Pressemitteilung 36 - 15.05.2020

Two AI professorships for the University of Augsburg

Great success in the AI competition as part of the High-Tech Agenda: robot-assisted surgery and AI at the interface of mathematics and medicine

Augsburg / CH / MH - As part of the High-Tech Agenda, the University of Augsburg has received two new professorships from the Free State of Bavaria in the field of artificial intelligence. This is a great success for the university and complements the existing interdisciplinary research areas - especially in relation to medicine. The new professorship for robot-assisted surgery and intelligent systems is intended to investigate the integration of modern robotics and intelligent, data-supported assistance systems into everyday clinical practise. The research area of the new professorship for Mathematical Statistics and Artificial intelligence in Medicine is the statistical methodology for furthering the use of AI. The processes developed thereby are intended to help answer specific issues in medicine.


Research in the field of artificial intelligence is one of the focal points of the High Tech Agenda Bavaria announced by the state government. Bavarian universities and universities of applied sciences were able to apply for a total of 50 AI professorships. These professorships are intended to establish a nationwide, thematically focused network in AI research in order to further Bavaria’s development as a leading AI location.

“These new professorships from the High Tech Agenda AI competition are a great success for the University of Augsburg. Our research profile will be strengthened substantially and will acquire additional focus areas, "comments Prof. Dr Sabine Doering-Manteuffel, President of the University of Augsburg, on the announcement of the successful concepts.

The new professorships in the field of robot-assisted surgery and intelligent systems and mathematical statistics and artificial intelligence in medicine are an excellent complement to the two main research areas of the Faculty of Medicine: medical computer science (Medical Information Sciences) and environmental health (Environmental Health Sciences ). The interdisciplinary approach as a "network university" also shows in the context of the High-Tech Agenda that the University of Augsburg is in an idea position  to deal with the important questions of our time.

Mathematical Statistics and Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

Confidence in AI and the social acceptance of AI systems can only be achieved if their results are understandable and quantifiable. Fundamental issues are: How does an AI system come to a decision, what data is this decision based on, has data protection been complied with and will it continue to be complied with? The professorship is intended to further the statistical methodology for the application of AI, particularly in the areas of explainability (comprehensible, trustworthy models) and related learning (connection with expert and background knowledge).

The newly developed mathematical and statistical methods should help to answer specific questions in medicine, particularly in the area of Environmental Health Sciences, for example in the field of diseases transmitted by insects, such as dengue fever, malaria or ZIKA, which, over the medium term, will move more strongly into focus in Europe, too, as the result of climate change.

The new professorship will intensify the existing collaboration between the Mathematical Institute and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Augsburg.

Professorship for Robot-Assisted Surgery and Intelligent Systems

Robot-assisted surgical procedures are increasingly used in all surgical disciplines. The use of modern surgical robots not only allows technical support for individual work steps, but also provides additional information by networking data using artificial intelligence. The combination of robot-assisted operations with artificial intelligence, (nano) technological solutions as well as the use of augmented reality and 3D imaging, can expand the surgical spectrum and sustainably improve the results of surgical interventions.

The new funded professorship for robot-assisted surgery and intelligent systems will make an important contribution to this. The intention is to research the integration of modern robotics and intelligent, data-supported assistance systems into everyday clinical practice. The new professorship at the University of Augsburg will evaluate the current application areas of robot-assisted surgery and use this data to research and promote the development, integration and evaluation of new innovative technologies and artificial intelligence in surgical use. The University of Augsburg is therefore treading a highly innovative path - which was developed in collaboration with the University Hospital of Augsburg - and is one of the few universities to have its own professorship dedicated to this subject.