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Research issues in focus

Based on its research focus and programmes, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society is currently addressing these topics. Here you can find out more about our interdisciplinary pioneering work and activities in public discourse.


We will inform you regularly about our research activities and events.

Current research issues in focus

Du siehst eine Tastatur auf der eine Taste rot gefärbt ist und auf der „Control“ steht. Eine bildliche Metapher für die Regulierung von digitalen Plattformen im Internet und Data Governance. You see a keyboard on which one key is coloured red and says "Control". A figurative metaphor for the regulation of digital platforms on the internet and data governance.

Platform regulation and data governance

Digital platforms play a crucial role in our society. We investigate the regulation of new public spheres and the governance of their data.
Du siehst Eisenbahnschienen. Die vielen verschiedenen Abzweigungen symbolisieren die Entscheidungsmöglichkeiten von Künstlicher Intelligenz in der Gesellschaft. Manche gehen nach oben, unten, rechts. Manche enden auch in Sackgassen. Englisch: You see railway tracks. The many different branches symbolise the decision-making possibilities of artificial intelligence and society. Some go up, down, to the right. Some also end in dead ends.

Artificial intelligence and society

Artificial Intelligence is operating in diverse contexts of our society. What can we learn from its political, social and cultural facets?

Digitalisation and sustainability

In terms of sustainability, digitalisation faces countless opportunities and challenges. We explore how technology is used responsibly.
Du siehst eine Bibliothek mit einer runden Treppe die sich in die höhe schraubt. Sie steht sinnbildlich für die sich stetig weiterentwickelnden digitalen Infrastrukturen unserer Wissensgesellschaft. You see a library with a round staircase that spirals upwards. It symbolises the constantly evolving digital infrastructures of our knowledge society.

Digital infrastructures of the knowledge society

We explore the use of digital infrastructures to create, share and disseminate knowledge for all in our knowledge society.
Man sieht einen leeren Büroraum ohne Möbel und braunen Teppichboden. Das Bild steht sinnbildlich für die Frage, wie die Arbeit der Zukunft und digitales Organisieren und Zukunft unseren Arbeitsplatz beeinflusst. You see an empty office room without furniture and brown carpeting. The image is emblematic of the question of how the work of the future and digital organising and the future will influence our workplace.

Digital organising and the future of work

The future of work is characterised by spatial and temporal flexibility and by the increasing interaction between people and technology.
Man sieht an mehreren Stellen gebrochenes Glas, das die komplexen und dynamischen Verhältnisse zwischen Menschen und intelligenten autonomen Systemen darstellt. You can see broken glass in several places, representing the complex and dynamic relationships between humans and intelligent autonomous systems.

Autonomy, autonomous systems and robots

Autonomous systems show the enormous influence of AI on our society. We investigate the complex relationship between humans and intelligent machines.

More research issues in focus

Titelbild European Platform Alternatives. Ein Schwimmbad mit zwei Sprungtürmen von oben.

European Platform Alternatives

In this reasearch issue, we focus on how Europe’s digital platform economy can be governed to achieve fairer results for all stakeholders.
Man sieht in Leuchtschrift das Wort "Ethical"

Digital Ethics

Where do we currently stand on the issue of digital ethics? And what do these comprehensive changes in our actions mean for democracy?


The state monitors its citizens, Internet companies monitor their users - and finally we monitor ourselves and each other. Who monitors whom and why?

How COVID-19 impacts digital technologies

Will the Corona pandemic impact key subjects of digital technologies? How and why does Covid-19 affect digitalization and the internet?
algorithmic decisions and human rights

Algorithmic decisions and human rights

AI has an impact on nearly all areas of life. However, automated decisions lead to difficult human rights questions. So, what's the role of law and ethics?
digital entrepreneurs look at a computer screen

Digital innovation and entrepreneurship

In our dossier we look at concrete activities and strategies of SMEs in terms of digital innovation. What exactly do successful digitisation projects look like in medium-sized companies?

Governing AI: Political players between vision and regulation

How do political actors position themselves in the AI debate? Where do their strategies differ? Is politics here more of a driver or a driven force?

Exploring the digital society

To understand current social and technological change, we need explanations that help shape our future.

Work in the digital age

The Future of Work is now. Platforms and "Artificial Intelligence" are changing workplaces and lives already. Find out how in this dossier!

GDPR – what’s beyond?

New rights for consumers, new obligations for businesses: European data protection law will receive a massive update, as the EU’s general data protection regulation will enter into force on 25 May 2018.

Understanding Platform Governance

More and more people and institutions communicate via Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and co. They allow us to share photos, news, opinions and status updates of all kinds with the whole world.

Fundamental rights in the digital age

The Internet is a space where social relationships are cultivated, business is conducted, new knowledge is created, and all kinds of networks are built. But do fundamental rights exist in this growing digital habitat?

Open Science

Scientifically generated data and results should not vanish behind paywalls and in expensive books, but should be publicly accessible. Open Science is on all sides a popular idea, but rarely implemented.

Data: Between Freedom and Protection

Data is polarising. It is the resource of the 21st century.  It enables business models and innovations in society, science and politics. Some people want to use it, others want to protect it and many regard their dwindling privacy with scepticism.

Internet Rules !?

What rules has the internet created, what ones has it got rid off and what ones does it urgently need? Internet researchers from around the world will be meeting in Berlin at #AoIR2016.