Data, information, knowledge

How can the digital transformation be used for the benefit of all?
ITAS topic Data, information, knowledge

The digitalization of large spheres of human life is progressing at a rapid pace. It entails not only technical and economic but also social change. IT infrastructures make our modern society work. Networked information and communication technologies make intelligent power grids, new medical applications and new forms of work possible. Behind this are algorithms and huge amounts of data, which bear great potential, but also social challenges, such as adequate regulation.

The scope and dynamics of digital transformation is reflected in many ITAS projects. On the one hand, researchers work on conceptual questions, such as trust and risk, governance of and by algorithms or the ethics of learning systems. On the other hand, they conduct analyses on the advancing automation and digitalisation of society using concrete digital technologies. Of particular importance is the question of how to deal responsibly with the developments of digitalization.

Digital work

Technical advances in robotics, sensor technology, and digital processes are fundamentally changing the world of work. The digital transformation affects all qualification levels. At the same time, new business areas are emerging, for digital corporations, but also for start-ups. Besides the change in industrial production, ITAS is increasingly investigating changes in the service sector. For example, the EU project Crowdwork 21 focuses on the phenomenon of platform work, where work tasks are distributed over the network. In this context, visions for a successful design of the digital transformation of the world of work are also taken into account.

Governance and algorithms

Be it in questions of the allocation of loans, jobs, or study places, the assessment of legal penalties, or even the identification of terrorists. More and more often, computer systems “have a say” in decisions that significantly influence the possibilities of free personal development. ITAS investigates the risks of discrimination by algorithms and, in the GOAL project, deals with structures and design options for the governance of algorithms, especially with regard to risks to fundamental rights and other social values.

Artificial intelligence

Another research focus at ITAS is on learning systems. Here, researchers are investigating the fundamental question of social trust in in technologies that use artificial intelligence. For example, ITAS took a look at political options for ealing with deepfakes - photo, audio, and video recordings manipulated by AI but appearing realistic - for the European Parliament. In addition, the researchers are also investigating societal perspectives on digitization and the use of AI in agriculture and the bioeconomy, for example in the DESIRA project. Prevailing discourses and societal needs are also the subject of research, such as design options or inclusion of disadvantaged groups

(In-)Security, risk, and politics

Security is of great importance for modern societies. Nevertheless, or precisely because of this, they must constantly deal with insecurity. Politicians in particular often have to rely on uncertain knowledge when making decisions. The MOTRA project examines how the quest for security and the emergence of new insecurity are intertwined in the field of extremism prevention.

Publications on the topic

Büscher, C.; Kusche, I.; Röller, T.; Andres, F.; Gazos, A.; Hahn, J.; Ladikas, M.; Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.; Scherz, C.
Trends der zukünftigen Technologienutzung im Kontext von Extremismus und Terrorismus: erste Erkenntnisse aus dem MOTRA-Technologiemonitoring
2022. Kemmesies, Uwe; Wetzels, Peter; Austin, Beatrix; Büscher, Christian; Dessecker, Axel; Grande, Edgar; Rieger, Diana (Hg.): MOTRA-Monitor 2021, 248–281, MOTRA. doi:10.53168/isbn.978-3-9818469-4-2_2022_MOTRA
Ferraria, A.; Bacco, M.; Gaber, K.; Jedlitschka, A.; Hess, S.; Kaipainen, J.; Koltsida, P.; Toli, E.; Brunori, G.
Drivers, barriers and impacts of digitalisation in rural areas from the viewpoint of experts
2022. Information & software technology, 145, Art.Nr. 106816. doi:10.1016/j.infsof.2021.106816
Grunwald, A.
Verantwortliche Gestaltung von KI-Systemen: Ethik, Recht und Technikfolgenabschätzung
2022. Künstliche Intelligenz – Ethik und Recht.. Hrsg. von Thomas Hoeren, Stefan Pinelli, 45–66, Verlag C.H.Beck 
Orwat, C.; Bareis, J.; Folberth, A.; Jahnel, J.; Wadephul, C.
Risikoregulierung von künstlicher Intelligenz und automatisierten Entscheidungen
2022. Künstliche Intelligenz - Ethik und Recht. Hrsg. von Thomas Hoeren, Stefan Pinelli, 255–287, Verlag C.H.Beck 
Arasanz, J.; Krings, B.-J.
Care Services organised by digital platforms in Germany and Spain
2021. Digital Labour Platforms. Representing Workers in Europe. Ed.: A. Moniz, 171–184, CICS.NOVA - Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, NOVA University Lisbon (CICS.NOVA) 
Gutmann, M.; Haag, M.-C.; Wadephul, C.
Verheißung, Verdammung oder einfach ein Selbstmissverständnis? Sprachkritische Überlegungen zum Umgang mit KI und ihren Beschreibungen
2021. Künstliche Intelligenz : Die große Verheißung. Hrsg.: A. Strasser, 221–240, xenomoi verlag e.K 
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
Kemmesies, U.; Wetzels, P.; Austin, B.; Dessecker, A.; Grande, E.; Kusche, I.; Rieger, D.
MOTRA-Monitor 2020
2021. Bundeskriminalamt – Forschungsstelle Terrorismus/Extremismus, Wiesbaden. doi:10.53168/isbn.978-3-9818469-9-7_2021_MOTRA