Issues in Focus
Digitalisation for the Common Good
Whether civil society, politics or science - everyone seems to agree that the New Twenties will be characterised by digitalisation. But how do we create a digital transformation involving society as a whole, including people who either do not have the financial means or the necessary know-how to benefit from digitalisation? And what do these comprehensive changes in our actions mean for democracy? In this dossier we want to address these questions and offer food for thought on how we can use digitalisation for the common good.
Talks on the topic
Shoshana Zuboff| Harvard University
Surveillance Capitalism and democracy
Robert Seyfert | Universität Duisburg-Essen
Sybille Krämer | Freie Universität Berlin
Cultural history of digitalisation
Texts on the topic
We successfully concluded the first virtual Clinic of the Ethics of Digitilisation project financed by Stiftung Mercator. Twelve international fellows developed innovative approaches to improving fairness in targeted job advertising....
The first research sprint of the Ethics of Digitalisation project reached the finishing line. Thirteen international fellows tackled pressing issues concerning the use of AI in content moderation. Looking back...
Should machines make important decisions in HR management and administration? Who is responsible for ensuring that these decisions are taken fairly – and how do we prevent discriminatory structures from...
Despite the growing global interest in mitigating climate change and in the digital transformation, there is often still a lack of implementation expertise on how these "instruments" can best be...
Can your refrigerator order milk for you but refuse to give you a second ice cream? Should your self-driven car drive with you into a tree instead of over a…
Technology is never neutral. And even if the Internet as a medium initially invited us to deconstruct established, fixed role models and identities in supposedly new publics, to break up…
How can technology help organisations to more effectively tackle societal challenges? In this article we introduce the concept of effectiveness in digitalisation, which, we believe, is key to any digitalisation…
In the context of a dialogue event organized jointly with the HIIG and the German AI Association, the European Commission presented its White Paper on Artificial Intelligence on May 4…
Discussing the implementation of automated decision making systems as savior of overburdened legal decision makers is en vogue. But if employed instead of human decision makers and with rising complexity…
Smaller legal disputes in Estonia are to be decided by Artificial Intelligence. In the USA, algorithms are already making decisions about penalties and bail amounts. In Germany, too, there is…
What are the key ethical, legal and social (ELS) issues of social robots? How can these challenges be addressed? To answer these questions, Christoph Lutz conducted with two research colleagues…
There hardly exists a buzzword today that fires everybody‘s imagination in the tech world like “artificial intelligence” (AI). But not only giants like Google, Facebook, Baidu or Alibaba are trying…
Digitaler Salon on the topic
Digitaler Salon | 04.12.19
Score me maybe?
Digitaler Salon | 04.08.20
Digitaler Salon | 30.04.20
Digital ist man weniger allein?
twenty forty - Utopias for a Digital Society
Mediatised democracy in times of digitalisation
The contributions in this volume bring together programmatic positions that present and discuss central aspects and perspectives of research on digitisation in the social sciences. These include research fields from the fields of participation and party research, governance of digitisation, methodological reflections on computational social science and the analysis of democracy and the public sphere under the conditions of digitisation.
Making Audits Meaningful
This white paper sets out to explain how and why audits, a specific type of transparency measure, should be mandated by law within the four clear principles of independence, access, publicity, and resources. We go on to unpack the types of transparency, and then contextualize audits in this framework while also describing risks and benefits. The white paper concludes with the explanation of the four principles, as they are derived from the previous sections.
Disclosure Rules for Algorithmic Content Moderation
Dominant social media platforms are increasingly using automation and AI to find and remove problematic content. While this helps stop some of the worst content from spreading on the Internet, algorithmic content moderation can delete content that should not be deleted (overblocking) or discriminate against minorities. Crucially, there is very little transparency from platforms about how algorithmic content moderation works, how accurate its technologies are believed to be, and how much content they remove, especially without human review.
Freedom of expression in the Digital Public Spheres
This policy brief was developed with the contributions of an interdisciplinary team of experts from the fields of law, political science, sociology, and engineering. It aims to inform legislators and policymakers of the risks posed by the proliferation of algorithmic content moderation and the need for a more proactive regulatory approach by the states towards the governance of content moderation systems that are deployed by online platforms providing digital infrastructure for public discourse. It highlights an information gap that prevents regulators from evaluating the impact of content moderation on freedom of expression and an accountability gap that arises through the absence of effective redress mechanisms by which users are able to challenge violations of freedom of expression.