From 13–22 June 2023, the online programme I'm a Scientist — Get me out of here went into the next round. 26 researchers provided answers for the curious questions of over 400 students on the topic: "How does AI communicate?"
I'm a Scientist is a cooperation between Wissenschaft im Dialog and the RHET AI Center and has facilitated the exchange between scientists and students since 2020. Over the course of the project, school classes have the opportunity to participate in 30-minute live chats with three to five researchers and ask them questions about a specific research topic. In June, the topic was "How does AI communicate?" The researchers answer the questions to the best of their ability, as at the end of each session the students get to vote on who gave the best answers. After the final live chat on the topic, the votes are added up and the scientist with the most votes wins a prize of 500€, which can be used to fund their own science communication project.
From previous I'm a Scientist rounds, very different projects have already emerged. Dr. David Spencer, winner of the "Climate Change" round, for example, used the prize money to start the YouTube channel "Krautnah", on which he provides information about climate-friendly options for plant cultivation in the future and various topics related to it. For Prof. Tim Kietzmann from the "Knowledge" theme round, the victory at I'm a Scientist gave the starting signal for the Science Communication project "BrainBuzz — discover the fascinating world of cognitive science" at the University of Osnabrück. Upper school students can learn more about the fields of modern brain research and cognitive science within the project.
The question of the last round: "How does AI communicate?" was met with great interest by the students, which extended far beyond the question into the most diverse fields of research on artificial intelligence. 32 live chats took place in this round and were characterised by a lively exchange. The students came to the sessions well prepared and asked questions at a very high level, not only about the topic, but also about the everyday life and projects of the researchers.
The winner this time was Dr Karsten Weber, who has already participated several times in I'm a Scientist. He would like to use the prize money to report on his research on technology assessment in a comprehensible way and with greater reach. However, the prize money is not his motivation to participate in the format again and again, but rather the students' thirst for knowledge and the realisation that many are afraid when it comes to the topic of AI and its consequences. As a scientist, he sees it as one of his responsibilities to counteract this fear with well-communicated facts and information.
The next round continues after the summer holidays. From 25–29 September 2023, school classes can participate in live chats on the topic of "Artificial Intelligence", regardless of location and level. Participation is free of charge, registration is possible via the project page.