Date: December 3, 2020

Bringing artificial intelligence into vocational training

University of Stuttgart is successful in InnoVET innovation competition together with four partners

Artificial intelligence will change the economic value added chain forever, but so far there has been a shortage of specialists and managers with the right kind of expertise for this transformation process. The “Bringing Artificial Intelligence into Vocational Training” concept is now developing qualification modules for AI masters with expertise in the fields of data management and data analysis in particular. Taking part are the Institute of Natural Language Processing and the Institute of Software Engineering at the University of Stuttgart, the chambers of commerce of Reutlingen, Karlsruhe and the Stuttgart region, as well as LMU Munich.

“We are proud that, together with our partners, we were able to convince the jury and that our innovative concept for professional training and further education of AI specialists has been included in the funding”, says Dr. Wolfgang Epp, Chief Executive of the Reutlingen Chamber of Commerce. “This means that we will have the opportunity to train the AI experts that we need both in our area and in the whole of Baden-Württemberg at an early stage.” Prof. Stefan Wagner, Head of the Institute of Software Engineering at the University of Stuttgart, adds “We’re bringing a unique innovation to vocational training. Artificial intelligence content hasn’t been provided for this type of education before.” Prof. Thang Vu, holder of the Chair of Digital Phonetics at the Institute for Natural Language Processing, is also pleased about the project. “With the AI master we’re laying an important foundation for integrating artificial intelligence into vocational training.”

The concept intends to develop vocational training and further education courses in AI-related data management and data analysis skills, which have not existed in the past. The new approach is also being followed whereby exam results that have already been achieved can be credited to courses taken at a later stage. This means that AI learning content created by universities should be systematically integrated into official vocational training and further education courses for the first time. This is done via adapted or revised digital modules, for which learning software is specially developed and which are supported by heterogeneous learning groups. The testing of the new examination regulations, the digital modules and the learning software is accompanied and evaluated from a scientific perspective. The new qualifications at specialist and master level will initially be trialed in Baden-Württemberg and should then be introduced across Germany.

Institutes from the University of Stuttgart develop core content

At the University of Stuttgart, the Institute of Natural Language Processing and the Institute of Software Engineering are working on the core content of the project, the didactic content on artificial intelligence as well as the development of such systems and the adaptive learning software. The didactic content is freely available under an open educational license and the learning software under an open source license. The project is being developed in close coordination with the Balingen Vocational School, which means that the results can be used in practice.

About the competition: The “InnoVET” innovation competition is part of the German government’s national training strategy. Relevant players in the field of vocational training were called upon to develop ideas for innovative vocational training and further education. A total of 17 projects were ultimately selected for funding amid tough competition from 176 project ideas originally submitted nationwide.

Prof. Stefan Wagner, University of Stuttgart, Institute of Software Engineering, phone: +49 (0)711/685 88455, e-mail
Prof. Thang Vu, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Natural Language Processing, phone: +49 0 711 685 81372, e-mail

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Andrea Mayer-Grenu

Scientific Consultant, Research Publications

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