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Science Meets Fiction – AI in Fiction and Reality

14. 10 2019 um 13:00 - 16:30

The idea of man-made, independent intelligence has preoccupied humankind for centuries. From the medieval »Golem« via Goethe’s »Homunculus« to »Frankenstein’s« monster. Contemporary versions such as »Her«, »Real Humans«, or »Westworld«, however, show visions of artificial intelligence that are deeply rooted in our current reality. For artificial intelligence has of course long since ceased to be mere science fiction. »AI« surrounds us every day, and the way we deal with it will increasingly determine our future.

This interdisciplinary conference organized by ifs internationale filmschule köln, the Foundation for STEMEntertainment-Education-Excellence (MINTEEE), and the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine (MEVIS) in cooperation with the Film Festival Cologne sets out to shed light on the social implications of AI and the ways in which fictional stories in Film and TV shape the way we deal with these issues.

Greeting the exciting new opportunities for fiction in Europe and especially in Germany, filmmakers, series creators, and scientists share their respective approaches to this topic and reflect on the impact their work might have on society. In talks, case studies, and discussions, top-level experts from media, science, and education explore how an open exchange between science and fiction may contribute to a better understanding and critical handling of the social implications of AI.

1:00 pm Welcome
Simone Stewens (ifs internationale filmschule köln)
Prof. Dr. Matthias Günther (Fraunhofer MEVIS)
Dr. Marion Esch (MINTEEE)

1:15 pm Social Responsibility in Research, Innovation, and Storytelling
Dr. Marion Esch (MINTEEE)

1:35 pm »Westworld« and the Impact of AI on Future Society
Kath Lingenfelter, Screenwriter (»Westworld«, »House M.D.«, »Leftovers«)
2:20 pm
Reality Check I – Curing Disease Without Touching the Patient
Prof. Dr. Tobias Preusser (Fraunhofer MEVIS)

Reality Check II – Who Wants to be Treated by an AI
Dr. Hans Meine (Fraunhofer MEVIS)

3:00 pm Coffee Break
3:30 pm Sci-Fi and the New Fiction Diversity in Germany – Opportunities, Challenges and Starting Points for the Revival of Story Development Cooperations between Science and Fiction
Alexander Bickel, WDR | N.N., ZDF Kleines Fernsehspiel | Sebastian Hilger, director (»Hello«) | Prof. Dr. Joachim Friedmann, ifs | Prof. Dr. Matthias Günther, Fraunhofer MEVIS

The Foundation for STEM-Entertainment-Education-Excellence (MINTEEE), the ifs internationale filmschule köln, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine (MEVIS) teamed up to explore new formats for a sustainable exchange between science and fiction. The aim of this new initiative is to join forces for a deeper level of understanding and an increased awareness of the social impact of both science and fiction and the resulting responsibilities of storytellers and scientists.

The cooperation started with an introductory workshop on »Narrative Design« for MEVIS scientists in May. Now, students and scientists meet for a closed-door event on the topic »Science Meets Fiction – Relevance and Credibility in Fiction Through the Example AI«: In a hands-on workshop, experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine (MEVIS) guide students of the Master’s program Serial Storytelling through an exploration of AI in medical routine and discuss the social implications. In conclusion, scientists and future series writers enter into an interdisciplinary, collaborative ideation process aimed to find shared narrative interests for future projects. The public conference described above concludes this two-day event.

Please register by October 7, 2019 via screenwriting(at)


14. 10 2019
13:00 - 16:30


ifs internationale filmschule köln
Schanzenstraße 28
Köln, 51063


ifs internationale filmschule köln
Film Festival Cologne
Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS
STEMEntertainment- Education-Excellence MINTEEE