The Hessian Center for AI (Formerly known as AI.DA)
at Technical University Darmstadt

Most of AI in use today falls under the categories of the first two waves of AI research. First-wave AIs follow clear rules, written by people, aiming to cover every eventuality. Second-wave AI systems are the kind that use machine learning to arrive at an answer for a certain type of problem.

Prof. Kristian Kersting (left), Prof. Mira Mezini (right)

The AI team at TU Darmstadt envisions a future in which machines are more than just tools that execute human-programmed rules or generalise from human-curated data sets. AI systems of this third wave of AI can acquire human-like communication and reasoning capabilities, with the ability to recognise new situations and to adapt to them. For example, a third-wave AI system might note that a speed limit of 120 km/h does not make sense when entering a small village. 

The vision of our interdisciplinary team—Iryna Gurevych, Mira Mezini, Carsten Binnig, Kristian Kersting, Jan Peters, Stefan Roth and Constantin Rothkopf, among others— from the fields of AI, computer science and cognitive science is to lay down both the algorithmic and the system design foundations of this third wave of AI. We take a “Systems AI” view, i.e., a systemic view on AI that captures, understands and utilises the interaction of individual AI building blocks to yield a single, complex AI system. 

Therefore, we are happy and proud to be a core supporter of CLAIRE, part of TAILOR and home to the Hessian Center for AI (hessian.AI) with its 22 new tenured AI professorships and its connections to startups and industry.  Only a strong ecosystem can drive research excellence, education, practice and leadership in AI to foster economic growth and improve the human condition. The AI team at TU Darmstadt team has been awarded several prestigious ERC grants and received numerous scientific recognitions, such as EurAI, ACL, IEEE and ELLIS Fellows, the German AI Award, the EurAI Dissertation Award, IEEE Robotics & Automation Early Career Award, and several best paper awards at leading AI venues; we actually co-chaired several of them (e.g., ACL, CVPR, UAI, ECCV, ECML PKDD, CoRL). 

  • Contact
    • Prof. Dr. Kristian Kersting, EurAI Fellow, ELLIS Fellow, Co-Director of the Hessian Center for AI (hessian.AI), Head of the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Group, Computer Science Department & Center for Cognitive Science, TU Darmstadt, kersting(at)

(as of June 2021)