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Audi and Johannes Kepler University of Linz to establish center for artificial intelligence

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  • Cooperation with Prof. Sepp Hochreiter’s Institute of Bioinformatics

  • The “Audi.JKU deep learning center” will focus on self-learning functions in connection with cars

  • Michael Schmid, Head of the Audi Academy: “We are ensuring the knowledge transfer from research into practice”

Linz/Austria, June 21, 2017 – Audi and the Johannes Kepler University of Linz (JKU) are to
conduct joint research into the intelligent car of the future. For this purpose, the university
and the brand with the Four Rings will now establish the “Audi.JKU deep learning center” in
Linz. Through cooperation with the Institute for Bioinformatics headed by Prof. Sepp
Hochreiter, Audi plans to promote the use of artificial intelligence in automobiles.

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Prof. Sepp Hochreiter is one of Europe’s leading experts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).
He has made major contributions with fundamental research into deep-learning technologies – a
methodology that is based on the learning processes of the human brain. The long short-term
memory (LSTM) that he developed is used for speech-recognition software in all smartphones all
over the world. Hochreiter’s Institute for Bioinformatics at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz
(JKU) has long been held in high regard by AI experts. Exchanges of opinions and experience with
Audi on the subject of autonomous driving have been taking place for several years, and the two
partners successfully concluded their first joint project in 2016. “The application of AI has
enormous potential for self-driving cars, not just for speech recognition, but even for predicting
passengers’ intentions and needs, and reacting to them,” stated Prof. Sepp Hochreiter. “Thanks
to LSTM networks, drivers in the future will feel safer in their cars than in their own living

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“With the establishment of the ‘Audi.JKU deep learning center,’ we are placing our cooperation
on solid foundations,” said Michael Schmid, Head of the Audi Academy. “We are thus creating a
win-win situation for both sides. Audi is supporting the essential basic research in the field of
artificial intelligence. At the same time, we are ensuring rapid knowledge transfer into practice
and making contacts with talented young people.” As part of the cooperation, Audi will also
support selected young scientists at JKU Linz.

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The “Audi.JKU deep learning center” starts work with five projects. Research will be conducted
for example into how cars driving in piloted mode in complex traffic situations can be exactly
aware of and interpret their environment. Potential dangers must be recognized at an early
stage and reaction times must be optimized. Another project deals with the use of artificial
intelligence in vehicle sensors. “The latest findings are vital for us to make our cars more
intelligent step by step,” explained Dr. Peter Steiner, Chief Executive of Audi Electronics Venture
GmbH. Audi’s software company functions as a specialized interface and contact point for
JKU Linz. “We have been developing our global network in the field of artificial intelligence for
many years, and are delighted that we have been able to gain Prof. Hochreiter and his institute
as an additional competent partner,” said Steiner.

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