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 enable intelligent power grids, new medical infrastructures, new forms of industrial logistics and production, and rapid changes in the world of work. 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, for example, on the governance of and by algorithms, ethical questions of learning systems, progressive automation, Industry 4.0, and the impact of digitalization on the labor market. Of particular importance is the question of how to deal responsibly with the developments of digitalization and, specifically, applications of artificial intelligence.

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.

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 the European Parliament, ITAS takes a look at political options in dealing with deepfakes – photo, audio and video recordings manipulated by AI but appearing realistic. 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 expectations, such as the idea of a self-aware artificial intelligence that surpasses humans, are also the subject of research.

(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.

Projects on the topic

To the complete project list


Further contact

Jonas Moosmüller
Public relations
Tel.: +49 721 608-26796

Publications on the topic

Gazos, A.
Krisenfolgenabschätzung in der Sicherheitsforschung.
2021. Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis, 30 (2), 67–68. doi:10.14512/tatup.30.2.67Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
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
Kusche, I.; Andres, F.; Gazos, A.; Büscher, C.; Hahn, J.; Ladikas, M.; Röller, T.; Scherz, C.
2021. MOTRA-Monitor 2020. Hrsg.: U. Kemmesies, 188–204, Bundeskriminalamt – Forschungsstelle Terrorismus/Extremismus, Wiesbaden 
Nierling, L.; Krings, B.-J.
Digitalisation and concepts of extended work.
2021. Post-Growth Work: employment and meaningful activities within planetary boundaries. Ed. by: Irmi Seidl and Angelika Zahrnt, 134–146, Routledge 
Wendland, K.
Menschenbild ohne Menschen : Subjektkonstitution im Spiegel synthetischer Konkurrenz.
2021. Wer bist du, Mensch? : Transformationen menschlicher Selbstverständnisse im wissenschaftlich-technischen Fortschritt. Hrsg.: A. Grunwald, 240–259, Herder 
Nierling, L.; Schreiber, A.; Fischer, M.
Prospektive Weiterbildung für Industrie 4.0: Analyse- und Gestaltungsperspektiven.
2020. Digitale Welt – Herausforderungen für die berufliche Bildung und die Professionalität der Lehrenden : Ergebnisse des 5. und 6. Chinesisch-Deutschen Workshops zur Berufsbildungsforschung. Hrsg.: W. Jiping, 157–186, Eusl 
Arnold, H.; Wendland, K., [Interviewter].
Die Entmystifizierung der KI. Maschinen mit Bewusstsein – und die Folgen.
2019. Markt & Technik, (44), 22–24 
Heil, R.; Wendland, K.; Wadephul, C.
Robotik und die Zuschreibung von Bewusstsein.
2019. EZW-Texte, (264), 27–35 
Nierling, L.; Krings, B.-J.
Digitalisierung und erweiterte Arbeit.
2019. Tätigsein in der Postwachstumsgesellschaft. Hrsg.: I. Seidl, 175–190, Metropolis 
Wendland, K.
"Im Fokus" Künstliche Intelligenz.
2019. dgfs-echo, 1 (19), 26–28