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Berlin Summer School of AI & Society 09.09 - 13.09. 2024

Berlin Summer School of Artificial Intelligence and Society 2024

AI and the Urban: Making cities smart(er)?

Berlin is facing several challenges, ranging from modernizing public administration to adapting to climate change and regulating the housing market. Artificial intelligence (AI) can offer promising solutions by integrating sensor data for better understanding and new design options. However, implementing these solutions requires significant resources and careful planning. The complexity of urban systems demands a multidisciplinary approach grounded in ethical considerations. This Summer School provides a platform to explore and critically reflect on the prerequisites and impacts of new technologies. It emphasizes sustainability in smart cities and assesses AI's role as both an opportunity and a potential threat to sustainable urban development.

Jump to: Summer School At A GlanceKeynotes & Speakers, Agenda, Organisational Details

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The Summer School At A Glance

Berlin is currently facing numerous challenges, ranging from the modernisation of public administration to the adaptation to climate change, from traffic planning to the regulation of the housing market, the implementation of an efficient health care system and creating incentives for a more sustainable lifestyle with the involvement of citizens.

In this context, the effective application of artificial intelligence approaches promises a better understanding of processes, e.g. spatial, temporal or environmental developments through the integration of sensor data. On this basis, they may offer a wide range of new design options. However, with their high demand for resources like energy and water for cooling and technical infrastructure, the development and implementation of these solutions demands careful consideration and planning.
Given the highly complex and human-centred nature of urban systems, the practical implementation of artificial intelligence technologies in cities requires a uniquely multidisciplinary lens underpinned by ethical considerations. For this reason, this Summer School offers a space to explore initial approaches to critically reflect on the prerequisites and effects of new technologies in the course of various aspects of the "urban". Using a transdisciplinary approach, participants will develop an in-depth understanding of how aspects of sustainability can be applied in smart cities and to what extent technologies such as AI must be understood as opportunities and/or threats for sustainable urban development.

The summer school will be a 5-day in-person event from Monday, 09 September 2024 to Friday, 13 September 2024. lt is designed for doctoral students who are passionate about machine learning, data management and the impact of cutting-edge AI on society.


The keynote speeches are intended to provide an introductory overview of specific topics in Machine Learning, Data Management, intelligence, and the societal impact of AI in the context of AI and smart cities.


In-depth lectures will address subject-specific topics. Participants can choose from parallel sessions according to their field of interest.


More practice-oriented workshops offer participants hands-on experience and the possibility to interact.


Furthermore, the program allows working in groups on a task related to smart cities. The groups will consist of students from different backgrounds who will examine the given situation from different angles. The group work will be continuously supervised and culminate in a final presentation of the results and individual feedback for the groups. One goal is to draft a short paper, which will be published in an anthology in the Weizenbaum Series.


Ample time for networking, exchange, and discussions will be provided between the sessions. There will be a good balance between the number of participants and speakers, who will also be available for further discussion.


2023: The second BIFOLD Weizenbaum summer school on "Artificial Intelligence and Ecological Sustainability" focused on the complex relationship between Artificial Intelligence and sustainability, especially on Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning as instruments for sustainable development. More

2022: Our first summer school on "Ethics in Machine Learning & Data Management" complemented the technological research on artificial intelligence (AI) with ethical aspects, especially in the areas of explainable deep neural networks and sustainable AI. More

Keynotes & Speakers

The four keynote speeches are held by highly recognized scientists and intended to give an introductory overview of specific topics in Machine Learning, Data Management, Intelligence, and the possible societal impact of AI in the context of smart cities. The keynote speeches allow participants from all disciplines to broaden their interdisciplinary skills and understanding.

Prof. John-Dylan Haynes

Science of Intelligence/ Charité Berlin

Human versus machine intelligence: Solving complex and dynamic real-world problems

Prof. Lynn Kaack

Hertie School, Berlin

Keynote Title tba

Prof. Volker Markl

BIFOLD / TU Berlin

NebulaStream – Data Stream Processing in Massively Distributed Heterogeneous Environments

Prof. Jörg Stollmann

TU Berlin

(Digital) Visual Property. The Homophily of the Smart City as a Techno-Material Construct

All Speakers of the Summer School 2024 are listed here.


The 2024 Summer School will present a variety of formats taking place over five days. In the following, you will find the schedule for each day. Please note that on several days, parallel content tracks take place. Participants can decide which track they would like to attend (we will endeavor to consider all first choices).

Time Description
09:30 – 10:00 Registration & Coffee
10:00 – 11:00 Welcome
Prof. Volker Markl, BIFOLD/ TU Berlin
TBA, Weizenbaum Institute
Prof. Jörg Raisch, Science of Intelligence/ TU Berlin
11:00 – 12:00 Keynote Data Management
Prof. Volker Markl, BIFOLD/ TU Berlin
"NebulaStream – Data Stream Processing in Massively Distributed Heterogeneous Environments"
12:00 – 12:15 Group Photo
12:15 – 13:15 Lunch
13:15 – 15:00 Introductory Session with Speed Meeting
15:00 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 17:00 Practical Workshops  
1. Dr. Asieh Daneshi, Science of Intelligence/ HU Berlin
"Transforming Urban Cleanliness: Optimal Resource Allocation”

2. Dr. Benjamin Seibel, City Lab Berlin
"Use of AI in Public Administration”  (Workshop in German)

18:00 Social Get-together

Time Description
09:30 – 10:45 Keynote
Prof. Jörg Stollmann, TU Berlin
"(Digital) Visual Property. The Homophily of the Smart City as a Techno-Material Construct"
10:45 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:45 In-depths Lectures - Parallel Sessions  
1. Dr. Hilke Berger and Rico Herzog, City Science Lab Hamburg
"Digital Collaboration for Sustainable Urban Futures"
2. Prof. Mohamed Mokbel, University of Minnesota
“Towards Accurate Open Source Map Services”
12:45 – 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 15:15 Practical Workshops
1. Dr. Hilke Berger und Rico Herzog, City Science Lab Hamburg
"up:town: Envisioning Resilient Urban Futures Through Serious Gaming"
2. Dr. Dafna Burema, Science of Intelligence/ TU Berlin
“AI ethics: Cases of (ir)responsible AI deployment”
15:15 – 15:45 Break
15:45 – 17:15 Group Work

Time Description
09:30 – 10:45 Keynote
Prof. John-Dylan Haynes, Science of Intelligence/ Charité Berlin
"Human versus machine intelligence: Solving complex and dynamic real-world problems"
10:45 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:45 In-depths Lectures - Parallel Sessions  

1. Prof. David Bermbach, TU Berlin
„SimRa: Safety in Bicycle Traffic“

2. Dr. Theresa Züger, Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft

12:45 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 17:30

Exkursion Urban Tech Republic, Berlin Tegel
Dr. Stefan Höffken (Tegel Projekt GmbH) „Smart City Berlin TXL“
Visit to the exhibition "Material Culture Berlin TXL"

Time Description
09:30 – 10:45

Prof. Lynn Kaack, Hertie School

10:45 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:45 In-depths Lectures - Parallel Sessions  
1. TBA

2. Lutz Eichholz, Fraunhofer IESE
"Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence in Administration and Smart Cities"

12:45 – 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 15:15 Group Work
15:15 – 15:45 Break
15:45 – 17:45 Group Work

Time Description
09:30 – 10:45 Group Presentations with Feedback
10:45 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:30 Group Presentations with Feedback
12:30 – 13:00 Wrap-up Session
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 End of Summer School - Departure

Apply here


Participants are expected to attend the entire program.

Duration: Arrival is on Monday, 09 September 2024. Departure is on Friday, 13 September 2024.

Application until 15 July 2024

Fees: Participants are expected to pay for their individual travel and accommodation expenses. If you wish to participate but do not have sufficient funds, please contact us.

Accommodation: Participants are responsible to book their accommodation individually. The following hotels are in close vicinity of the school’s location:

Child care/special assistance: Please get in touch with us in case you need child care or special assistance.

Contact: Dr. Tina Schwabe,

Organizers: BIFOLD Graduate School, Science of Intelligence (SCIoI) and the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society – the German Internet Institute, Research group: Digitalization, Sustainability, and Participation

Venue: EUREF Campus, in the very center of Berlin, with many possibilities for relaxation and outdoor activities nearby

Address: TU-Campus EUREF, EUREF-Campus 9, 10829 Berlin-Schöneberg

Directions: The EUREF Campus is located close to the ICE train station Südkreuz and the S-Bahn station Schöneberg. More Details (German)

Campus map (German)



Previous Summer Schools