Institute of Media Studies

Maximilian Jun Zhang

Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Institute of Media Studies
Wilhelmstraße 50
72074 Tübingen
Room 210

 +49 7071 29-72327

Office hours

  • Office hours: Open office hours on Wednesdays, 16:00 - 18:00 (just drop in)
  • Appointments by email  if necessary

Curriculum Vitae

Maximilian Jun Zhang began his Bachelor's degree in Media Studies and German Language and Literature at the Universität Tübingen, and completed his Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Communication Studies and Film Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. He then completed his Masters in Film Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. Since October 2022, he has been working on his PhD at the Universität Tübingen with Prof. Dr. Susanne Marschall as part of the project "The Answering Machine". His dissertation deals with voice-based human-AI interaction and its implications for psychotherapy. His research interests include AI ethics and artificial intelligence in the media (perception of artificial voices), immersive media such as VR, film sociology and neurofilmology, gender studies and cultural phenomena in advertising and film.

Teaching Activities

  • Lehrredaktion (Wintersemester 2023/24): The Answering Machine: Human-Chatbot Encounter. Universität Tübingen.
  • Workshop (22.-26.04.2024): Human-AI Collaboration. Pushing the Boundaries of Human Creativity. Merz Akademie.

Research Project "The Answering Machine"

Natural language processing is increasingly enabling machines with artificial intelligence (AI) to interact as social partners. As a result, new forms of human-machine relationships are emerging that have been anticipated in a number of fictional narratives but can only now be tested empirically.

"The Answering Machine" is an interdisciplinary project that aims to explore human-AI interactions in their cognitive, linguistic, and emotional depth, using the theater stage as a testing ground for in-depth, iterative experimentation. Machines, social bots, digital agents, artificial intelligences, or machine learning systems are brought into improvisational dialogue with human improvisational theater actors. We vary AI language models to explore specific questions from the four participating disciplines - psychology, computational linguistics, theater and media studies - as well as general phenomena such as anthropomorphism, human perception, and human-machine co-creativity.

In collaborative labs and public performances, the project brings together technological development, artistic research, and critical reflection, stimulating a public understanding of AI that goes beyond the dystopian/utopian binary of popular fictional narratives.


  • Zhang, M. J. (2023/May). Towards a ‚New Concept’ of Creativity: AI-generated Images and Their Aesthetics (English, 90 min). 2023 German-Chinese Media Summer Academy for Youth (Nanjing University of the Arts & MILC). Online in Tübingen, Germany.
  • Zhang, M. J. (2023/September). Emotionale Anhängigkeit von Künstlicher Intelligenz: affactive engagement & kognitive Auswirkungen. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (GfM), Bonn, Deutschland.
  • Zhang, M. J. (2023/November). Forschung an und mit KI. Institut für Medienwissenschaft der Universität Tübingen, Deutschland.
  • Zhang, M. J. (2023/Dezember). Kreatives Schreiben mit generativer KI. Generative KI als Chance oder Herausforderung? KI Makerspace, Tübingen, Deutschland.

Science Communication

Bachelor Thesis

Geschlechterbilder in Femvertising. Eine qualitative Inhaltsanalyse der Kampagne „Real Beauty“ von Dove

Master Thesis

Wenn Künstliche Intelligenz (KI) Filme macht. Ästhetische Verfahren der KI-generierten Filme