Ethik der Digitalisierung – von Prinzipien zu Praktiken

Nach welchen Kriterien müssen Chatbots programmiert sein, damit sie diskriminierungsfrei kommunizieren? Welche Regeln müssen bei der Programmierung von KI gelten, damit diese dem Wohl aller dienen? Wie gestalten wir die Algorithmen, die unsere Gesellschaft prägen?

Das internationale Forschungsprojekt “Ethik der Digitalisierung - Von Prinzipien zu Praktiken” hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt wegweisende Antworten auf Herausforderungen im Spannungsfeld von Ethik und Digitalisierung zu entwickeln. Innovative Wissenschaftsformate, sog. Research Sprints und Clinics, bilden den Kern des Projekts; sie ermöglichen interdisziplinäres wissenschaftliches Arbeiten an anwendungsnahen und praxisbezogenen Fragestellungen und erzielen Erkenntnisse von hoher sozialer Relevanz und Impact. Das Projekt fördert den aktiven Austausch an der Schnittstelle von Wissenschaft, Politik und Gesellschaft und trägt somit zu einem globalen Dialog über eine Ethik der Digitalisierung bei.

Meilensteine des Projekts


Frank-Walter Steinmeier eröffnete die Auftaktveranstaltung des zweijährigen Projekts

17. August 2020 – Schloss Bellevue

Research Sprint 1 am HIIG

Der erste Sprint startet zum Thema „AI and Content Moderation“

August bis Oktober 2020 – Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft

Abschlussveranstaltung des ersten Research Sprints am HIIG

Präsentation der Forschungsergebnisse und Paneldiskussion

11. November 2020 – Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft

Research Sprint 2 am Berkman Klein Center

Der zweite Sprint beschäftigt sich mit „Covid-19 und Zugang zu Bildung und Lernräumen“

Oktober bis Dezember 2020 – Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Clinic 1 am HIIG

Virtual Clinic zum Thema Increasing Fairness in Targeted Advertising” 
Februar 2021 - Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft

Research Sprint 3 am Digital Asia Hub

Februar bis April 2021 – Digital Asia Hub

Clinic 2 am Berkman Klein Center

April 2021 - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Research Sprint 4 an einem weiteren NoC Institut

April bis Juni 2021 – Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft

Clinic 3 am Digital Asia Hub

Juni bis Juli 2021 - Digital Asia Hub


Sommer 2021

Multi-Stakeholder Dialog

November 2021 – Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft


März - Juni 2022 – Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft

Projektpartner sind neben dem HIIG auch das Berkman Klein Center an der Harvard University, der Digital Asia Hub und das Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut.


Das NoC Forschungsprojekt wird von der Stiftung Mercator gefördert und steht unter der Schirmherrschaft des Bundespräsidenten Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Projektdauer07/2020 - 06/2022
FördererStiftung Mercator

Die Fellows des ersten Research Sprints stellen sich vor

Valentina Golunova

I am a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University. My mission as a researcher is to promote digital civil rights. In my PhD project, I examine the dynamics of EU intermediary liability framework and its impact on freedom of expression and information online. Having started my academic journey only recently, I appreciate every opportunity to get to know researchers with similar interests; that is why I jumped at the chance to become a fellow of the research sprint. If we can rely on flexible, but commonly acknowledged ethical principles, we will be able to ensure productive collaboration between different actors in the online realm.

Angelica Fernandez

I am a second-year Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Law of the University of Luxembourg. My Ph.D. dissertation topic is about AI and the enforcement of norms on online platforms. As part of the legal hacker community, I am interested in discussing and proposing actionable solutions to pressing issues at the intersection of law and technology. Within the field of AI and content moderation, I am fascinated by algorithmic enforcement systems and their impact on different rights, such as freedom of expression. Currently, the use of these systems often accepts an implicit high social cost of over-enforcement. For this reason, and many others, I believe it is essential to have a discussion about the ethics of digitalization that goes beyond experts' views and engages society at large. 

Wai Yan

I work as a lead AI engineer at Koe Koe Tech. I was recommended by my boss to this research sprint. I find AI and content moderation important because it is shaping society and mass behaviour. As a researcher, I would like people to understand how online social interactions are being guided by algorithms and why it is important that platforms are properly regulated. We need to talk more about ethics because it is the basis on which law is made, and platforms without ethics are bound to cause problems in society.

Dominiquo Santistevan

I’m currently pursuing my PhD in Sociology at the University of Chicago after having studied computer science and worked in the ‘AI for social good’ space for a couple years. For me, artificial intelligence is a manifestation of what has appeared as the natural trend towards an informational world, and it is through these functions of compression that we increasingly engage with our world. Therefore, as researchers, it’s important for us to critique, understand, and produce research that examines these systems of information, which will allow us to reimagine that which may appear as natural. 

David Morar

I am currently a visiting scholar with the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. The field of AI and content moderation is one that seems very promising for scholars, but also very important generally for the world, as so much or our communication happens online, nowadays. A conversation about ethics helps tremendously in this perspective primarily because of its nature. It allows us to understand where we and our interlocutors stand, and gives us not just a great framework, but also a translation device to understand complex actions. What we must also do is guard against is the watering down of the concept, the misinterpretation of it as compliance, or the fetishization of its importance.

Sunimal Mendis

I am an Assistant Professor in Intellectual Property Law at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) of Tilburg University, The Netherlands. The topic of platform governance and online service provider liability for user-generated content forms a core component of my ongoing research. I am particularly interested in exploring how the deployment of algorithmic content moderation systems could impact on creativity and the promotion of dialogic interaction within the digital environment. Furthermore, I am curious to examine whether existing legislative, regulatory and policy frameworks on algorithmic content moderation could be calibrated in a manner that enables online platforms to flourish as open public spaces for robust and ethical social discourse.  

Aline Iramina

I am a PhD candidate at University of Brasilia (Brazil), and in October I am moving to Scotland to start my PhD in Law at University of Glasgow.
What fascinates me the most about the field  is its great influence on how we communicate, consume information, products and services and relate to each other daily on the Internet. Besides that, as a copyright specialist, content moderation for the purpose of copyright enforcement has been a matter of discussion at least in the last two decades. More recently, with the development of new algorithms and AI, it has gained even more relevance for us who work in this field.

Wei Wang

I am now a PhD Candidate at the University of Hong Kong. I also engage as an Administrative Officer at Creative Commons Hong Kong. Trained in Engineering and Law, I focus my research interests on IP & IT Law, Innovation Policy, particularly employing Computational Legal Studies and Data Science. I was exploring the Chinese digital policies by contributing to the CyberBRICS Project hosted by the institutions across Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, as well as the Global Data Justice Project funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The ongoing content mediation systems have shown more far-reaching implications of behavioural transformation, and once bureaucratically observed, Internet regulations across jurisdictions are shaping the algorithm-based automatic mechanisms created by platforms. 

Josh Cowls

I’m a DPhil (PhD) candidate at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, and a Research Associate at the Alan Turing Institute. For me, content moderation is the thin end of the wedge when it comes to big tech’s use of AI. I see my part of my mission as demystifying and demythologising new technology like AI, the rhetoric around which can often lead us to focus on theoretical problems arising 50 years from now, when in reality we should be thinking about the next 5 years — as dangers like automated facial recognition and the algorithmically powered spread of harmful content online pose increasing risks to human rights and democratic discourse.

Hannah Bloch - Wehba

I am a law professor at Texas A&M University, where I study, teach, and write about law and technology. Currently, I'm particularly interested in how the promise of "AI" can be used to conceal platform power and obscure relationships with law enforcement. I'm taking part in the sprint because I'm excited to work with an international, interdisciplinary group of scholars neck deep in debates about digital rights and values. My goal as a researcher is to shed new light on the challenges technology poses for democratic processes, institutions, rights, and values.

Philipp Darius

I am a PhD candidate at the Hertie School where I am affiliated to the Centre for Digital Governance. In my dissertation project I am applying methods from the interdisciplinary fields of computational social science and social data science to better understand the impact of social platforms on democracy, and in particular on political campaigning and democratic elections. The current implementation of content moderation and systems for algorithmic filtering is a pivotal puzzle piece to better understand how policy makers can effectively regulate harmful and illegal behaviors on social platforms and at the same time limit possible negative effects on democratic values such as liberty, equality and diversity.

Charlotte Spencer-Smith

I am a doctoral candidate at the doctoral candidate at the Center for Information and Communication Technologies & Society (ICT&S) at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Salzburg in Austria. I’m interested in the architecture, algorithms and affordances of online platforms, particularly social effects of recommendation systems and content moderation. The legal scholar Daphne Keller says: “no communications medium in human history has ever worked in this way”. Automation technologies and artificial intelligence are very likely to increase their influence on online life. Young people coming of age in 2020 don’t really have the option to opt-out, so we should advocate for a humane approach to technological change. As researchers, our power is in giving voice to users, be that through empirical research or policy work.

Fellows Sprint 1

Fellows des ersten Research Sprints (17.08. – 25.10.2020)

Aline Iramina
Doktorandin an der Universität Brasilia, Brasilien (und Universität Glasgow, GB, ab Oktober 2020)

Angelica Fernandez
IT Law, Intermediary Liability, Desinformation, Online Plattformen und KI
Doktorandin an der Universität Luxemburg, Luxemburg

Charlotte Spencer-Smith
Doktorandin an der Universität Salzburg, Österreich

David Morar
Public Policy und Private Governance
Gastforscher an der George Washington Universität, Elliott School of International Affairs, USA

Dominiquo Santistevan
Informatik und Soziologie
Doktorand an der Universität Chicago, USA

Erich Prem
Künstliche Intelligenz, Epistemologie, Technologie- und Innovationspolitik
Geschäftsführer der eutema GmbH und Dozent an der TU Wien, Österreich

Hannah Bloch-Wehba
Associate Professor an der Texas A&M Universität, School of Law, USA

Josh Cowls
Digitale Ethik und Technologiepolitik
Doktorand am Oxford Internet Institut, University of Oxford und wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Alan Turing Institute, GB

Philipp Darius
Social and Political Data Science
Doktorand am Digital Governance Centre, Hertie School, Berlin, Deutschland

Sunimal Mendis
Urheberrecht, Geistiges Eigentumsrecht
Dozentin an der Universität Tilburg, Niederlande

Valentina Golunova
EU Recht
Doktorandin an der Maastricht Universität, Niederlande

Wai Yan
Statistik und Data Science
Lead AI Engineer bei Koe Koe Tech, Myanmar

Wayne Wei Wang
Intellektuelles Eigentum, Informationsrecht und Computational Legal Studies
Doktorand an der Universität Hong Kong & Creative Commons, Hong Kong



Das internationale und interdisziplinäre Forschungsvorhaben ist eine gemeinsame Initiative des Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC).


Nadine Birner

Koordinatorin: Ethik der Digitalisierung | NoC

Verbunden mit

Mehr zum Thema

Auf unserer Dossierseite zu Ethik der Digitalisierung finden Sie Artikel, Videos und weitere Inhalte zum Thema.

In den Medien

Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier lädt zum Auftakt eines internationalen Forschungsprojektes „Ethik der Digitalisierung“ ins Schloss Bellevue ein. Im Zentrum der Auftaktkonferenz am 17. August stehen ethische Fragen der Digitalisierung etwa bei der Funktionsweise von künstlicher Intelligenz und Algorithmen, wie das Bundespräsidialamt mitteilte.

Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Forschungsdirektor Prof. Wolfgang Schulz spricht in der 3sat-Sendung scobel zum Thema "Ethik fürs Digitale" (Minute 42:00) über die Forschung im Zuge des Projektes "Ethik der Digitalisierung".


Unter der Schirmherrschaft von Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier ist das Projekt "Ethik der Digitalisierung" gestartet. Einer der Forschungsdirektoren, Prof. Wolfgang Schulz, spricht über im WDR digitale Kommunikation als Chance und Herausforderung.