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Not my Existential Risk! The politics of controversy in an age of AI

On behalf of the international research project Shaping 21st Century AI, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the ZeMKI, University of Bremen, in cooperation with AlgorithmWatch and the Museum of Communication Berlin invite you to an evening panel on the topic of AI controversies.


Evening panel
Not my Existential Risk! The politics of controversy in an age of AI

29 January 2024 | 7:00pm | Doors open: 06:30pm
Museum of Communication Berlin, Leipziger Straße 16, 10117 Berlin, Germany


Controversies about AI abound. But are we having the conversations and controversies about AI that we need to have? Some hold that the public debate about AI is increasingly dominated by state and industry. While activists, journalists and researchers have played a key role in getting issues of AI-induced discrimination, surveillance and worker exploitation on the public agenda, current initiatives focused on “responsible AI” seem designed to strengthen the “innovation state” and create opportunities for business. As development and investment in AI is again rising sharply after the ChatGPT moment, even technologists and world leaders articulate warnings that AI might cause fundamental damage to societies, including the risk of extinction. But are these the harms and risks that we should prioritise in public and policy debates about AI? How can we put forward an agenda of controversies on AI that puts society centre stage?

In this evening panel, experts from activism, journalism and politics engage with today’s big challenges at the intersection of AI and society. The conversation draws on findings from the international research project Shaping AI and the concluding conference Shifting AI Controversies


Host and Intro

Christian Katzenbach (University of Bremen / Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society)



Noortje Marres (University of Warwick)



Brenda McPhail (Canadian Civil Liberties Association)

Mark Scott (Politico)

Matthias Spielkamp (AlgorithmWatch) & tba.

Gloria González Fuster (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)



6.30pm  Registration
7.00pm  Welcome & introduction
7.10pm  Panel discussion & questions from the audience
8.30pm  Reception



The evening panel is organised as part of the closing conference (register via this link) of the project Shaping 21st Century AI, which is a multinational collaboration of partners in Germany, France, UK and Canada that examines the global trajectories of public discourse on artificial intelligence. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Germany), the Agence nationale de la Recherche (ANR, France), the Economic and Social Research Council of UK Research and Innovation (ESRC, the UK) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC, Canada) in the Open Research Area (ORA) scheme.


Christian Katzenbach (ZeMKI, University of Bremen / HIIG)

Laura Liebig (ZeMKI, University of Bremen / HIIG)

Lena Marie Henkes (HIIG)

Alessa Eggeling (University of Bremen)


If you have any questions, you can contact the conference organisers via



To participate in this event, please register using the form below.





Eine Anmeldung ist für diese Veranstaltung aktuell nicht möglich.

Event date

29.01.2024 | 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm ical | gcal


Museum of Communciation Berlin,  Leipziger Straße 16,  10117 Berlin


Christian Katzenbach, Prof. Dr.

Associated researcher: The evolving digital society


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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