Internet and mental health: (2016–2018)
Philosophical section of the research project
- The aim of the project was to counter the great public interest in the question of whether the technology "Internet" causes, or negatively influences, mental illnesses, especially depression and states of exhaustion, with scientifically founded results.
A further goal was the interdisciplinary examination of the question of whether far-reaching technical developments generally go hand in hand with certain stress reactions in the population, and how this stress can be reasonably countered in the context of current developments and in the future.
The results were not only be presented at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals (one to two publications per year in the first two years and four publications in the third year were planned), but also in the general media, as well as in interdisciplinary, socially relevant forums such as re:publica. In addition, experts from various fields were frequently invited to the IZEW for public discussions relating to the research.
Junior Research Group Media Ethics in an Interdisciplinary Perspective (2013–2017)
Values and Social Cohesion in New Public Spaces
- A technology assessment for observation technologies in the field of civil security should systematically demonstrate:
- which are the social and psychological effects of (technical) observation;
- which technical possibilities and types of use result from current and developing observation techniques;
- which ethical implications are to be defined for application scenarios of different observation technologies and which possible conflicts may arise between these application scenarios and the free exercise of fundamental rights.
Surveillance Technologies in the area of Civil Security (2017)
Opportunities and Challenges: Expert Opinion for the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag
On Reflecting the Violence in Columbia: (2017)
The Intra-Columbian Conflict in Films
- Dissertation project, Anne Burkhardt
Ethical implications of IT-export to sub-Saharan Africa
- The project investigated the practice of digitisation in sub-Saharan Africa and its ethical implications. It investigated the interactions between value understanding and technology development or implementation in the region. In addition to various theories of justice, the project considered Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum's approach to skills as a source of a possible ethical duty (or at least justification) to overcome the global digital divide. At the same time, it was leading to the assumption that in the context of efforts to create a global information society, technology indirectly implements certain rules of action and value horizons. Therefore, the project examined whether and to what extent IT export is ambivalent for the importing company.The project offered a critical evaluation of the ethical implications of IT export using the case study of a country in sub-Saharan Africa and thus focused on the questions of access to information and the handling of data protection.
Research Project for a Cartography and Analysis of the Privacy-Arena
- The research focused on the cartography and analysis of the privacy arena. The aim here was to reconstruct empirically the normative significance of privacy from the conflict zones and discourses conducted in the arena. The Privacy Arena stands "pars pro toto" for the controversies surrounding the order of the digital society.
One focus was on big data and (counter-)monitoring. The research project aimed at a normative analysis of the conflict zones, which span between the private sphere, its interdependence with information technology systems and the regulatory interests of politics. The progressive use of information technologies in all areas of society suggests that there is an increasing dissolution of boundaries between the private and the public and that the traditional normative orders of the private are changing. Accordingly, one research objective of the project was to determine the theoretical status of privacy under current technological and social conditions. It was important to examine to what extent democratically organised, political control of this change is possible and desirable. Together with the project partners from Sociology and Law at the University of Kassel, ethical, practical and legal grey areas were uncovered, which result from the reorganisation of norms that are constitutive for the private sphere. In addition, the results of the project were made available to interested citizens in a clearly understandable, visually prepared form.
- Archived website of the project
How smart is ‘smart security’? Exploring data subjectivity and resistance
- This case study sought to examine ethical and human rights implications of ’smart security’ systems that operate based on population data at a large scale. The main point of inquiry was the qualitatively new level of potential discrimination through automated algorithmic analyses of large datasets and the possibility to enforce human rights by challenging security decisions based on algorithms.
- Main publication: Baur-Ahrens, Andreas, Marco Krüger, Regina Ammicht Quinn, Matthias Leese and Tobias Matzner (2015) How Smart Is “Smart Security”? Exploring Data Subjectivity and Resistance. Final Report. Tübingen: IZEW. http://hdl.handle.net/10900/66898
- Keywords: airport security, human rights, data analysis
- Archived website of the project
Plattform Learning Systems
Germany's Platform for Artificial Intelligence of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
- Dissertation project, Marc Sehr
- Archived website