Benzmüller, Christoph

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Research Interests
Automation of rational argumentation and normative reasoning, universal knowledge representation, computational metaphysics, and the mechanization of mathematical reasoning (including automated theorem proving).
Area of research
AI, logic, philosophy, mathematics
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Prof. Christoph Benzmüller is since 2022 chair for AI Systems Development at the University of Bamberg. As an associate (apl.) professor he is also affiliated with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin (where he has been the first UNA Europa guest chair) and he maintains a close research collaboration with the University of Luxembourg. In addition, he advises AI startup companies in Germany and abroad.

Benzmüller's research interests lie at the intersection of AI/computer science, philosophy, mathematics, and language. His research shows that rational arguments can now be very well mechanized and analyzed in computers by using modern, symbolic AI technology. Benzmüller and his team have developed their own automatic theorem provers (for classical and higher-level non-classical logics) and are applying them in the fields mentioned above. Benzmüller's studies of Gödel's ontological argument for the existence of God in the computer gained particular media attention. The range of applications of his work is far-reaching and concerns, among other things, the mechanisation of ethical-legal reasoning in computers, e.g., for the control of autonomous AI systems.

Benzmüller is convinced that AI, as a scientific discipline, should more strongly focus on the exploration of, and experimentation with, representing objects.* For Benzmüller, it is precisely the exploration and flexible processing of representing objects in combination with hybrid AI technology (fusion of symbolic and subsymbolic techniques) that constitues a core challenge and opportunity for the modeling of (strongly) intelligent AI systems. Explicit, declarative representations are particularly relevant for the realization of trusted and responsible AI systems, since they make normative (and other) knowledge not only transparent and explainable, but also efficiently and robustly communicable between humans and machines.

Benzmüller has conducted research as a visiting professor/scholar at numerous prestigious universities in Germany and abroad and has established a close research network. Stations in his career include: Free University of Berlin, University of Luxembourg, Stanford University (USA), International University in Germany, Cambridge University (UK), University of Birmingham (UK), University of Edinburgh (UK) and Carnegie Mellon University (USA). Benzmüller studied (1989-1995), received his PhD (1999) and habilitated (2006) at Saarland University.

Benzmüller's research activities have been funded by the DFG (Heisenberg Fellowship, Research Stipend, Research Grants, Collaborative Research Center), EPSRC/UK (Research Grant), Volkswagen Foundation (Experiment!), Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (Doctoral Scholarship), ERC (Research Training Network), FNR/Luxembourg, BMBF, among others.

Prior to his academia career, Christoph Benzmüller was a successful long-distance runner at German national level.

(*The term "representing objects" goes back to the AI pioneer Wolfgang Bibel.)
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Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, AISE, Raum 05.090 (5. OG), An der Weberei 5, 96047 Bamberg
+49 (0) 951 863-2942
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