BMBF-Project hKI-Chemie

Project Description

The chemical industry is characterized by complex processes in logistics and parameterization. Their efficiency and effectiveness are crucial for economic success. These processes concern for example the logistics of materials or the parameterization of manufacturing systems. Automation of these processes is difficult mainly because of two reasons: Firstly, companies need to react flexibly to various situations. This flexibility is not always guaranteed by AI systems. And secondly, industrial processes come often with a tremendous amount of parameters. Therefore, the understanding of the automation task is hardly feasible.

Humans are capable of reacting quickly to changing situations. In solving the first problem, humans are superior to AI systems of today. AI systems, on the other hand, can abstract information with enormous efficiency. It can therefore be assumed that the second problem will be solved far more efficiently by AI systems than by humans. 

The interaction between humans and AI systems thus offers an enormous opportunity for numerous industrial processes. The goal of the project Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence in the Chemical Industry is therefore to utilize AI systems in such a way that they enable people to make better decisions in complex situations. It is not intended to replace humans with AI systems. Rather, the objective is to develop combined systems of humans and AI whose combination is better than any of its components.

The developments of the project are being discussed closely with social partners such as the labor unions of the industry partners. This is to ensure that the AI systems serve the benefit of humans.


Project Partners

The project partners can be divided into research partners and industry partners. Research partners are the Chair of Distributed Systems as well as the Chair of Psychological Research Methods at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Fraunhofer IIS Project Group Comprehensible Artificial Intelligence. The latter is headed by Prof. Dr. Ute Schmid, who is also the IIS project lead together with Dr. Stephan Scheele. Emanuel Slany, M.Sc. is doctoral candidate at the chair of Cognitive Systems headed by  Prof. Dr. Ute Schmid and responsible for the IIS developments within the project.

Industrial partners Continental Automotive GmbH, Evonik Industries AG, InfraServ Wiesbaden Technik GmbH & Co. KG, Boldly Go Industries GmbH, RheinByteSystems GmbH as well as VDI Technologiezentrum.


Publications, Talks and Student Projects




Wirth, C., Schmid, U., & Voget, S. (2022). Humanzentrierte Künstliche Intelligenz: Erklärendes interaktives maschinelles Lernen für Effizienzsteigerung von Parametrieraufgaben. In E. A. Hartmann (Ed.), Digitalisierung souverän gestalten II (pp. 80–92). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. (date accessed 12/03/2021).





Student Projects

We are always looking for students interested in contributing to hKI-Chemie in the form of a thesis, project, or as a student assistant. If you are interested, feel free to contact Emanuel Slany.