VDE and State of Hesse open AI Quality & Testing Hub
Made in Germany. That's more than a label, it's a promise. Products that bear this distinction are usually not among the cheapest - but among the best in terms of quality. This business model used to work excellently and still works quite well today. This is not least because it is comparatively easy to prove the quality of cars or machines, for example, and to demonstrate their superiority over competing products. For products from the field of artificial intelligence (AI), however, it is not so easy. "That's because we don't yet have any recognized evaluation criteria for the quality of AI, no testing tools and no standards to certify against," knows Dr. Sebastian Hallensleben, head of AI and digitalization at VDE. He adds that testing is also simply difficult, because the newer AI systems - that is, anything that contains neural networks in any form - are largely opaque black boxes. In other words, you can never be sure exactly what's going on inside, and sometimes not even what comes out the back.
A risky game. Because the use of low-quality AI can have devastating consequences. If a chatbot fails to answer a question satisfactorily or a translation software fails to translate love poetry from the High Middle Ages, that may still be forgivable. But if you entrust your safety to an AI, for example in autonomous driving, error-free functioning is even essential for survival. "Here in particular, however, it has been shown, for example, that minimal disturbances such as the application of small adhesive strips to a traffic sign can completely sabotage recognition by the AI," Hallensleben reports. In this case, the AI would register a 50 km/h sign instead of a stop sign, for example - which could prove fatal in practice.