Data Wonderland - An interactive festival

On Friday, June 30, 2023, and Saturday, July 01, 2023, NEXUS Experiments hosted an interactive festival with activities around data and artificial intelligence on the Campus Flugplatz of the University of Freiburg. With more than 600 happy visitors, the festival was a complete success.

"It was really a fantastic festival. This kind of science communication is very rare," enthuses a visitor who came with her two children. Even though the weather was wet and stormy that weekend and thus the robot dog Spot could not run around outside on the grounds, the audience enjoyed "the super atmosphere and the exciting content." Professor Ilka Diester, spokesperson and board member of the BrainLinks-BrainTools Center, was also satisfied: "NEXUS Experiments always manages to directly address different target groups and to give science education a personal touch." Not least for this reason, many citizens from the district came to the festival site at the Intelligent Machine-Brain Interfacing Technology (IMBIT) building to participate and experience.

For this purpose, the site was transformed into a large circus ring, including a circus tent, a hall of mirrors and several caravans. This was the setting for more than nine interactive and participatory stations that invited both young and old visitors to engage with scientific findings on data and artificial intelligence in a low-threshold way. A variety of interactive activities encouraged visitors to consider the opportunities and risks of collecting and using health-related data.

For example, visitors could try to train their virtual twin or find out their own health type with full physical effort in the Pillow Fight Club. In the 2078 trailer, visitors discussed with an AI how far they would go to live in a better future. In the NEXUS Lab, the audience asked Artificial Intelligence the trust question and found out how robots learn. With a little skill, one was served a sandwich by a "robot."

"Data Wonderland" was the final public event of the project "Data Access and Data Use in Medical Care and in the Field of Health and Leisure" (DaDuHealth), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and picked up on findings from the projects AI-TRUST of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation and ReScaLe of the Carl Zeiss Foundation. "Data Wonderland" was organized by NEXUS Experiments, which is part of the BrainLinks-BrainTools center at the University of Freiburg. NEXUS Experiments is a platform for public engagement, participatory science education and community-based participatory research in the fields of neuroscience, neurotechnology, human-technology interaction, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Overall direction: Philipp Kellmeyer and Sabrina Livanec (NEXUS Experiments).

Artistic direction: Jens Burde and Vanessa Valk

Production management and project coordination: Judith Saurer and Yuna Yacong Liu (NEXUS Experiments)


Judith Saurer
University of Freiburg
0761/ 203 73787

Kerstin Steiger-Merx
Representative PR/Marketing
Faculty of Engineering
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8056