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AI & Society Lab

The AI & Society Lab is an inter- and transdisciplinary research laboratory at the interface between research, industry and civil society. It explores the societal changes and challenges that arise from the introduction of artificial intelligence in political, social and cultural processes. The Lab aims to initiate new connections and productive exchanges between stakeholders and to enrich the discourse around AI with contributions that enable conscious and informed policy-making processes, for example through academic publications, multi-stakeholder workshops, public events or media productions. In doing so, the AI & Society Lab is on its way to becoming a thought leader for an inclusive, human rights-friendly and sustainable AI strategy in Europe.


The AI & Society Lab is dedicated to practical topics to explore the societal implications of AI applications, for example the question of how AI infrastructures can be developed and deployed in a public good oriented way. At the same time, the Lab focuses on the concrete implementation of normative guidelines in governance processes.
The Lab sees itself as an experimental space for new formats to advance knowledge generation and knowledge transfer on AI. Together with our partners, we develop innovative research designs or event formats that enable a process of communication in a practical and interactive way.
The topic of AI is buzzing. But beyond the hype, it is about profound social changes that go hand in hand with the increasing automation of infrastructures. In exchange with our partners, we explore how this development can be made inclusive, in harmony with human rights and sustainable.


Events & Activities

Research Clinic: Explainable AI

As a joint initiative with the project "Ethics of Digitalisation - from Principles to Practices", the Explainable AI Clinic deals with automated decision-making from the perspective of governance, technology and design.
08. – 12. September 2021 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

EDIT-A-THON: Intersectional AI Toolkit

How can established queer, anti-racist and feminist ethics and tactics contribute necessary perspectives to digital systems? Our virtual fellow Sarah Ciston has developed a zine collection and code library that provides approachable guides to intersectional AI. At the EDIT-A-THON, we will demonstrate and discuss the toolkit. There will be space to explore, edit and expand on it.
01. September 2021 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Project Launch: Why, AI?

This learning space helps you to find out more about the myths and truths surrounding automation, algorithms, society and ourselves.
27 April 2021 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

4th Roundtable: AI & Women*

The topic of the fourth roundtable was increasing the participation of women and diversity in the development of AI.
13 October 2020 – Representation of the European Commission in Germany

3rd Roundtable: AI & Sustainability

This roundtable explored the relationship between AI and the climate and between economic growth and sustainability: what focus does European AI need?
21 September 2020 – Representation of the European Commission in Germany

2nd Roundtable: AI & Inclusion

The roundtable addressed discrimination in the context of AI. In addition, potentials and problems of AI in human resource management and administration were discussed.
10 September 2020 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

1st Pop-Up Lab: Inclusive AI?

The first pop-up lab focused on the opportunities and challenges of automated decision-making systems in HR management.
24-26 August 2020 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

1st Roundtable: AI & IoT

The first roundtable discussed opportunities and challenges of AI and decentralised data and examined the question how to safeguard digital human rights.
19 August 2020 – Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society


Daniela Dicks

Co-Lead & spokesperson: AI & Society Lab

Theresa Züger, Dr.

Research Group Lead: Public Interest AI | AI & Society Lab


The position paper „Diversity as a factor for the future“ presents ideas and demands for a more diverse AI and for a higher level of participation of women in the development.

Read the paper (German)

Why, AI?

Everyone talks about Artificial Intelligence (AI). But how does it change society? And how can we use it to help society? For that, we need to understand how AI works and how we can make it work for us. We need to get this right, because there is so much to get wrong. This is why we have put together this online learning space. We hope that with “Why, AI?” you learn a little more about how AI impacts the world. And how we need to change AI before it changes us…

Discover all 11 articles

Former employees

  • staff dummy Juliane Henn
    Former Student assistant: AI & Society Lab
  • Kai Gärtner Kai Gärtner
    Former Head of IT | Former Project Lead: DECIDE | Former Researcher: AI & Society Lab

  • Society and culture

    Public Interest AI

    The “Public Interest AI” research group is therefore developing an operationalisable analysis procedure that allows defining and assessing public interest AI on three levels:...
  • Politics and law · Society and culture

    The Ethics of Digitalisation – From Principles to Practices

    The international research project "Ethics of Digitalisation - From Principles to Practices" aims to develop groundbreaking answers to challenges in the area of conflict...
  • Konstruktion von künstlicher Intelligenz
    Politics and law · Society and culture

    The discursive and political construction of AI

    This project empirically investigates the discursive and political construction of AI in contemporary societies. We have started with small-scale preliminary studies on the media...

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Ogolla, S. & Gupta, A. (2018). Inclusive Design – Methods To Ensure A High Degree Of Participation in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Systems. University of Oxford Connected Life 2018 – Conference Proceedings, 23-34. Publication details

Edited works

Thimm, C., & Bächle, T. C. (Eds.) (2019). Die Maschine: Freund oder Feind? Mensch und Technologie im digitalen Zeitalter. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Publication details

Book contributions and chapters

Bächle, T. C., Ernst, C., Schröter, J., & Thimm, C. (2018). Selbstlernende autonome Systeme? – Medientechnologische und medientheoretische Bedingungen am Beispiel von Alphabets „Differentiable Neural Computer” (DNC)‘. In C. Engemann & A. Sudmann (Eds.), Machine Learning – Medien, Infrastrukturen und Technologien der Künstlichen Intelligenz (pp. 169-194). Bielefeld: transcript. Publication details

Thimm, C., & Bächle, T. C. (2018). Autonomie der Technologie und autonome Systeme als ethische Herausforderung. In M. Karmasin, F. Krotz, & M. Rath (Eds.), Maschinenethik. Normative Grenzen autonomer Systeme (pp. 73-87). Wiesbaden: Springer VS. DOI: /10.1007/978-3-658-21083-0 Publication details

Bächle, T. C., Regier, P., & Bennewitz, M. (2017). Sensor und Sinnlichkeit. Humanoide Roboter als selbstlernende soziale Interfaces und die Obsoleszenz des Impliziten. In C. Ernst & J. Schröter (Eds.), Medien und implizites Wissen. Themenheft der Zeitschrift „Navigationen“, 2/2017 (pp. 66-85). Siegen: Universitätsverlag. Publication details

Other publications

Bächle, T. C., & Sauer, F. (2019). Autonomous Weapons Systems – Frank Sauer über die Regulation autonomer Waffen, [Audio Podcast] Exploring digital spheres – a podcast by HIIG. Retrieved from: Publication details

Bächle, T. C., & Baecker, D. (2019). Understanding (A)I? Dirk Baecker über den Beitrag der Systemtheorie zur Debatte um Künstliche Intelligenz, [Audio Podcast] Exploring digital spheres – a podcast by HIIG. Retrieved from: Publication details

Schmeiss, J., & Friederici, N. (2019). How much magic lies behind German AI production? Digital Society Blog. Publication details

Dreyer, S. / Schulz, W. (2018). Was bringt die Datenschutz-Grundverordnung für automatisierte Entscheidungssysteme? Gutachten zur neuen Datenschutz-Grundverordnung, expert report. Publication details

Ogolla, S. (2017). Artificial Intelligence at a Crossroads. Publication details

Lectures and presentations

Excellence and Trust
Excellence and Trust – Webinar on the EU White Paper on AI. Representation of the European Commission in Germany, KI Bundesverband, Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Online, Germany: 04.05.2020

Wolfgang Schulz


Gemeinwohlorientiert = Gemeinnützig? Unternehmen und gemeinwohlorientierte KI
re:publica 21. Im Internet, Berlin, Germany: 21.05.2021 Further information

Theresa Züger