Session theme 3: Humans and machines

One of the major challenges of the work of the future will be ensuring that the interaction between people and machines benefits workers. Whether in industry, agriculture, nursing care, education or the service sector, robots, artificial intelligence and connected systems are increasingly taking over tasks and providing us with support. How do we ensure that the focus remains firmly on people and that we retain control as decision-makers and creative designers? The sessions in this session theme will have a focus on the ethical questions involved and also present many exciting examples of practical applications.

There are already millions of people and machines working hand in hand in smart factories, today. Industrial workers monitor production on computer screens, while intelligent machines control and plan processes on their own. The internet of things connects everything with everything else, with billions of devices and products communicating directly with each other.
But the new technologies also raise important questions: In what areas and for which activities and process steps are people indispensable? Where will machines be able to work autonomously in the near future? How can the respective abilities of people and machines complement each other most effectively?
While machines can limit the autonomy of people in the work process, they can also enable new levels of freedom, for example, when people organise and manage their own tasks. This session theme addresses this idea, examining concrete examples of actual applications, ranging from collaborative robots (cobots) and new forms of work in Industry 4.0 (e.g. in production or assembly) to diagnostic aids that utilise artificial intelligence in the field of medicine.
Finally, the sessions will offer a glimpse of the future and show what the workplaces of tomorrow could look like in various sectors.

Sessions included in this session theme:

Session  Session Chair
Human machine interaction Prof. Klaus Bengler
Future of Work - Smart Digitalisation in Engineering, Production and Service

Prof. Wilhelm Bauer

Prof. Angelika C. Bullinger-Hoffmann

Cognitive assistance: The importance of cognitive ergonomics for work design in the future of production

Prof. Sven Hinrichsen 

Prof. Verena Nitsch