[Translate to English:] Illustration: Jill Senft

Maschine Macht Mensch – Part 2

Whether we’re online using a news App, a search engine or a social media network – we are always being monitored.  Data is being harvested about our purchasing habits, our car journeys, our illnesses and ailments, our political views and our bank account transactions. Where data harvesters are concerned, there are no taboos. Once these large internet companies have dissected us in this way, they put us back together again, using pattern recognition systems to predict our behaviour – and they then use their findings for advertising purposes; and in some countries this information is even being used to prosecute alleged criminals.

There is now an urgent need for us, as citizen, to have a right to data protection, given that the age of big data has been a reality for some time. It is not simply enough to refuse to have a Facebook account. While the development of the potential of artificial intelligence and big data is valid, at the same time individual freedom and personal privacy must be protected. Society – in other words, each and every one of us – and our political system must want to achieve this and carry it through.

In the Werkraum series »Machines : Power : People« (part 2) you won’t find avid supporters pitched against total detractors – which seems to be the current fashion on television talk shows. We will be inviting personalities – like Frank Rieger, Rena Tangens and Ben Wizner – to explain things clearly; and we will come together creatively, as with the three robots called Paul and Pinocchio 2.0.

We’ll talk to Ranga Yogeshwar about how to develop socially acceptable technologies; how we can provide comprehensive and effective information about the risks and consequences of social media networks; and about whether everything really needs to be digitalised – just because it can be. We look forward to hearing your questions and ideas!