A.I. - Connecting the Dots


Our next event «Social Machines – how will robotics change interaction between humans?» takes place on Wednesday, 26th of September 2018, 18.30h at Kunsthalle Zurich. Also, our posters on A.I. basics are online: take a look! We are currently working on a policy paper. If you would like to get involved, feel free to contact Jannes Jegminat 



From personal assistants on our smartphones to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (A.I.) is poised to play a major role in our lives in the coming decades. However, due to the rapid growth of these technologies, our understanding of the future impact of A.I. is limited – and from hypes over recent developments, actual knowledge on these technologies' capabilities is in danger of becoming distorted.

This poor understanding prevents citizens and politicians from reaching acceptable trade-offs between the benefits that A.I. promises and the risks it entails. As a result, we find ourselves in danger of ill-founded fears of beneficial technologies such as autonomous vehicles, of ignorant risks being taken in the context of automation, and of high expectations set up by science fiction  that, eventually, will be disappointed. 



reatch aims to address this issue through a series of five events on A.I. in collaboration with ETH Zürich. Targeted at students and interested members of the general public, the series «A.I. – Connectign the Dots» has launched with an interactive exhibition on A.I. and will continue throughout six months with a number of talks and panel discussions with authoritative figures and exports in the field. Our hope is to provide a source of information about A.I. grounded in solid facts rather than fiction, facilitating an informed public discussion about the risks and benefits of A.I.. 



Supported by

with patronage of


The Series: A.I. – Connecting the Dots


September 28th-29th, 2017

A.I.: Connecting the Dots – Kick-Off

From self-driving cars to cancer detection, the recent success of A.I. is ubiquitously present in the media. Its impact is starting to become noticeable in our everyday lives through targeted advertising, conversational chatbots, and optimized search engines. But what's behind the buzzword «A.I.» and how does it really work?

At this two-day exhibition in the ETH Main Hall, you will have the chance to learn about the key components that make up modern A.I. technology directly from people that build and use it. Starting with the basics and working up to exciting real-world applications by companies and startups that make use of A.I. technology, we will show you how to connect the dots – to see how it all fits together so as to enable the technology that we see around us. Check out the posters here.


October 27th, 2017

Why are the Smartest People on Earth Worried about A.I.?

Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk share the concern that future artificial Superintelligence might be «the last invention we will ever make». Much of the current research on the issue of existential risks of A.I., is focused around the idea of Superintelligence (SI). Brought to popular attention by Professor Nick Bostrom's 2014 book with the same name, SI suggests that the greatest threat will not come from robots but simply from A.I. systems with a substantially higher level of intellect than humans will ever achieve.

At this panel discussion in the ETH Main Building (HG E7), you will have the chance to experience a philosophical debate both on the risks and chances of SI. The discussion is centered on the potential impact of SI on human society and how current research could be positively influenced.

For more information, please visit the event page.



21st November, 2017

Can A.I. Understand Humans? On Language, Creativity and Ethics of A.I.

Language and creativity are considered fundamental features of human intelligence. They pose a significant challenge to artificial systems. However, in recent years, the success of deep and recurrent neural networks has revolutionized artificial intelligence, as rule based systems were replaced by networks that are able to learn through experience.

A.I. more than ever competes with human intelligence, but creativity and language are still dominated by humans. Why – and for how long?

The third evening of the series encompass three short talks and a panel discussion. For more information, visit the event page.


April 19th , 2018

Algorithmic Justice – The Future of our Legal System?

Artificial intelligence has reached our legal system: algorithms determine the duration of prison sentences, calculate the likelihood of crimes in a certain city district and draft legal documents for lawyers. How will technology shape the legal professions of the future? Will our legal system change from the rule of law to the rule of algorithms? Are algorithms the automated judges of tomorrow? And can algorithmic justice ever be just?

For more information, visit the event page. You can find the event on Facebook here

September 26th, 2018

Staying Human in a Robot World: How Will A.I. Change Social Attitudes?

Robots are penetrating evermore areas of our everyday life – as coaches, care workers, or waiters. They exist to help, to please, and to serve us. They will more and more become like  human to facilitate our interaction with them. As we grow used to having these servants around us, how will our attitudes towards real humans change? In an afternoon series of short talks, we set out to find possible answers.


October 14th , 2018

Kann A.I. die Demokratie stärken?

A.I. setzt die Demokratie unter Druck und eröffnet ihr umgekehrt auch neue Möglichkeiten. Deep-Fakes, Fake-News, Troll-Bots und die (berechtigte) Angst vor dem Überwachungsstart geben reichlich Stoff für Leitartikel, doch jede Technologie eröffnet auch Chancen. Welche das sind, wollen wir in Kollaboration mit dem 100 Ways of Thinking Festival in der Kunsthalle Zurich ergründen.



Jannes Jegminat

Team Lead

Jannes is pursuing his PhD in theoretical neuroscience at the institute of neuroinformatics. ‘It’s science responsibility to explain the facts of a new technology and it’s the citizen’s responsibility to form an opinion based on these facts.’ jannes.jegminat@reatch.ch

Céline Spillmann

Main organiser: Algorithmic Justice

Céline holds a MA in Law, a BA in Economics and is currently finishing her MSc in Computer Science. She loves to work on transdisciplinary topics and is looking forward to pursuing her PhD in the intersection between law and computer science. celine.spillmann@reatch.ch

Alpha Renner

Main organiser: cognition event, Apero guru

Alpha is pursuing a PhD at the Institute of Neuroinformatics with a focus on embodied long term memory. alpha.renner@reatch.ch

Karolina Ignatiadis

Main organiser: Social robotics event

Karolina is an MSc student in the program Neural Systems and Computation at the Institute of Neuroinformatics. ‘Artificial Intelligence is indeed a part of our lives gaining progressively more ground in every aspect of our society. At present stage, the greatest danger there is to it is the one of misconception. It is for this reason projects like reatch are important: to fill the gaps and give insight through communicating scientific knowledge to the broader audience, raising discussion and awareness of the challenges AI has to pose in the near future.’ karolina.ignatiadis@reatch.ch

Angela Shen

Main organiser: Psychology event

Angela is an MSc student in theoretical neuroscience at the Institute of Neuroinformatics. ‘These events serve a good purpose in equipping the public with a factual understanding about AI. This could help eliminate pseudo-controversies and encourage public engagement in rational decision making regarding AI's future and safety.’ angela.shen@reatch.ch

Zoe Cremer

Team member

Zoe is doing here BSc thesis at the Institute of Neuroinformatics and hosts the AI alignment reading club (indepdently of reatch). zoe.cremer@reatch.ch

Lisa Schurrer


coming soon...

Stan Kerst


coming soon...

Former members

Matthew Rahtz

Main organiser: AI exhibition

Matthew is studying an MSc in neuroscience and machine learning at the University of Zurich's Institute of Neuroinformatics. "Given the impact that greater use of AI will have on society, we need to make sure that discussion about AI really is informed by fact and not misinformation and hyperbole. matthew.rahtz@reatch.ch

Jonathan Schaffner

Main organiser: Future of AI event

Jonathan finished his MSc in Neuroinformatics in 2018.’ joe.schaffner@reatch.ch

Alexandra Pinto

Team member

Alexandra is an MSc student in theoretical neuroscience at the Institute of Neuroinformatics. ‘I enjoy being part of reatch in the search for understanding and communicating what everybody really needs to know about AI. Our goal is to be able to transmit this knowledge in the clearest and most reliable way to the public. For me, the weakest point in this endeavor is the lack of a theory that give us a tool for explaining and predicting the reach of this powerful machines.’ alexandra.pinto@reatch.ch

Andri Sonder

AI exhibition

Andri is an MSc student in Robotics, Systems and Control at ETH Zurich. ‘AI is going to play an important role in the near future. In order to form an opinion about AI-related topics, the society needs to have certain knowledge about it and its impact on various areas of our everyday lives. Therefore, knowledge transfer between academia and society is a crucial step in order to critically discuss related topics and make well informed decisions to fully leverage the diverse potential of AI.’ andri.sonder@reatch.ch

Clemens Kielhauser

AI exhibition

Clemens Kielhauser is pursuing a PhD in Construction and Infrastructure management at ETH.

Florian Berlinger


Florian Berlinger studies collective intelligence toward a PhD in Computer Science at Harvard University. 

Micha Eichmann

AI exhibition

Micha studies bioinformatics at the University Bern, where he focuses on developing image analysis algorithms for tumor tissue samples, with the goal of ultimately improving patients' diagnoses.

Marco Unternährer

AI exhibition

Marco has recently joined out team. He works as backend developer. 

Nikola Nikolov

AI exhibition

Nikola is an PhD student at the Institute of Neuroinformatics. In his research he focuses on natural language processing.