Dr. Isabell Piantschitsch receives grant for interdisciplinary research on artificial intelligence

Dr. Piantschitsch, postdoctoral researcher of the Solar Physics research group at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), has received a grant, funded by the Styrian government in Austria, for conducting her project “DeLPhi: Deep Learning & Philosophy – On the epistemic role of deep learning in science”.

Deep learning networks are ubiquitous in many branches of science and engineering. However, not all the details of their underlying mathematical structure are comprehensively understood. This fact undoubtedly raises questions regarding the use of deep learning as a valid scientific method but also regarding its relation, its differences, and its similarities to computer simulations, experiments, and observations.

The project

The interdisciplinary project DeLPhi aims to analyse benefits, challenges, and risks of applying deep learning networks in science. The international team working on this analysis includes experts in the fields of mathematics, physics, cognitive science, philosophy, law, and art. The objective of the project is the mutual exchange of expertise in the different fields, such as the mathematical background of deep learning, its application in astrophysics, its epistemic content but also its implications on technology law for instance.


Dr. Isabell Piantschitsch joined the Solar Physics research group, led by Dr. Ramón Oliver, in January 2020. In collaboration with Dr. Jaume Terradas, her work has focused on the simulation of the interaction between coronal waves and coronal holes in the solar atmosphere. In 2022, Dr. Piantschitsch was awarded with the prestigious Schrödinger Fellowship, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), which allowed her to conduct her own research project about coronal waves at the University of the Balearics islands. Besides her Master’s degree in Mathematics and her PhD in Astrophysics, Dr. Piantschitsch holds a degree in Philosophy. Under her leadership, this interdisciplinary project will officially start in March 2024.