The rapid diffusion of algorithms, robots and artificial intelligence is accompanied by public debates about applications and opportunities as well as emerging risks such as the loss of jobs, manipulation, security threats and violations of privacy. This raises questions regarding responsibility for damage and problematic impacts of automation. So far, responsibility is not clearly assigned in all contexts of automation, and frequently it is passed on to users or technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
Media reporting on risks and responsibilities plays a central role in shaping public perception and opinion on automation. The proposed project will therefore investigate media coverage of risks and responsibilities on automation. The analyses will investigate which fields of automation (e.g. autonomous driving, curing robots, internet algorithms, etc.) and which risks of automation (jobs, security, surveillance, etc.) are subject to media reporting. It will also investigate which actors (industry, state, users, technologies, etc.) are held responsible for any damage and the development of solutions, and what types of responsibilities (moral, legal, economic, political) are attributed within the discourse.
The project develops an innovative research approach based on a responsibility concept from the philosophy of technology combined with (semi-)automated empirical content analyses of media reporting on automation. Hence, the project answers traditional responsibility questions in the humanities and social sciences by means of new and innovative methods from the digital humanities.
The project is funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ go!digital Next Generation program for excellent research in digital humanities.
Florian Saurwein (CMC, Project Leader)
Cornelia Brantner (CMC, former PostDoc in project)
Christian Bauer (CMC, Coding in project)
Janina Loh (University of Vienna, Project Leader)
Leonie Möck (University of Vienna)
Daniel Schopper, Hannes Pirker, Matej Durco, Stefan Resch, Sabine Laszakovits (Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities of the Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Brantner, C. Saurwein, F.
Between fear and trust. The coverage of risks and responsibility in the automation discourse [online; postponed from 2020]
8th European Communication Conference
, Washington, DC
Brantner, C. Saurwein, F.
Covering technology risks and responsibilities: Automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and algorithms in the media [online]
71st Annual ICA Conference
Saurwein, Florian Spencer-Smith, Charlotte Krieger-Lamina, Jaro
Internet-Algorithmen als Gefahr für Öffentlichkeit und Demokratie – Optionen für Risikoanalysen und Konsequenzen für Verantwortungszuschreibung [Internet algorithms as a danger to the public and democracy] [online; postponed from 2020]
Konferenz „Digital, direkt, demokratisch? Technikfolgenabschätzung und die Zukunft der Demokratie“
Algorithms, automation and the media [online]
Gastvortrag im MA-Studiengang Digital Communication Leadership
Media reporting on algorithms, robotics and artificial intelligence: Representation of risks and responsibility in the automation debate
Digital Humanities Austria: dha go!es digital Day (Virtual Conference)
Books and Monographs
Articles and Book Chapters
- (2021). Covering technology risks and responsibility: Automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and algorithms in the media. International Journal Of Communication (Ijoc), 15, 5074–5098. Retrieved from https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/17054/3609.
Algorithmen im Internet. Risiken für demokratische Öffentlichkeit, Herausforderungen für Medienkompetenz [Algorithms on the Internet: Risks for democracy, challenges for media literacy]
Workshop: Digitalisierung – Medien – Bildung. Was bedeutet Digitalisierung für die Erwachsenenbildung?