Aspects of the
Digital Transformation

Public Lecture Series
Fall 2018

The Centre for Informatics and Society (CIS) of the Faculty of Informatics at the TU Wien is announcing a public lecture series on aspects of the Digital Transformation & Society. Bridging the gap between technological advancements and their impact on society, the lectures cover a wide range of topics, from designing for quality of life in the digital age to the politics of search engines.

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The Centre for Informatics and Society (CIS) is a research initiative funded by the Faculty for Informatics at the Vienna University of Technology.

Founded in 2016, it seeks to bridge the gap between academic research and technological advancements in Informatics, and the societal impact and challenges arising from these developments.

Lectures

Exploring Design Trade-Offs for Quality of Life in Human-Centered Design

Gerhard Fischer
Creating a transformative framework to foster, nurture, and support “Quality of Life (QoL)” is one of the most challenging design problems of the digital age. QoL is a broad concept without a precise, generally accepted definition. In design, trade-offs are universal because there are no best solutions independent of goals, objectives, and values, specifically for systemic, ill-defined, and wicked problems such as QoL.
Grounded in research activities from a broad spectrum of different disciplines and an analysis from our research over the last two decades, this presentation will explore specific design trade-offs. The insights and arguments are summarized in requirements for the design of socio-technical environments to address future challenges for human-centered design grounded in a QoL perspective. 

October 22nd, 2018 @ 17:00
Kontaktraum - TU Wien


Neues EI, 6th floor
Gußhausstraße 27-29
1040 Wien

Video of the lecture

 

Computational Foundations for
e-Democracy

Ehud Shapiro

The Internet has revolutionized industry after industry, leaving older ways of human conduct in the dustbin of history. Yet, it has not changed the basic workings of democracy: Representative democracy today operates essentially as it did 200 years ago. How could this be? Why has e-democracy—the internet revolution of democracy that will transform earthly democracies by empowering citizens with the communication and collaboration capabilities of the Internet—not happened yet?

In this talk we suggest that the foundations of e-democracy have yet to be established. We enlist core values of democracy, notably equality and sovereignty, and explore what still needs to happen for e-democracy to uphold them on a global scale. Regarding equality, we address the question of fake identities (sybils), which undermine “one person – one vote” in an e-democracy, and discuss how an e-democracy can be made sybil-resilient. Regarding sovereignty, we discuss how a distributed ledger/blockchain and a cryptocurrency can support a sovereign e-democracy while being egalitarian and sustainable.

November 12th, 2018 @ 17:00
Zemanek HS - TU Wien


Ground Floor
Favoritenstraße 9-11
1040 Wien

Video of the lecture

 

Data – Interests – Ontologies:
How business models distort science

Klaus Kornwachs

The new possibilities of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Technologies allow finding unexpected structures and relations in data sets, generated in different fields and contexts. This can be done either to figure out new scientific hypotheses or to find relations which can be used to establish new business models.

A result generated by Big Data or AI can only be interpreted meaningfully by knowing the original research question. Thus, a model with a pre-theoretic hypothesis is necessary. Nevertheless one can find the tendency to substitute the scientific methods by pure numerical methods. This tendency is driven by the development of business models that aims to market a multifunctional use of data once collected in a wide variety of contexts. Some examples in the field of Human Resource Management will be given. It can be shown that the use of such procedures is not reliable. Such procedures should be used in a way that supports decisions, not to automate or substitute them.

December 10th, 2018 @ 17:00
Kontaktraum - TU Wien


Neues EI, 6th floor
Gußhausstraße 27-29
1040 Wien

Download Lecture Slides

Video of the lecture

 

Visions and values
in European search engine design

Astrid Mager
"What motivations, value systems, and visions guide the development of European search engines? How do these imaginations get translated into sociotechnical design practices? What negotiations, compromises and power dynamics may be observed? How do place and cultural context matter in the development of search engines? These are the questions to be discussed in my talk by drawing on my ongoing research on European search engines.

Building on my previous work on the shaping and governing of corporate search engines (Google) and their “algorithmic ideology”, I will focus on three so-called alternative search engines: The privacy-friendly search engine StartPage (NL), the initiative Open Web Index (D/EU), and the peer-to-peer search engine YaCy (D). Drawing on a first analysis of online materials, qualitative interviews and a half-day workshop conducted with the developer teams, I will discuss visions and values driving European search engines, challenges developers encounter in their daily work practices, and consequences these pose in terms of “social innovation”.

January 21st, 2018 @ 17:00
Kontaktraum - TU Wien


Neues EI, 6th floor
Gußhausstraße 27-29
1040 Wien

About the Speakers

Gerhard Fischer

Gerhard Fischer is a Professor Adjunct and Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, a Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science, and the Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning and Design (L3D) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a member of the Computer Human Interaction Academy, a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, and a recipient of the RIGO Award of ACM-SIGDOC. In 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

His research has focused on new conceptual frameworks and new media for learning, working, and collaborating, human-centered computing, and design. His recent work is centered on quality of life in the digital age, social creativity, meta-design, cultures of participation, design trade-offs, and rich landscapes for learning.

Ehud Shapiro

Ehud Shapiro is a multi-disciplinary scientist, artist, and entrepreneur. A Professor of Computer Science and Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science with an international reputation, he made fundamental contributions to many scientific disciplines including machine learning, inductive inference, algorithmic debugging, logic programming, concurrent programming, molecular computers, molecular programming, synthetic biology, single-cell genomics, social choice theory and foundations of e-democracy.

Ehud was also an Internet pioneer and a successful Internet entrepreneur, founding Ubique Ltd., perhaps the first Internet social networking software company. Ehud is a recipient of the World Technology Award for Biotechnology and a member of “Scientific American 50” as a Research Leader in Nanotechnology. Ehud is a Bass singer and performed in Israel and abroad, including as a soloist at Carnegie Hall.

Klaus Kornwachs

Klaus Kornwachs is a permanent Honorary Professor for Philosophy at University Ulm, Germany since 1990, and a member of the German Academy for Science and Engineering. He held the Chair for Philosophy of Technology at Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus from 1992 to 2011. He studied Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy, and won 1991 the Research Award for Technical Communication of the Alcatel-SEL Foundation. He was Guest Professor at Vienna, Budapest and Dalian. His main fields in research are philosophy of technology, analytical philosophy, philosophy of sciences and general system theory. For publications see http://kornwachs.de.

Astrid Mager

Astrid Mager is a senior post-doc at the Institute of Technology Assessment, Austrian Academy of Sciences. She is currently working on her habilitation project „Algorithmic Imaginaries. Visions and values in the shaping of search engines“


Details & Location

Registration via email at dt@cisvienna.com is recommended due to limited space.

The lectures are free, open to the general public and will be held in English.

Questions and discussion with the speakers are encouraged after the lectures, and refreshments will be provided after the lectures as well.

Kontaktraum - TU Wien
Neues EI, 6th floor
Gußhausstraße 27-29 
1040 Wien

Zemanek HS - TU Wien
Ground Floor
Favoritenstraße 9-11
1040 Wien

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Centre for Informatics & Society - C!S
cisvienna.com