As part of the Interdisciplinary Public Lecture Series hosted by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, on the topic of Mündigkeit 4.0 – Ethics in the Datafied World (Mündigkeit 4.0 – Ethik in der datafizierten Welt), Sascha Dickel will give a lecture on “#Selberdenken. Epistemic Autonomy as a Problematic Ideal of Digital Public Sphere” (#Selberdenken. Epistemische Autonomie als problematisches Ideal digitaler Öffentlichkeit”).
From the JGU website (translated):
The ongoing digitization of all areas of life is not only leading to technical changes, but also to far-reaching social and cultural changes. In science, computerized processes are opening up new areas of knowledge and enabling the analysis of large amounts of data. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are being used in many places, with sometimes obscure results and effects. From a real-world perspective, it is not only that more and more areas of social life are represented in computerized data, but also that structures and foundations of this life are permanently recalculated from it: We accept purchase recommendations calculated from our previous preferences and from those of other people; we have our health data collected and align our behavior accordingly; platforms and apps remind us of our friends’ birthdays, creating the feeling that we are staying in touch with them in this way.
The new data-driven, processing way of capturing human characteristics and social behavior is influencing our communication, human self-understanding, and the formation of public opinion, creating realities of its own kind. Technology as such is neither good nor evil, but it is also not neutral. This must be reflected upon in ethical, legal, pedagogical and political-social terms.
How can we lead a self-determined life and organize a successful coexistence in a world shaped by digital technologies? Since the Enlightenment, maturity has been the ideal – albeit difficult to achieve – of responsible self-determination. This series explores these and other questions, with lectures from philosophy and pedagogy, sociology and media studies, as well as computer science and law.