Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)

The Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) was founded at Bielefeld University as part of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Government and the state governments. The Excellence Initiative supports top-level university research and improves its international visibility. The scientists at CITEC have a vision of interactive tools that are intuitive and easy to operate – ranging from everyday appliances to robots. Future machines should be orientated towards people instead of – as hitherto – visa versa. These challenges can only be mastered through interdisciplinary collaboration between the most diverse fields of study. Thus CITEC enlists the faculties of Biology, Linguistics and Literature, Physics, Psychology, Sport Science, and Technology.

The vision of the CITEC scientists are interactive tools that can be operated easily and intuitively, ranging from everyday objects to fully-blown humanoid robots. The future technology should adapt itself to its human users instead of forcing us humans to adjust to the often cumbersome operation of the current equipment.

Just as every human being automatically adapts his speech and actions to the addressee in order to be understood, technological systems should adjust their behavior to their interaction partner.

In order to interact naturally with humans and to flexibly adapt to changing conditions, a system needs to be endowed with the corresponding cognitive abilities. Consequently, the study of the fundamental architectural principles of cognitive interaction - be it between humans or human-machine interaction - is the necessary pioneering work. It is supplemented by new possibilities of technological application, which need to be designed, constructed, and tested.

We believe that this dual goal of combining basic research with technological application in order to significantly advance our understanding of cognition itself can only be realized through intense interdisciplinary cooperations.

For more information on CITEC have a look at the CITEC Homepage