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Workshop: Shifting AI Controversies

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations- und Informationsforschung (ZeMKI, University of Bremen) are in collaboration organising an expert workshop on the topic of “Shifting AI controversies: Are the AI controversies that we have the AI controversies we need?”. The workshop will be held in German.


Workshop: Shifting AI Controversies
Thursday, 5 October 2023 | 09:00 am – 05:00 pm
HIIG | Französische Str. 9, 10117 Berlin


On the one hand, AI technologies are considered to be able to solve major problems of our societies, such as climate change, fighting misinformation or helping to detect illnesses in the medical field. On the other hand, there are legitimate debates about political and economic inequality, which is reinforced by the use of AI technologies. These debates do not stop at the scientific discourse itself.

For this workshop, experts from science, politics and civic society come together to discuss controversies about artificial intelligence. Which developments in the field of AI are particularly controversial? What does the current state of the discourse on AI and its controversies look like? Which issues should play a more significant role in public discourse and how can these issues be put on the agenda?

The goal of the workshop is to answer the question: Are the AI controversies that we have the AI controversies we need? To start the exchange, the Shaping AI team shares its preliminary results on AI controversies in policy, media and research discourses in Germany over the last decade. These existing controversies are then discussed and evaluated. In addition, the Public Interest AI research group will share a perspective on how to approach public interest in AI debates and developments. This opens up the discussion on needed AI controversies and how to shape them.



8:45 am   Registration
9:00 am   Welcome & introduction
9:15 am   Input Shaping AI team
9:45 am   Introduction of group work
10:00 am   Discussion in groups
11:00 am   Coffee break
11:15 am   Discussion in groups
12:00 pm   Presentation of results
1:00 pm   Lunch
2:00 pm   Input Public Interest AI team
2:30 pm   Discussion in groups
3:15 pm   Presentation of results
4:15 pm   Closing remarks & coffee



The event is organised as part of the project Shaping 21st Century AI, which is a multinational collaboration of partners in Germany, UK, Canada and France that examines the global trajectories of public discourse on artificial intelligence. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the national funding bodies of the partner countries in the Open Research Area (ORA) scheme.


The event is organised as a non-public expert workshop. A workshop report will be published on this website shortly after the event.

Event date

05.10.2023 | 9.00 am – 5.00 pm ical | gcal


Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society,  Französische Straße 9,  10117 Berlin


Lena Henkes

Researcher: Knowledge & 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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