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The Ethics of Digitalisation – From Principles to Practices

According to which criteria must chat bots be programmed to communicate without discrimination? What rules must apply when programming AI so that they serve the good of all? How do we design the algorithms that shape our society?

The international research project "Ethics of Digitalisation - From Principles to Practices" aims to develop groundbreaking answers to challenges in the area of conflict between ethics and digitalisation. Innovative scientific formats, research sprints and clinics, form the core of the project; they enable interdisciplinary scientific work on application-, and practice-oriented questions and achieve outputs of high societal relevance and impact.

The project promotes active exchange at the interface of science, politics and society and thus contributes to a global dialogue on an ethics of digitalisation.

Milestones of the project

Launch Event

Frank-Walter Steinmeier opened the launch event of the two-year project at Bellevue Castle

17 August 2020 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Research Sprint 1 at HIIG

The fellows published three policy briefs on the topic "AI and Content Moderation"

August until October 2020 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Research Sprint 2 at Berkman Klein Center

The fellows dealt with the impact of the pandemic on education and learning. Read their results here
October until December 2020 – Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Clinic 1 at HIIG

The fellows of the first Virtual Clinic published their results on the topic of "Increasing Fairness in Targeted Advertising".

February 2021 - Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Research Sprint 3 at Digital Asia Hub
Research Sprint 4 at SARChI-ID

The fellows deal with the topic of Toward an African Narrative on Digital Sovereignty”.

  • German Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier in exchange with our Sprint Fellows

June until July 2021 – South African Research Chair in Industrial Development at the University of Johannesburg 

Clinic 2 at Berkman Klein Center
Clinic 3 at HIIG

The researchers address the topic of "Explainable AI" in relation to automated decision-making from the perspective of governance, technology and design.

September 2021 - Humboldt Institute für Internet and Society

Clinic 4 at Digital Asia Hub

The fellows deal with the topic of "Cities, Digitization, and Ethics." There are two outputs.

October 2021 - Digital Asia Hub

Multi-stakeholder dialogue

October 2021 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Closing Event

February 2022 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Final Report

March - June 2022 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Project partners include HIIG, the Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut, the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University and the Digital Asia Hub.

The project is funded by Stiftung Mercator. The Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier is patron of this project.

Duration07/2020 - 06/2022
FundingStiftung Mercator

The international and interdisciplinary research project is a joint initiative of the Global Network of Internet and Society Research Center (NoC).

Contact

Nadine Birner

Coordinator: The ethics of digitalisation | NoC

Connected with

More Information

On our dossier page on Digitalisation for the Common Good you will find articles, videos and other content on the topic.

Media reception

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier invites to the launch of an international research project "Ethics of Digitisation" at Bellevue Castle. The launch conference on August 17 will focus on ethical questions of digitization, for example in the functioning of artificial intelligence and algorithms, according to the Office of the Federal President.

Deutschlandfunk Kultur

In the 3sat program Scobel, Research Director Prof. Wolfgang Schulz speaks on the topic "Ethics for the Digital" (minute 42:00) about research in the course of the project "Ethics of Digitalisation".

3sat

Under the patronage of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the project "Ethics of Digitisation" has been launched. One of the directors of research, Prof. Wolfgang Schulz, talks about digital communication at WDR as an opportunity and challenge.

WDR

Former employees

Working paper

Drobotowicz, K., Vidal, V., Ziosi, M., Au, Y., Rawal, K., & Schneider, G. (2021). The playbook on participation and accountability in city challenges. Berkman Klein Center. Publication details

de Castro e Silva, B., Ly, E., Poszler, F., Marvez, G. R., Balasubramaniam, N., & Vogl, T. (2021). Municipal stakeholder engagement strategies for learning analytics and AI in education: participatory design, accountability and oversight mechanisms. Berkman Klein Center. Publication details

Kitikamdhorn, A., Chua, R., Bettay, D., Adhikari, A., Huth, L., & Atabey, A. (2021). Bangkok: An ethical city in 2030. Digital Asia Hub. Publication details

Other publications

Birner, N., Hod, S., Kettemann, M. C., Pirang, A., & Stock, F. (Eds.) (2021). Increasing Fairness in Targeted Advertising. The Risk of Gender Stereotyping by Job Ad Algorithms, . Publication details

Butters, N., Bollmann, H., Hofmann, V., & Kettemann, M. (2021). Digitalisierung definieren: Eine Verteidigung ethischer Prinzipien im digitalen Zeitalter. Digital Society Blog. Publication details

Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society (2021). A New Approach to Experiential Learning: Scholars inform the City of Helsinki on ethical AI applications for schools during BKC’s AI Policy Research Clinic. Berkman Klein Center. Publication details

Digital Asia Hub (2021). Fall 2021 Research Clinic on Cities, Digitalization, and Ethics. Digital Asia Hub News. Publication details

Organisation of events

Stakeholder-Dialog – Ethik der Digitalisierung
From 06.10.2021 to 08.10.2021. Humboldt Institute für Internet and Society, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Berkman Klein Center, Digital Asia Hub (International) Further information

Nicole Butters, Hanna-Sophie Bollmann, Nadine Birner, Christian Grauvogel

Virtual research clinic – Cities and the ethics of digitalisation
From 01.10.2021 to 31.10.2021. Online, The Digital Asia Hub, Hong Kong, HKSAR. Co-Organised by: Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berkman Klein Center (International) Further information

Nadine Birner

Digitaler Salon: Cookies make you lose control
25.08.2021. Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin, Deutschland (National) Further information

Judith Faßbender, Natasha Vukajlovic, Christian Grauvogel

Research clinic – AI in education
From 12.07.2021 to 30.07.2021. Online, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Cambridge, USA (International)

Nadine Birner, Matthias C. Kettemann, Alexander Pirang, Wolfgang Schulz

Virtual research clinic – Challenges & opportunities of public sector AI policy
From 01.07.2021 to 31.07.2021. Online, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. Co-Organised by: The Digital Asia Hub, Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (International) Further information

Nadine Birner

Research Sprint – Toward an African Narrative on Digital Sovereignty
From 08.06.2021 to 27.07.2021. Online, South African Research Chair in Industrial Development at the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa (International) Further information

Nadine Birner, Matthias C. Kettemann

Clinic Closing Event – Increasing Fairness in Targeted Advertising
23.03.2021. Online, Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin, Germany (International)

Shlomi Hod, Friederike Stock, Nadine Birner, Matthias C. Kettemann, Alexander Pirang, Wolfgang Schulz

Research Clinic – Increasing fairness in targeted advertising – The risk of gender stereotyping by job ad algorithms
From 01.02.2021 to 14.02.2021. Online, Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin, Deutschland (International)

Shlomi Hod, Friederike Stock, Nadine Birner, Matthias C. Kettemann, Alexander Pirang, Wolfgang Schulz