When algorithms decide in our place: the challenges of artificial intelligence in Switzerland

Three institutions collaborated to analyse the challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) on behalf of the TA-Swiss Foundation. Focusing on the areas administration, consumption, education & research, media and work, the researchers investigated the consequences when decisions are increasingly made by algorithms.

The dynamics in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) is great and there will probably be sensational successes and equally spectacular failures in the coming years. The study commissioned by the TA-Swiss Foundation evaluated the opportunities and risks of AI for exemplary areas of application. Researchers from the Digital Society Initiative of the University of Zurich, the Technology and Society Lab of the Empa and the Institute of Technology Assessment were working together on this project.

The focus was on AI applications in which human decisions will be largely taken over by algorithms in the near future. After conceptual and technological delimitation of the topic, possible developments and the associated opportunities and risks were dealt with in detail using transdisciplinary methods in the areas of administration, consumption, education & research, media and work. Ethical and legal issues were analysed in depth across all areas. By involving international experts and examining globally relevant political, economic and scientific influences, international developments were examined, analysed and, in particular, their impact on Switzerland is described.

Among the key findings of the study are recommendations to Swiss policymakers regarding the regulation of AI applications and the support of beneficial use of AI, incorporating the scientific knowledge gained on the opportunities and risks of AI applications in the areas mentioned. In view of the rapid development and spread of AI systems, these recommendations are also of great relevance to European and international stakeholders.



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  • Riedlinger, D. (2020). Wenn Künstliche Intelligenz für uns arbeitet. Ita-Newsfeed. Retrieved from https://www.oeaw.ac.at/ita/detail/news/wenn-kuenstliche-intelligenz-fuer-uns-arbeitet
  • Mader, C., Čas, J., & Scherer, A. (2020). Wie mit künstlicher Intelligenz umgehen?. (B. und F. W. B. F. Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Ed.), Die Volkswirtschaft, 53-55. Retrieved from https://dievolkswirtschaft.ch/content/uploads/2020/07/20_FL_Mader_Scherer_Cas_DE.pdf
  • Riedlinger, D. (2020). Wenn Algorithmen für uns entscheiden. Ita-Newsfeed. Retrieved from https://www.oeaw.ac.at/ita/detail/news/wenn-algorithmen-fuer-uns-entscheiden
  • Christen, M., Mader, C., Čas, J., Abou-Chadi, T., Bernstein, A., Braun Binder, N., Dell’Aglio, D., Fábián, L., George, D., Gohdes, A., Hilty, L., Kneer, M., Krieger-Lamina, J., Licht, H., Scherer, A., Som, C., Sutter, P., & Thouvenin, F. (2020). Wenn Algorithmen für uns entscheiden: Chancen und Risiken der künstlichen Intelligenz. Wenn Algorithmen für uns entscheiden: Chancen und Risiken der künstlichen Intelligenz (p. 362). Zürich: vdf. doi:10.3218/4002-9
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Conference Papers/Speeches

Conference Papers/Speeches

  • 25/09/2020 , online
    Johann Cas: 
    AI and the Human. Who is currently controlling AI and its development and the possibility to master evolutionary AI?
    Hearing on AI and the Human
    Other Lecture
  • 15/04/2020
    Johann Cas: 
    Wenn Algorithmen für uns entscheiden
    TA Swiss Pressekonferenz
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04/2018 - 12/2019


  • Johann Čas