A Companion-Technology for Cognitive Technical Systems
The research program offers the vision of future technical systems being Companion-systems – cognitive technical systems that provide their functionality in a completely individualized way: they adapt to a user’s capabilities, preferences, requirements, and current needs and take into account both the situation and the emotional state of the individual user. Furthermore, they are continually available, co-operative, and reliable, and appear as competent and empathic assistants to their users.
To realize this vision, scientists in the areas of informatics, electrical engineering, medicine, neurobiology, and psychology form an interdisciplinary consortium to systematically explore cognitive capabilities and their implementation within technical systems. Research is focused on features like individuality, adaptability, availability, cooperativeness, and trustworthiness. It is aimed at both implementing these so-called Companion-features through appropriate cognitive processes and investigating the underlying principles by reference to psychological behavior models as well as to brain mechanisms. The research effort will lay the foundations for a technology that has the potential of high-grade innovation by enabling the development of completely individualized technical systems. The Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 62 was established on 1. January 2009 by the German Research Community at the locations Ulm and Magdeburg and funded until the end of 2017. Central research findings are publicised in the book Companion Technology - A Paradigm Shift in Human-Technology Interaction.