Wait, the Human Computation Institute team was in Germany??


We found ourselves in the city of Munich for the Hybrid Human Artificial Intelligence Conference to gather ideas and feedback about our new Beta Catchers project (more on that in future posts).

While we were there, we were lucky enough to have Prof. François Bry show us around the city and give us a tour of the very laboratory where Alois Alzheimer found his first evidence that dementia is a biological disease of the body, not an illness of the mind.

(Follow this link to watch the tour and interview)

Outside the building where Alois Alzheimer's old lab is. The text above the door means " University Psychiatric clinic
Outside the building where Alois Alzheimer's old lab is. The German text above the door translates to "University Psychiatric Clinic."

The former lab is in the University of Munich hospital in the city center. As you’ll see in the video below, the legacy Alzheimer left behind is palpable in the room. And even though his old lab is no longer used as such, there’s a clinic just down the hall for psychotherapy and is still an active part of Munich’s healthcare system today.

The view once inside

The sign outside the lab reads “Psychiatry history collection in Alois Alzheimer's microscopy room”

After the tour, Pietro had the chance to sit down and interview Prof François Bry, and talk more about Alois Alzheimers and the importance of his work. The interview itself took place in the “​​Große Aula” or Great Hall, which also has a significant history. The Great Hall was completed in 1840 and is one of the few untouched spaces of this size from before World War II.

Translation from the LMU Website “During World War II, the hall remained largely undamaged, making it one of the few usable large spaces in Munich in the post-war period. Consequently, the first post-war concerts were held in the hall. Additionally, it served as the venue for the Constituent Land Assembly of the Free State of Bavaria, where the new Bavarian Constitution was adopted.”

The ​​Große Aula

Pietro and Prof Bry had the chance to discuss Alois Alzheimer’s 21 century approach to medicine in the 20th century, his compassion for his patients, and how we can benefit as a global society from such compassion.

Our wizard behind the camera - Grete

We also take you along with us for a part of the lab tour that features old instruments and specimens that have survived to present day.

You can watch the full video here.