What is Cyber Storys?
Cyber Storys is an AI short story competition for pupils from Baden-Württemberg from grade 7 and up . AI is the short term for "artificial intelligence".
You can write about anything you can think of - as long as it's about AI or robotics. The story can be a maximum of 4.500 characters long and must be submitted in German.
You can submit your AI story ➟ online on this page until June 14, 2022.
A jury will then decide which texts have won. Cyber Valley will award the prizes at the Stuttgart Science Festival in summer 2022.
We will then pass on the ideas from the stories to AI researchers. This is how your visions help shape the AI of the future!
Who can participate in Cyber Storys?
Both individual students and class groups from Baden-Württemberg can submit stories. The competition is aimed at students in grades 7 and up and is open to all types of schools, including vocational schools. Most events, such as writing workshops and readings, take place in the Stuttgart/Tübingen region.
The idea of creating human-like, intelligent “artificial” beings has been around since ancient times and the Middle Ages. Some films and books give the impression that artificial intelligence (AI) will soon be used to create machines that are more intelligent than humans. But that is not the goal of AI research at all. AI can solve some tasks very well, but it still does not perfom well on other tasks.
AI is now in many things that you know from your everyday life: in the navigation device, in the smartphone, in streaming suggestions or in voice assistants such as Alexa or Siri.
Because artificial intelligence is so diverse, there is no single definition. But one can say: AI is a field of computer science and is intended to solve difficult problems independently. To do this, developers use technical and mathematical means to teach the system to recognize complex patterns in data.
You can find information about AI in the Materials section of this page.
The prizes will be announced soon. We would like to enable winners from the Tübingen area to participate in a workshop at the AI Makerspace in Tübingen. The award ceremony will take place at the Stuttgart Science Festival in summer 2022.
How do you envision the future with AI? What should AI be able to do, what not? As long as your story has to do with AI, you can write about anything you want, as long as it doesn't devalue, insult, or otherwise discriminate against other people.
We will announce soon how long the AI short story can be. You can submit your story online. The upload link will be available on this page by the beginning of April.
The deadline is June 3. You can only submit your story online and if you are under 18, your parents must agree. The link to submit your story will be published at the beginning of April.
We want to use the stories to get society and AI scientists talking to each other and sharing ideas. That's why we would like to use the stories at events, for example at readings in city libraries.
What’s the purpose of Cyber Storys?
Cyber Storys provides insight into AI research and makes AI ethics tangible with the help of one’s own creativity. The project focuses on young people and young citizens. It enables them to contribute their impulses, ideas and visions for the future to research and science to learn from these impulses. Through this creative form of participation, Cyber Valley aims to awaken young people's curiosity and wants to share knowledge about AI. After all, only those who have basic technical competence can understand and shape AI and advocate their own interests.
Cyber Storys offers a wide range of support so that exciting stories can be created:
Free teaching materials such as an e-learning course, a “Mach’s klar!” workbook and an accompanying booklet provide basic AI knowledge. “Train the trainer”-workshops for teachers teach how AI can be used in the classroom. In writing workshops in city libraries in the Stuttgart-Tübingen area, young people receive support in the writing process and can meet researchers. Dialogue formats between researchers and society then use the stories as an introduction to the debate on how AI should be used. Event dates and readings will be announced after the competition.
With the idea of bringing students and researchers together through storytelling, the AI short story competition Cyber Storys is one of the winners of the university competition for the Year of Science 2022 – “Nachgefragt!”. The university competition invites researchers and citizens to actively participate in the research process and work together to meet the challenges of the future. The jury selected the best 15 project ideas from 270 submissions. The Cyber Valley project will receive 10.000€ for 2022 to put the short story competition into practice.
Hochschulwettbewerb is organized annually by Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) in cooperation with the German Association of University Communications and the German Rectors’ Conference and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the Year of Science.
Cyber Storys is created in collaboration with many institutions. Cyber Storys is coordinated by Cyber Valley Public Engagement. Libraries from the region are participating with writing workshops, themed shelves with media related to AI, and readings of the winning stories, among other things. Those Libraries are: Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart, Stadtbibliothek Tübingen, Stadtbibliothek Leinfelden-Echterdingen and Stadtbibliothek Esslingen. The open and free e-learning course on artificial intelligence is an offer of the Stuttgart Research Focus Interchange Forum for Reflecting on Intelligent Systems (SRF IRIS) in cooperation with Cyber Valley and the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Baden-Württemberg. The free downloadable teaching material was developed in cooperation with Cyber Valley and the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Baden-Württemberg.
Cyber Valley is Europe’s largest research consortium in the field of artificial intelligence. The state of Baden-Württemberg, the Max Planck Society with the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen, as well as Amazon, BMW AG, IAV GmbH, Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, and ZF Friedrichshafen AG are Cyber Valley’s founding partners of this initiative. In 2019, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft also joined Cyber Valley as a partner. Moreover, Cyber Valley receives support from the Christian Bürkert Foundation, the Gips-Schüle Foundation, the Vector Foundation, and the Carl Zeiss Foundation.
Cyber Storys is one of many formats of our Cyber Valley Public Engagement. Cyber Valley aims to initiate an ongoing process of critical reflection on the ethical and social implications of AI research. Our goal is to make AI research more accessible and promote dialog between society and AI researchers. If you would like to stay up to date on new formats and events for dialogue on AI, feel free to sign up for the Public Engagement Newsletter (in German).
The following free open-source teaching materials support teachers and people in youth education in addressing the topic of AI in the classroom and in workshops. The materials will be released with the start of the competition at the end of march.
The free e-learning course is open to school classes and teachers. It informs students about AI in everyday life and encourages critical reflection on AI. The course can be integrated into a lesson or used as a self-learning course.
Accompanying booklet for teachers
A free accompanying booklet for teachers offers further offline materials for use in the classroom that impart knowledge about AI and encourage students to form their own opinions and to reflect AI critically and ethically.
“Mach’s klar!” worbook
The four-page german workbook is dedicated to the topic of artificial intelligence. It can be downloaded free of charge or ordered in print via the web store of the Landeszentrale für politische BIldung Baden-Württemberg. Interactive materials support students in their learning.
Together with the AI-Makerspace, Cyber Storys publishes a media list for children and young people as well as for adults. The lists gives an overview of novels and non-fiction books worth reading as well as movies which deal with different aspects of AI.