Social trust in learning systems

Project description

1st project phase (2020-2022)

Within the framework of the basic-funded in-house research, the project addresses research questions that contribute in the context of program-oriented funding to the profile development of ITAS in the Helmholtz Research Field Information in the thematic area “Learning Systems”.

The research focuses primarily on the development and framing of a context-specific understanding of processes, methods, and consequences of learning systems as “enabling technologies” and also addresses possibilities for a responsible handling of potential risks in various fields of application. Since the overarching problem of trust in information systems is also affected in automated applications and decision-making systems, research will focus in particular on relevant questions concerning societal trust in learning systems. This will build on the project members’ previous and parallel work on risk research, autonomous driving, automation of the world of work, adversarial AI, explainable AI, and the philosophy of science in computational sciences, which will be further developed or made fruitful for application within the thematic field. One of the project’s important tasks is to bring together the previously unconnected work on this topic at ITAS and to develop a common perspective. This also includes organizing the transfer of knowledge across project and research groups and intensifying the cooperation with KIT computer science institutes.

2nd project phase (2023-2025)

During the first project phase, the assumption was confirmed that the project focus on societal trust in learning systems is an overarching topic that is increasingly gaining societal (and political) relevance. Trust is understood as an important resource not only in the AI discourse, but in the digitalization discourse in general.

In the second project phase, the conceptual work will be continued and further specified. The focus will be on:

  1. Trust in regulatory institutions and its interrelation with trust in AI: trust in AI must be understood as a socio-technical phenomenon that is influenced by multiple actors and political dynamics across technologies. These include, in particular, current efforts to regulate AI at the EU level. However, this process still lacks conceptual acuity and empirical knowledge.
  2. The relevance of trust in dealing with mis- and disinformation and its impact on the formation of societal and political opinion: artificial intelligence already plays an important role in this regard and will become even more important.
  3. The role of trust in AI-driven automation processes: With regard to the high context specificity of artificial intelligence, constellations of trust in AI will be examined in selected contexts in which a great potential for social change can be expected, e.g., the world of work, mobility, energy.


Bareis, J.
Trustworthy AI and its regulatory discontents
2023. Austrian Institute of Technology - AI Ethics Lab (2023), Online, March 23, 2023 
Bareis, J.
The Torn Regulatory State: Governing Trustworthy AI in a Contested Field
2023. Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR 2022), Bremerhaven, Germany, January 19, 2023 
Heil, R.
Einige ethische Implikationen großer Sprachmodelle
2023. Sondersitzung des HND-BW Lenkungskreises und HND-BW Expert*innenkreises "Standortbestimmung: Auswirkungen von ChatGPT auf Lehre und Studium" (2023), Online, April 25, 2023 
Jahnel, J.
Chat GPT und der Tanz um die künstliche Intelligenz
2023. Podiumsdiskussion : CSR-Circle und HR-Circle (2023), Online, May 3, 2023 
Jahnel, J.
Deepfakes und ChatGPT: Von generierten Gesichtern und stochastischen Papageien
2023. ITA-Seminar der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW) (2023), Vienna, Austria, May 2, 2023 
Jahnel, J.; Nierling, L.
Deepfakes: A growing threat to the EU institutions’ security
2023. Interinstitutional Security and Safety Days (2023), Online, March 2, 2023 
Science Communication on the Internet
Bareis, J.
Trustworthy AI. What does it actually mean?
2022. WTMC PhD Spring Workshop "Trust and Truth" (2022), Deursen-Dennenburg, Netherlands, April 6–8, 2022 
Bareis, J.
Two layers of trust: Discussing the relationship of an ethical and a regulatory dimension towards trustworthy AI
2022. Trust in Information (TIIN) Research Group at the Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum (HLRS) Stuttgart (2022), Stuttgart, Germany, February 16, 2022 
Bareis, J.; Heil, R.
Trust (erosion) in AI regulation. Dimensions, Drivers, Contradictions?
2022. 20th Annual STS Conference : Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies (2022), Graz, Austria, May 2–4, 2022 
Heil, R.
"I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that“ – Von Vertrauen, Verlässlichkeit und babylonischer Sprachverwirrung
2022. 37. AIK-Symposium "Vertrauenswürdige Künstliche Intelligenz" (2022), Karlsruhe, Germany, October 28, 2022 
Heil, R.; Bareis, J.
Erklären und Vertrauen im Kontext von KI
2022. Fachsymposium ITAS-BAuA "Digitalisierung in der Arbeitswelt: Konzepte, Methoden und Gestaltungsbedarf" (2022), Karlsruhe, Germany, November 2–3, 2022 
Heil, R.; Bareis, J.
Künstliche Intelligenz - Einführung für die Jahrgangsstufe 11
2022. Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium (2022), Mühlacker, Germany, October 11, 2022 
Heil, R.; Bareis, J.
Künstliche Intelligenz - Einführung für die Jahrgangsstufe 10
2022. Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium (2022), Mühlacker, Germany, October 11, 2022 
Jahnel, J.
Was wir von der KI-Regulierung in der digitalen Kommunikation für den Arbeitskontext lernen können
2022. Fachsymposium ITAS-BAuA (2022), Karlsruhe, Germany, November 3, 2022 
Jahnel, J.
KI in der Digitalen Kommunikation
2022. Medien Triennale Südwest "KI & Medien gemeinsam gestalten" (#MTSW 2022), Saarbrücken, Germany, October 12, 2022 
Jahnel, J.; Hägle, O.; Hauser, C.; Escher, S.; Heil, R.; Nierling, L.
Deepfakes & Co: Digital misinformation as a challenge for democratic societies
2022. 5th European Technology Assessment Conference "Digital Future(s). TA in and for a Changing World" (ETAC 2022), Karlsruhe, Germany, July 25–27, 2022 
Jahnel, J.; Nierling, L.
Über die Folgen von perfekten Täuschungen und die Herausforderungen für eine multidimensionale Regulierung
2022. "Wie viel Wahrheit vertragen wir?" - Ringvorlesung / Universität Köln (2022), Online, June 28, 2022 
Jahnel, J.; Nierling, L.
Deepfakes: die Kehrseite der Kommunikationsfreiheit
2022. Gastvortrag Universität Graz, Siebente Fakultät (2022), Online, June 1, 2022 
Science Communication on the Internet
Book Chapters
Heil, R.
Künstliche Intelligenz/Maschinelles Lernen
2021. Handbuch Technikethik. Hrsg.: A. Grunwald, 424–428, J.B. Metzler. doi:10.1007/978-3-476-04901-8_81
Bareis, J.
Trust (erosion) in AI regulation : Dimensions, Drivers, Contradictions?
2021. International Lecture Series by Fudan University: Trust and AI (2021), Online, December 14, 2021 
Bareis, J.
Zwischen Agenda, Zwang und Widerspruch. Der liberale Staat und der Fall KI
2021. NTA9-TA21: Digital, Direkt, Demokratisch? Technikfolgenabschätzung und die Zukunft der Demokratie (2021), Online, May 10–12, 2021 
Heil, R.
Collecting Data, Tracing & Tracking
2021. Big Data-Hype: Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn? „Das Öl des 21. Jahrhunderts“: Früh wieder still und zur Selbstverständlichkeit geworden ("Deep Dive" Online-Experten-Roundtable 2021), Cologne, Germany, March 10, 2021 
Jahnel, J.
Herausforderungen bei der Regulierung von Deepfakes
2021. Fachkonferenz „Vertrauen im Zeitalter KI-gestützter Bots und Fakes: Herausforderungen und mögliche Lösungen“ (2021), Online, November 4, 2021 
Nierling, L.
Technikfolgenabschätzung für eine digitale Arbeitswelt
2021. Zukunftsforum Schweinfurt : Robotik und digitale Produktion (2021), Schweinfurt, Germany, June 7, 2021 
Renftle, M.; Trittenbach, H.; Müssener, C.; Böhm, K.; Poznic, M.; Heil, R.
Evaluating the Effect of XAI on Understanding of Machine Learning Models
2021. Philosophy of Science meets Machine Learning (2021), Tübingen, Germany, November 9–12, 2021 
Bareis, J.; Bächle, T. C.
Sociotechnical weapons: AI myths as national power play
2020. Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and agency of STS in emerging worlds (EASST/4S 2020), Online, August 18–21, 2020 


Reinhard Heil
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26815