In recent years, a special situation has arisen in Tübingen with regard to the research and discussion of Artificial Intelligence: Together with the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, the University of Stuttgart, and the Max-Plank-Corporation, the University of Tübingen has invested heavily in AI research and has attracted research support from partners in the industry. While the city administration and council welcome these investments and the cooperation named Cyber Valley, and the research cooperation has made a name for itself in the scientific community worldwide during the last five years, there is also backlash from the citizens who, for example, oppose the increased cooperation between university and industry. One of the opponents’ arguments is that the influence of international corporations on the Cyber Valley has serious consequences for the freedom of research.
In this polarized climate with a increased public interest in AI research, there emerges a "field of experimentation" to research and evaluate the rhetorical conditions of scientific communication in an area of conflict with science, politics, and society. The local communication efforts of the RHET AI Center are intended not only to provide a framework for the debate about the possibilities and risks of the application of AI technologies, but also to strengthen public knowledge about the processes and procedures of AI research. In this way, the RHET AI Center wants to contribute to the lasting evolution of scientific education and critical judgement competence of the regional population.