The Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI) has joined with the Fraunhofer Group for IUK Technology to honour 10 influential figures in German AI history at a special reception in Berlin. 

The reception entitled, “Artificial Intelligence in Germany – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”, came out of the GI’s KI50 project which brought together a jury of 18 transdisciplinary AI experts to identify the most influential figures in Germany’s AI history. 

Operating under the direction of GI’s AI department, the jury considered a list of more than 80 names collected during a three-week open nomination phase, with the goal of choosing the Top 10. Only those still living were considered.

Professor Dr Hannes Federrath, GI President and #KI50 jury member, said: “The awarding of the prize to 10 formative personalities of AI research in Germany is intended to encourage reflection on the long and diverse tradition of AI in Germany, which has been established in Germany since the early 1970s and which is significantly linked to the history of the Gesellschaft für Informatik. The award is not to be understood as a top 10 ranking of German AI scientists. Rather, it is also about focusing on the breadth of the research field beyond the current hype. I would like to congratulate our 10 heads of German AI history. Their contribution to German and international computer science research is of vital importance.”

Professor Dr Dieter Fellner, Chairman of the Fraunhofer IUK Technology Group and #KI50 jury member added: “I was immediately inspired by the idea of highlighting and publicly recognising the achievements of German researchers in the history of artificial intelligence. At a time when people almost automatically look to America when it comes to ground-breaking technological breakthroughs, it is all the more important to show that a large proportion of the research work on today’s number one trend topic has been carried out in Europe and also in Germany. The 10 award winners are all role models for the young researchers of today who will ensure that Germany is an important location for innovation in the future,” he said.

The following list of Top 10 Formative Minds in German AI history were honoured at the New Year’s reception:

  • Elisabeth André (Human-Machine Interaction, Multi Agent Systems)
  • Wolfgang Bibel (Representation of knowledge and conclusions)
  • Susanne Biundo-Stephan (Planning)
  • Gerhard Brewka (knowledge representation and conclusions)
  • Otthein Herzog (expert systems, applications)
  • Bernhard Nebel (knowledge representation and conclusions, planning)
  • Bernhard Schölkopf (machine learning)
  • Jörg H. Siekmann (Representation of knowledge and conclusions)
  • Wolfgang Wahlster (Human-Machine Interaction, Dialogue Systems)
  • Stefan Wrobel (Machine Learning)

The reasons for the selection as well as further information about the #KI50 jury can be found at