International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

Current Projects

Current projects at the Department of Society, Culture and Technological Change in alphabetical order. Completed projects are listed in the archive section.

AITE (2020-2023)

Artificial Intelligence, Trustworthiness and Explainability

AITE investigates which epistemological and scientific standards Artificial Intelligence must meet in order to be considered explainable and which ethical standards it should fulfill in order to be considered trustworthy.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Trustworthiness and Explainability

Project website

aKtIv (2022-2025)

using agile network control to increase the resilience of water supply infrastructure

The project aims to prevent a failure of the drinking water supply due to insufficient available water quantities in Germany. By developing a situation-dependent customer (group) specific regulation of water quantities using AI technology, a contribution is to be made to securing the water supply in everyday situations and crisis.

Keywords: security ethics, critical infrastructure, AI, water, digitalisation

Project website

ANKER (2023 - 2026)

"Anchor objects" as crystallization points for the digital opening and transdisciplinary integration of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence in research and innovation processes

The ANKER project deals with the role of ANKER objects in research and innovation processes. Therefore, ANKER devices (methods and digital tools for reflection, deliberation and the inclusion of ethical aspects of AI), the associated practices and attributions of meaning and their potential for anchoring ethical aspects of AI in technology development processes are reflected, analyzed, further developed, tested and made available.

Keywords: Anchor devices, interdisciplinary technology development, AI, integration of ethics

Project website


DAMA (2020-2023)

Transparent data autonomy Meta-Assistant

In the DAMA project, a meta-assistant is being developed to enable users to control their smart homes. The aim of DAMA is to create transparency of shared data and increase the autonomy of the users.
Keywords: Privacy, Autonomy, Data Sovereignty, Smart Home, IoT

Project website


Society in digital change – digitalisation in dialogue

Digitalisation is changing social coexistence in a diverse, in some cases fundamental way. The aim of digilog@bw at the Ethics Centre is to identify the influence of digitisation on individuals and society from an ethical point of view and to contribute to responsible problemsolving. Thus, the foundations for value-oriented digital change will be developed on the basis of public dialogue events and in an inter-disciplinary network.

Project website

Edilife (2022-2024)

Ethics, Law and Security of Digital Afterlife

The Edilife project aims to reflect on current services in the context of the digital afterlife industry, to anticipate future developments, to characterize required actions, and to develop possibilities for future actions.

Keywords: digital afterlife, memory culture, culture and ethics of death, IT security, law


ESTER (2021-2024)

Ethical and Social Aspects of Integrated Research. A project of the BMBF Cluster Integrated Research, Subcluster 2: Collaborative Interventions.

In technology development projects, a process-accompanying investigation of ethical, legal and social issues should take place, according to the basic idea of the BMBF's Integrated Research funding concept. The ESTER project of the Integrated Research cluster deals with this research mode and analyzes the ethical and social aspects that it entails. Together with representatives of relevant disciplines, practice partners from targeted fields of application, users and funding agencies, proposals are being developed on how these aspects can be included in the further development of integrated research.

Keywords: Responsible Innovation, ELSI, Interdisciplinarity, Transdisciplinarity, Governance

Project website


The FAIR project aims to develop an AI-based recruiting system with functions such as video interviewing, CV parsing and competency matching. The use of AI-supported systems in human resources (HR) promises to make hiring processes more efficient and objective, but can also foster discrimination and a lack of transparency. FAIR therefore focuses specifically on algorithmic fairness, explainability and diversity. The IZEW accompanies the project development as an ethics partner and deals with the design of normative requirements for (semi-)automated personnel selection.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, human resources, recruiting, algorithmic fairness, diversity, transparency

Project website  

Forum Privacy (2013–2020)

Forum Privacy and Self-Determination in a Digital World

In modern societies with widespread usage of digital media, private information can be disclosed on many occasions. The co-development of technical possibilities like data mining and genetic diagnostics, and political regulation (e.g. data retention, biometric databases, body scanners) on the one hand, and the individual use of social networking sites, online shopping, or location based services on the other hand establish a tight mesh of information. This enables the ever more encompassing and detailed tracking of individuals’ lives. The “Forum Privacy and Autonomy in the Digital World” considers these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing together scholars from Law, Sociology, Computer Science, Psychology, Economics and Ethics.

Keywords: privacy, self-determination, digital transition, media

Project website

KIM (2023-2024)

Disaster Management and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

On behalf of Aktion Deutschland Hilft .V., the KIM project surveys the state of implementation of inclusion in disaster management in Germany (with a focus on North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate). On this basis, development potentials and needs are to be identified.

Keywords: Security ethics, inclusion, persons with disabilities, disaster management, Germany

Project Website 


Learning Model for Multidimensional Quantitative Movement Analysis

LOUISA (Learning Model for Multidimensional Quantitative Movement Analysis) is a project funded by the German federal ministry for research and education (BMBF). Musculoskeletal (MSK) diseases represent one of the main health risks in the workplace that result in chronic pain that significantly reduces the quality of life to those affected and can lead to disabilities. The aim of LOUISA is to motivate and support people in the workplace. Employers actively prevent and improve employees' MSK health in order to keep people healthy.


Project website

PEGASUS (2020-2023)

The PEGASUS project deals with the use of machine learning based software solutions in the fight against organised crime. The aim of the project is to carry out ethically informed accompanying research in close cooperation with technical and legal partners in order to define normative guidelines and framework conditions for an acceptable use of technology.

Project website

WeNet (2019-2022)

The Internet of Us

The project WeNet deals with diversity-aware artificial intelligence and tries to improve computer-mediated social interaction by developing new methods and algorithms. The goal is to develop an online platform, which is based on this diversity-aware computer-facilitated mediation of communication. Within the project, the IZEW investigates ethical aspects of privacy and data protection and develops a conceptual framework of diversity to inform the development algorithms.

Keywords: ethics, artificial intelligence, algorithm, human-computer interaction, communication

Project website