Vincent C. Müller, currently professor of philosophy and ethics of technology at the Technical University of Eindhoven, was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship to support his work on the philosophy of artificial intelligence.
The award includes a grant of €3.5 million (approximately $3.96 million), plus matching funds of €1.5 million from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) university, where he will be taking up a permanent chair in “Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence.”
Artificial intelligence (AI) is gradually entering all areas of our everyday lives. The more AI we use, the more we realise that certain standards and frameworks are needed to ensure that AI is developed and employed in a value-based, responsible and human-centred fashion. Otherwise, exclusion and discrimination could result.
The exploration and application of responsible AI is still a very young discipline and Vincent C. Müller can rightfully be described as one of its pioneers. Even before the topic had triggered broad public debate, he was working on the philosophy and ethics of AI, whereby he also enjoys a very high reputation amongst computer scientists: He is one of the few people outside of informatics to be appointed a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in London. He also channels his expertise into political consultancy, for example as an expert in the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, a global initiative involving Germany that was launched in 2020 to promote the responsible development and use of AI.
As a Humboldt Professor at FAU, Vincent C. Müller is called upon to build bridges both between technological and humanities expertise as well as beyond the confines of the university to industry and public administration. He is invited to build up a new, international, interdisciplinary Centre for Philosophy and AI Research (PAIR) which will become a hub for AI philosophy at FAU. Cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits is also foreseen in order to support the development of trustworthy AI systems.
Ten Humboldt professorships were awarded this year, across a range of disciplines. You can learn more about the other recipients here.