Ruca16 Maschine & Mensch Hero Landing Page



several times over the past few years we were faced with the danger of a computer virus paralysing parts of our societal and economic life. Now we have experienced how a different virus threatening all of humankind has led to a global shutdown of previously unimagined proportions. But the danger arising from various types of viruses is not the only link between humans and machines. The commonalities and differences between us and these complex devices, what each can learn from the other and how they can complement each other – that is the central subject of our latest RUPERTO CAROLA research journal entitled MACHINE & MAN.

The human body knows both “protein factories” and “soft machines”; conversely, machines are now equipped with artificial intelligence and can compete with humans in a number of areas, up to and including language. Electronic or neuroprostheses are human-machine interfaces that can compensate for missing or lost body functions. And the novel discipline of molecular systems engineering assembles tiny molecular and nanoscale components into molecular systems that will revolutionise conventional robotics and lay the groundwork for futuristic applications in our daily lives. In this edition we present the latest natural and life science research at Heidelberg University as well as the newest findings on the subject of MACHINE & MAN from the fields of economics, political science, history, ageing research, industrial and organisational psychology, law, computer linguistics and cinematic history. Due to restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic, our Expert Talk has been replaced by “The Expert View”, two articles that we have combined into a dialogue from the perspectives of brain research and geoinformatics.

I wish you a stimulating and enlightening reading experience in these special times!

Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Bernhard Eitel
Rector of Heidelberg University

Issue 16 · July 2020