Feedback: "Ethics of Digitalisation"

VON Dr. Wolf SiegertZUM Dienstag Letzte Bearbeitung: 22. August 2020 um 01 Uhr 52 Minutenzum Post-Scriptum


Following the interest shown to yesterday’s notes on Konferenz: „Ethik der Digitalisierung“ our intention was today to present you the themes and interventions at the conference in English.

But the feed to the voice of the translators did not work on our box and we are still searching for a solution.

What we can present is the English website of the Federal President speaking about the Launch of the project "The Ethics of Digitalisation", delivering an outline of the project and some insights into the partners’ involvements: The ethics of digitalisation – from principles to practices

We have a draft of his speech

Speech: Ethics of the Digital Transformation

and we have an online version.

And we have received the over voice of the first passage of his opening speech relating to the "most recent events in Eastern Europe. The images and the news that have reached us from Belarus are of dramatic nature. They are deeply moving at the same time..."

His own ideas are worth being highlighted:

Technology is there to serve people and to provide greater scope for self-determination. Virtual reality must not be allowed to become the only reality, we must never allow it to replace our public spaces and human interaction. Digital technology should overcome oppression and relieve poverty, facilitate debate rather than poison it, promote education and awareness, and where possible protect the environment and conserve resources. The spread of digital technology should boost our freedom and break the shackles that confine people where freedom is denied. Digital transformation needs to be in the service of humanity, not the other way round.

But his warning concerning virtual reality does not mean that he did not see - and even praise - its advantages as well. On the occasion of this year’s annual reception for fellows of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation the invitation into the park at Schloss Bellevue [1] had to be transferred to the internet. And Dr. Steinmeier said:

“The Humboldt Foundation’s Annual Meeting is a wonderful example of everything that can be done on virtual platforms. It shows how valuable digital meetings can be – even though they are no substitute for meeting in real life”

Following the track of this session you will hear those excerpts which were presented in English, including from time to time some introductions in German:

 Amar Ashar, Assistant director of research, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University [2]

 Dr. Sunimal Mendis, Assistant Professor, Tilburg University Law School

 Malavika Jayaram, Executive Director, DIGITAL ASIA HUB, Hong Kong

 Carlos Souza, Director Institut for Technology and Society. Rio de Janeiro


We hope to present you before the end of this week a complete conference-review including these English contributions in an audio-VISUAL format as well
 Video(s): „Ethik der Digitalisierung“


[1This picture was taken in 2018

AvH-Jahrestagung 2018

[2Looking back of the role and influence of the Berkman Klein Centers:
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier Discusses Digital Technology Ethics at BKC event

German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed technology ethics at a Harvard Law School event on Nov. 1.
Hosted by Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, the event — titled “Ethics of Digital Transformation” — was moderated by HLS Professor of Practice Urs Gasser, Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center. Panelists also included HLS Professor Crystal Yang, who discussed the use of artificial intelligence in the United States criminal justice system, and professors studying in a variety of disciplines from both American and German universities, including Matthew Liao, a director for the Center of Bioethics at New York University; Jeanette Hofmann, Director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Professor of Internet Politics, Free University of Berlin;
Arthur Zitrin Professor of Bioethics, New York University;
Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Professor of Political Science, MIT; Wolfgang Schulz, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institute, Professor for Media Law and Public Law, University of Hamburg; and Eva Weber-Guskar, Guest Professor for Philosophy, Humboldt University of Berlin.

Urs Gasser, professor of practice and executive director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, discusses his work on governance of artificial intelligence; German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s November visit to the Berkman Klein Center; and advising Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of the German Digital Council.

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