There is nothing new about computers assuming important functions, such as flying passenger aircraft, but now machines themselves can learn and make independent decisions. There are, however, many problems associated with this kind of artificial intelligence. The Vienna-based mathematician Philipp Grohs is one of the world’s leading theoreticians in machine learning involving deep neural networks. Artificial neural networks are modelled on the structure of the human brain. They connect existing information with huge volumes of data, reduce them to certain features, make their own decisions and can even change their minds. A human delivers the data but does not interfere in the decision-making process. Elucidating the mathematical principles of deep learning is currently one of the most relevant issues in machine learning. To be able to explain how and why an algorithm makes a decision is, for example, important in relation to legal questions, and to guarantee that an algorithm does the right thing is particularly relevant when it comes to safety issues. Grohs has already made substantial contributions to basic research on the mathematical understanding of these processes.
At RWTH Aachen University, he is scheduled to hold the new Chair in the Mathematics of Neural Networks and also conduct interdisciplinary research on neuromorphic computing as a key future technology.
Nominating University: RWTH Aachen University
Prof. Dr. Philipp Grohs
was born in Austria and has been a professor at the University of Vienna since 2016. In 2019, he also became a group leader at RICAM, the Johann Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics in the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Linz. After studying, completing his doctorate and working as a postdoc at TU Wien, Grohs transferred to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, and then to ETH Zürich, Switzerland, where he was an assistant professor from 2011 to 2016. Grohs was awarded the ETH Zurich Latsis Prize in 2014. He is a member of the board of the Austrian Mathematical Society, a member of IEEE Information Theory Society and on the editorial boards of various specialist journals.