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

Frey, P.; Gnisa, F.; Nierling, L.
Demokratische Technikgestaltung in der Arbeitswelt
2024. WSI-Mitteilungen, 77 (1), 50–57. doi:10.5771/0342-300X-2024-1-50
Heil, R.; Wendt, K. von
Künstliche Intelligenz außer Kontrolle?
2024. TATuP - Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis, 33 (1), 64–67. doi:10.14512/tatup.33.1.64Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Rudenko, I.; Norman, U.; Maure, R.; Rudenko, A.; Weinberger, N.; Krebs, F.; Peller-Konrad, F.; Reister, F.; Asfour, T.; Bruno, B.
Drawings for Insight on Preschoolers’ Perception of Robots
2024. Companion of the 2024 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 920–924, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). doi:10.1145/3610978.3640608Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Bareis, J.; Roßmann, M.; Bordignon, F.
Technology hypes: Practices, approaches and assessments
2023. TATuP - Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis, 32 (3), 11–16. doi:10.14512/tatup.32.3.11Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Gazos, A.
Die soziomaterielle Konstitution von Cybersicherheit in der Dynamik kritischer Informationsinfrastrukturen
2023. Polarisierte Welten : Verhandlungen des 41. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie 2022. Hrsg.: P.-I. Villa 
Gerling, K.; Vinel, A.; Müller, K.; Nierling, L.; Stiefelhagen, R.; Karmann, C.; Lang, D.; Asfour, T.
Technology-Centric Real-World Labs: Challenges and Opportunities for a New Mode of Participatory Research From the Perspective of Computer Science
2023. 10. Workshop Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion in sicherheitskritischen Systemen, Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI). doi:10.18420/muc2023-mci-ws02-431
Kemmesies, U.; Wetzels, P.; Austin, B.; Büscher, C.; Dessecker, A.; Hutter, S.; Rieger, D. (Eds.)
MOTRA-Monitor 2022
2023. Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (MOTRA). doi:10.53168/ISBN.978-3-9818469-6-6_2023_MOTRA
Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.; Gazos, A.; Röller, T.; Büscher, C.
Aktuelle Befunde aus dem Technologiemonitoring – Extremismus und Radikalisierung imMetaverse. MOTRA-Spotlight 08/23
2023. Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (MOTRA) 
Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.; Gazos, A.; Röller, T.; Büscher, C.
Technologiemonitoring: Das Potenzial von Metaverse und KI für extremistische Verwendungszwecke
2023. MOTRA-Monitor 2022. Hrsg.: U. Kemmesies, 226–252, Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (MOTRA)