Dear friends and fellow researchers,

A new media age has begun: humans no longer only use machines; we also communicate with them. A few years ago Siri, Alexa & Co were entertaining imaginary people – now they are able to talk back. In our most recent #DigitalSociety lecture, Dirk Baecker, presumably Luhmann's most famous student, draws a more precise picture of what both human and artificial intelligence concretely mean in this context. The prospect of ever smarter machines also inspires our researchers to think about our future jobs, AI in business and its impact on human rights.

In this newsletter, we’ll once again be telling you about HIIG’s current activities, about upcoming events you shouldn’t miss and about our latest publications. We hope you enjoy reading it!

Jeanette Hofmann | Ingolf Pernice | Björn Scheuermann | Thomas Schildhauer | Wolfgang Schulz


Advancing the Digital Transformation

Good news for small- and medium-sized companies throughout Germany: the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is funding the competence centre for SMEs for another two years. We’ll be contributing our expertise as an academic partner in the fields of start-up cooperation, education and digital business models. Discover digital solutions that have already been implemented in ...

| the last three years (article in German).

New Project | Promoting Open Access

Especially in the field of internet research, the scientific system thrives on a dynamic publishing landscape without major barriers. How can we improve access to science in the long term? Together with ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics we are implementing a DFG-supported joint project on Innovative Open Access in the Small Sciences, applying it to our journal Internet Policy Review.

| Explore our open science universe!

ACTiSS | MOOC for Computational Social Science

With society becoming increasingly turbulent, the demand for social scientists who are capable of analysing behavioural dynamics is rising. ACTiSS is an educational project aimed at fostering the development of computational thinking among social science students and young professionals. Together with the Universities of Warsaw and Groningen, Benedikt Fecher and Nataliia Sokolovska will be developing a MOOC that combines academic expertise and real-world examples.

Learn more about the new project.



New Study | Digital Innovation in SMEs

While SMEs have been criticised for missing out on digitalisation, it is easy to overlook that they prefer to innovate covertly! But what specific activities and strategies are they pursuing in terms of digital innovation? Whether smart glasses for customer service or a digital platform for better collaboration across teams – in their new study, Martin Wrobel and Alexander T. Nicolai investigate successful digitisation projects (in German).

Additionally, our latest Issue in Focus sheds light on digital innovation and entrepreneurship!


Book Chapter | Hope and Hype in Africa’s Digital Economy

In his recently published contribution to the open access book Digital Economies at Global Margins, our researcher Nicolas Friederici investigates what the increasing digital connectivity and the digitalisation of the economy mean for people and places at the world's economic margins. He puts a special focus on the rise of innovation hubs in Africa.

| Listen to our podcast on the rise of innovation hubs in Africa.

Book Contribution | Museums Online

In her chapter of the recently published book The Historical Web and Digital Humanities, HIIG researcher Rebecca Kahn examines how the British Museum demarcates and leverages its national web space in order to articulate a national identity. It critically examines the museum’s online network to reveal a significantly localised and UK-oriented web space, contrary to claims of universality and transnationalism.

| Check out the chapter here.

CfP | Digital Inclusion and Data Literacy

As more of our everyday lives become digital – paying bills, reading news, contacting companies and services, keeping in touch with your friends and family, and even voting – it has become crucial to include everyone in the online world. What do digital inclusion and data literacy mean today? Internet Policy Review, our open access journal on internet regulation, aims to find this out in a new special issue.

| Submit your paper by 25 August!


Digital Society

Another Brick in the Wall | 29 May 2019

Due to digital tools and new educational concepts, learning is becoming more and more individual. How are the roles of teachers and learners changing as a result? Once a month, we publicly discuss the impact of digitisation on society. The next edition of our famous “Digitaler Salon” talk series will deal with the future of learning. Join us at the institute or via livestream and Twitter!

| Find out more.


Europe and Responsible Platform Societies | 5 June 2019

In her lecture, José van Dijck takes a look at European private and public interests vis-à-vis American high-tech corporations. Who is responsible for anchoring public values in an online world? Particularly in the European context, governments and civil society organisations can be proactive in negotiating public values on behalf of citizens and consumers.

| Save your spot for José van Dijck’s lecture!

Impact School

Long Night of the Sciences | 15 June 2019

This year, we are opening our doors for the third time during the Long Night of the Sciences! In an extensive program full of exciting lectures, hands-on experiments and information booths, we’ll be introducing visitors to our research activities. You’ll have the chance to play open access minigolf or to enter the “AI oracle 2081” and discover your future job – the latter is an art installation that has recently won a prize for young researchers!

| Check out the full programme.

Our Lives with Algorithms | 1 July 2019

From detecting anomalies in medical images to drone footage, algorithms are radically transforming how we make sense in society. They take an undecidable scene with multiple possible meanings and reduce it to a single one. This is problematic, because our relationships with others cannot be condensed. Louise Amoore speaks in her lecture about what remains of that which cannot be translated into a single numeric output.

| Join the event with Louise Amoore here.

Beyond HIIG | Events that Caught our Eye

14 May | Digital Future Science Match | KOSMOS, Berlin

11 – 14 June | RightsCon | Tunis, Tunisia

24 – 25 June | Connected Life 2019: Data & Disorder | UK

26 – 27 September | SPOSE: CfP by 14 June | Luxembourg

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG)
Französische Straße 9, 10117 Berlin | info@hiig.de