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Study Project: Data Ethics Outreach Lab




In this Study project for CogSci Master Students we critically explore the risks and societal implications of networked digital services to develop strategies and formats for public awareness raising. Investigating various phenomena ranging from addictive interface design of social media, and targeted advertising to AI Beauty Filters, in our previous work we have organized school lessons at high schools, facilitated workshops for various audiences, designed games and websites and curated an event at Kunsthalle Osnabrück.

Starting this summer term, our study project will pursue a new focus area. Introducing "Predicted Futures?" as our new topic, we will investigate how big-data-driven technologies are shaping – and perhaps predetermining – the future.

The following questions will guide us on this investigation: How are big-data-driven technologies applied to predict our behaviour, interests, emotions, desires or health? In which way do they actually path the way into a predetermined future, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? What are the politics behind the urge and the application of predictive analytics that make it seem as an acceptable way of solving the polycrises of today? And how are common narratives of tech-determinism and tech-solutionism prefiguring our understanding of possible futures? What could alternative, inclusive and sustainable futures look like? And what role would AI play in it?

We are excited to embark on this journey in collaboration with Theater Osnabrück, Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Museum für Industriekultur and various regional schools. As a cornerstone of the project, we aim to encourage an intergenerational dialogue on desirable tech-futures. Based on the theater play "(R)Evolution" we will work with high-school students and engage them into a conversation about the realities of AI and their visions for the future.

Participation opportunities
We are inviting both Study project (2 Semesters, 12 ECTS each), as well as Interdisciplinary course (1 Semester, 6 ECTS) participants to join us. Interdisciplinary participants will work on a project of smaller scope. There will be two focus areas:

A) Workshop Track (7–8 students in total)
In groups of 2–3 students you are conceptualizing, developing and testing a workshop for high school students on the basis of the theater play. You will document your findings during the workshop and create an Open Educational Resource (OER) for further circulation. Depending on availabilities your group might also organize workshops at the Museum of Industriekultur, which is hosting an exhibition on AI this summer.
German fluency necessary!

B) Research Track (3–4 students in total)
You accompany the workshops and, on the basis of participatory observation, record the results of the vision-finding processes. Based on these findings, you are preparing an academic paper. Possible areas of focus:
A) Investigate younger generations' perspectives on the challenges of technological and socio-ecological change and how they can be made more visible and audible in the public discourse in a constructive way.
B) Reflect the methodology of the visioning work with students and formulate qualitative findings on the intergenerational dialog on AI futures.
German fluency is an advantage.

Participation requirements
- Prior knowledge in the field of data ethics. Ideally, completion of the lecture "Intro to Ethics of AI" or similar lectures/seminars. (See the preregistration form for more info).
- On site participation, Tuesdays 2–5 pm
- Due to the close collaboration with local cultural institutions this semester, sufficient German skills (~B2) are necessary. However, we would make an exception for up to 3 students who would work on a research-focused project.

If you are interested in joining us, please fill out this form until March 26th, noon:

A second round of preregistration might be opened later, depending on availabilities.

We are looking forward to your responses and an insightful next semester!

Weitere Angaben

Ort: 50/E07
Zeiten: Di. 14:00 - 17:00 (wöchentlich)
Erster Termin: Dienstag, 02.04.2024 14:00 - 17:00, Ort: 50/E07
Veranstaltungsart: Studienprojekt (Offizielle Lehrveranstaltungen)
ECTS-Punkte: 12
Art der Durchführung: Präsenz-Sitzungen ohne Video-Aufzeichnung [präsenz]


  • Veranstaltungen > Cognitive Science > Master-Programm
  • Courses in English > Human Sciences (e.g. Cognitive Science, Psychology)