A.I. - Connecting the Dots - Can A.I. Understand Humans?



As chat bots and virtual assistants, AI systems have entered the realm of human language and our everyday lives. But can an AI really understand a word’s meaning? Can it assess the context of a phrase and creatively form new sentences? And what should we teach it?

Join us for the evening to find out!



Sabine Stoll, Professor for Psycholinguistics at UZH
How do children become proficient and creative language users?
Children learn the basic structure and vocabulary in the first 4 years of their life but becoming a mature native speaker takes much longer. From the earliest words onward children are creative in their language use and this helps them to build up the system. However, there is not only one linguistic system but a huge variety. Around the world approximately 7000 languages are spoken with extremely diverse structures on all levels. So what are the abilities and mechanisms lying behind this exclusively human ability of language learning? In this talk I will show what patterns children can rely on in their surrounding speech and what learning mechanisms help them in making use of these patterns to ultimately apply them creatively themselves in ever new contexts.  


Chris Boos, Founder and CEO of Arago, a company for A.I. based business automation
AI in strategy game playing and AI-based business
Chris Boos has a mission: empowering human potential, freeing up time for creativity and innovative thinking through artificial intelligence (AI). To that end, Chris founded Arago in Germany in 1995, pushing existing boundaries in AI technology to build a general AI. Since then, Chris has led Arago to become a key partner and driver for the established economy, positioning Arago’s AI HIRO™ as a platform for companies to reinvent their business models in the digital age. But his ambitions go far beyond: a strong believer in integrating machine reasoning and machine learning, Chris is constantly challenging current thinking on AI. As a strategic corporate and political advisor, as well as angel investor, Chris’ multifaceted engagement for AI makes him a much respected public speaker and thought-leader on issues of global importance, such as the man-machine-relationship, the way societies deal with information and the future of labor.


Mathias Schüz, Professor for Responsible Leadership and Applied Business Ethics at ZHAW
The capabilities of a sustainably responsbile leader — a role model for A.I.?

Sustainably responsible leaders should not only provide technical expertise in management functions, but also ethical competence and esthetic sensibility. Cognitive intelligence should be complemented by ethical and intuitive/esthetic intelligence which better allow to take on economic, social and ecological responsibility. How far can robots with a.i. act sustainably responsible? The talk imparts the complexity of sustainably responsible leadership as a challenge for a.i. – perhaps, it outlines also unsurmountable limitations.

Prof. Dr. phil. Mathias Schüz studied Physics, Philosophy and Education at University of Mainz, Germany. His doctoral dissertation dealt with philosophical consequences of Quantum Theory. He started his professional career as trainee at IBM and later became key account manager. He co-initiated the Gerling Academy for Risk Research in Zurich and the publishing house Gerling Academy Press in Munich. Since 2006 he is member of the faculty of the School of Management and Law at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Winterthur, Switzerland. He published numerous articles and books on natural philosophy, risk research, holistic value and risk management, lies in management, corporate responsibility and business ethics. Currently, he has been developing an own model on sustainable corporate responsibility.



Tuesday, Nov 21st

17:30 - 19:00
3 Short talks
19:15 - 20:30

Panel discussion

20:30 - 21:30
ETH Foyer
Apéro and personal discussion with the speakers, poster exhibition

Meet other A.I. enthusiasts during the Apéro and find out how A.I. really works by talking to our student experts and by visiting our poster exhibition after the panel discussion.

The talks and the panel discussion can be attended separately.



ETH Hauptgebäude
Rämistrasse 101
8092 Zürich


The program in detail

17:30 – 17:35 Jannes Jegminat (AI project lead) – Welcoming remarks, theme of the event
17:35 – 18:00 Prof. Dr. Sabine Stoll – How do children become proficient and creative language users?
18:05 – 18:30 Chris Boos – AI in strategy game playing and AI-based business automation (preliminary title)
18:35 – 19:00 Prof. Dr. Mathias Schüz – The capabilities of a sustainably responsible leader — a role model for A.I.

19:00 – 19:15 Break

19:15 – 19:20 Jannes Jegminat (AI project lead) – Welcoming remarks, direction of the panel
19:20 – 19:30 Dr. Gagan Narula (panel moderator) – Recent advances in artificial creativity and language processing
19:30 – 20:15 Panel discussion
20:15 – 20:30 Questions from the audience
20:30 – 20:35 Jannes Jegminat (AI project lead) – Closing remarks

20:35 – 21:00 Apéro and poster exhibition



A.I. – Connecting the Dots is a reatch project funded by the cogito foundation.

This panel discussion is the third of a series of events debating the potential impact of A.I. on various aspects of society.

For more information on the rest of the series, see https://www.reatch.ch/de/ai-project. Share the Facebook event page with your friends!



the cogito foundation