The intelligent space


Artificial intelligence

The mysterious room Ada proves what a kind of artificial nervous system is capable of. It is reminiscent of an organism whose cells react to influences. In Ada, it is the floor that registers a visitor's shoeprint and forwards it to a control system. The artificial nervous system sends signals to the visitor: Light, sound or calls.

Ada has various microphones and, in addition to pressure, gains acoustic information about the people in the room. However someone reacts; the intelligent space takes this information into account and adjusts its behaviour. In this way, the interactive room not only tries to communicate with the visitors, but also to shape this contact.

Research becomes tangible

A group of 15 scientists from the Institute for Neuroinformatics in Zurich worked on the project for over four years. In the Ada room, visitors can experience research for once. In this case, it is the latest principles of brain research that have been processed. The neuronal network of Ada is structured similarly to a brain - in contrast to a conventional computer system that follows rules.

A will of its own

Ada is capable of learning. Its emotional behaviour patterns are comparable to those of humans and animals. Like these creatures, Ada also behaves in a coordinated, goal-oriented way and seems to have a will of its own. The visitors perceive Ada as a new kind of synthetic body, which they get to know step by step, if possible. Via monitors, they can then observe other people in the room, study their behaviour and that of Ada and thus gradually learn to understand how this room works.

Documents for school lessons
1 - Ada: Short overview
2a - Ada knowledge: The human brain
2b - Ada knowledge: Sensory organs
2c - Ada knowledge: Processing data
2d - Ada knowledge: Interaction
3 - Ada: Experience
4 - Ada: Reflection
5 - Ada: Transparency


Visitor capacity per day

Total visitors

University Zurich, Zurich
ETH Zurich, Zurich
Manor AG, Basel

Velux Foundation, Zurich

Concept & content
Institute of Neuroinformatics, University and ETH Zurich, Zurich
Dr. Paul Verschure (project leader)
Andreas Bäbler, Ulysses Bernadet, Mark Blanchard, Adam Briska, Tobi Delbrück, Jörg Conradt, Marcia Costa, Rodney Douglas, Kynan Eng, Klaus Hepp, David Klein, Jörg Kramer, Jonatas Marzolli, Matti Mintz, Cyrill Planta, Fabian Roth, Ueli Rutishauser, Jan.van der Veyver, Klaus Wassermann, Adrian Whatley, Aaron Wittmann, Reto Wyss, Samuel Zahnd

Luigi Snozzi, Groisman & Snozzi, Locarno

Vehovar & Jauslin AG, Zurich
Delux Theatre Lighting (Rolf Derrer), Zurich
Edgar Hagen, Basel

Audiovisual Consulting
Wolf Kunik, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Artwork Biomechanical Cube
H.R. Giger

General contractor
Blumer-Lehmann AG, Gossau
Holtmann GmbH & Co.KG, Langenhagen, Germany
Konrad Kraemer (Project Management), Wienhausen, Germany
Christian Jähnig (Site Management)
Brigitte Jähnig (Assistant Site Management)
Heiko Zwieg (electrical, air conditioning, ventilation)

Project management 
SMC-Management Contractors SA (New: Renggli International AG) (Stephan Rickenbach, Thomas Meissner), Winterthur

Project coordination
Matthias Erzinger (ETH Zurich Office of Research and Corporate Relations)
Miriam Dahme
Anita Weiss (Event management and support)
Sylvia Sassenroth-Aebischer (Guide administration)
Thomas Meissner

Project management Expo.02
Bernard Stebler

Coaching Expo.02
Armin Heusser (head)
Heidi Huber
Stefano Stoll

Operations management Trilogy
Domenico Bernabei (Operations Manager)
Thomas Meissner (Operations Manager)
Frédérique Mouchet (Deputy Operations Manager)
Christelle Wick (Debuty Operations Managert) 
Nikos Bühler (Assistant Operations Manager)
Dörte Desarzens (Assistant Operations Manager)
Emily Schofield (Assistant Operations Manager)

Nicole Ackermann, Leonora Amrein. Lukas Baitsch. Tatjana Barbic, Melinda Barranco, Titus Bosshard, Reto Dräger, Cem Dutoit, Claudia Frischknecht, Marc-André Fröhlicher, Annina Gähwiler, Yves Gasser, Eva Geilinger, Isabelle Gisler, Fabienne Glardon, Marisa Grassi, Melanie Hakios, Theres Kohler, Stefan Kuster, Ivana Lalovic, Brigitte Landolt, Seraine Lang, Alexander Lekkas, Anina Lüthi, Lukas Lüthi, Anna Maggi, Claudia Oetterli, Olivia Rickenbach, Pascal Rosenberger, Ursula Rösli, Bastian Ruggle, Andreas Schmucki, Roland Schmucki, Diego Seitz, Timur Shetilov, Thomas Signer, Cornelia Sphani, Carmen Suter, Stefany Thöny, Michael Tobler, Larissa Tschudi, Victoria Watts, Piera Weibel, Claudia Willi

IT supervisor
Andreas Baebler, Jörg Conradt, Marcio Costa, Kynan Eng, Fabian Roth, Syriel von Plantana, Reto Wyss

Photos: Press kit Ada; © Archive Frédérique Mouchet; © Archive Ralph Ammann