learning to play mini-golf with human assistance. The mechanical arm can hold and move a golf club. However, initially, it is unable to hit the miniature golf ball perfectly and needs human guidance to evaluate its attempts. Similarly, the second robot, called Nao, can solve small tasks like putting money into its piggy bank.

In addition, researchers have developed their own AI systems as part of the subproject Ö ‘Questions about Explainable Technology’: On a small device that functions as an intelligent C02 traffic light, or on computers with AI games, visitors have to work out for themselves what the AI is doing. Using questionnaires designed by the B03 subproject ‘Exploring users, roles, and explanations in real-world contexts,’ visitors can record their interactions with AI and discuss the potential and problems of using AI with the researchers on site.

With the exhibition, the Transregio researchers demonstrate how important it is to understand the technologies on the one hand and to negotiate explanations between humans and machines on the other in the interaction between humans and AI. To this end, the scientists will be on hand to provide expert knowledge about the AI systems on display and explore how AI can be made more explainable with visitors.


The re:publica is a festival for the digital society and the largest of its kind in Germany. Each year, it focuses on digital topics from science, net culture, politics, and work. At the festival, visitors can attend lectures and discussions on a show stage or experience hands-on workshops, technical installations, and art exhibitions in the off-stage program. Themed "CASH," re:publica will focus on the financial issues behind digitalization and will take place in Berlin in 2023.

Further Information