"Best of...digital responsibility"

"Best of...digital responsibility"

Selected expert statements at a glance

You will find the most exciting and most interesting expert statements from the discussion series "Are we stumbling blindly into digitization? We need digital responsibility!" at a glance here, divided into topics.

Social Media and Disaster Assistence

When it comes to warning the public in disaster situations, a mix of communication channels is important for us….. We are glad that modern technology enables specific information to be provided via smartphones, for example. It's better than what we could achieve with a siren. ​Christoph Unger, President of the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistence. more

Smart Fashion

Fashion is the new user interface. It helps us to make people more comfortable with technology. Lisa Lang, Designer and Founder of ElektroCouture. more

Artificial intelligence vs. human spirit

Robots inspire us, because as we realize how robots fall short, we gain a new appreciation for the amazing abilities of humans. Ken Goldberg, Professor of Robotics at the University of California, Berkeley. more

People just don't want neutral information; they want positions, too. They want to confront the opinion and position of a journalist, sometimes they want to take issue with a commentary; they want to encounter a different opinion and sometimes have their own view confirmed. Individualism makes journalism what it is. Holger Steltzner, a publisher of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. more

The holy grail is, especially when you start thinking about what creates human consciousness and so on and will AI ever get there. I believe it’s an unanswered question, but I think the rate at which we are making progress is exciting. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, ahead of the match between his software “AlphaGo” and the current world champion. more

Opportunities and challenges

Digitization will permeate every single area without exception. We are facing tremendous changes on a huge scale, yet nobody really seems to comprehend the magnitude of the situation. Rob Nail, CEO of Singularity University. more

The self-determination of people is currently at stake… big nudging, citizen scores, and implants could lead to digitally enabled slavery. Prof. Dr. Dirk Helbing, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and Delft University of Technology. more

"If we can manage to create a legal framework suitable to the new conditions, then everyone will be able to share in improved human welfare.Prof. Dr. Dirk Helbing, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and Delft University of Technology. more

I tend to think that the changes now underway are so enormous, and that so many things are being changed, that we just have to trust our instincts. Ranga Yogeshwar, science journalist. more

In our digital culture, we ultimately have to be asking, "who is actually programming whom?" Could it be that our user behavior is leading to our gradually being influenced, that a user's purchase decisions – and this is already apparent – can be strongly influenced by the user's input? Ranga Yogeshwar, science journalist. more

I believe it’s a huge opportunity. Oliver Bäte, CEO Allianz. more

I believe that’s a typically German phenomenon: first we worry, and then we see the opportunities. Oliver Bäte, CEO Allianz. more

So I understand people’s concerns when they wonder what’s actually going on. Oliver Bäte, CEO Allianz. more

Unfortunately, the learning processes in IT security are always associated with something being broken. Linus Neumann, Spokesperson Chaos Computer Club. more

Big Data

"We really should unleash Big Data." Gesche Joost, Digital Champion for the German government. more

We don't know what will be done with all this data in 10, 20, or 30 years. And I believe that's where we all have a responsibility.Philipp Erler, CIO Zalando. more

What I often find with new products and ideas at the moment is that no lessons are being learned from the first wave of digitization. In other words, the same mistakes are being made all over again in IT security. It’s as if we were jumping backwards in our evolution with every step we take forwards. Linus Neumann, Spokesperson Chaos Computer Club. more

It’s considered completely normal that a provider who sells us software isn’t liable. Linus Neumann, Spokesperson Chaos Computer Club. more

Data Privacy

Our guiding principle is that we only use customer data in the way customers explicitly allow us to and that won’t change. Oliver Bäte, CEO Allianz. more

We should not lose sight of the possibility that rampant and uncontrolled digitization, that does not comply with values of our society, could very well have some very negative consequences. Peter Schaar, former German Federal Data Protection Commissioner. more

Data protection doesn't mean turning the clock back to the analog age, a time when masses of personal data were not being stored as is the case today. However, we should be striving to keep digitization in check – in other words, to "tame" it – while also making sure that data which does not really need to be personalized is left just as it is (...). Peter Schaar, former German Federal Data Protection Commissioner. more


In Germany, students learn how to use computers... in spite of schools. Prof. Wilfried Bos, Director of the Institute for School Development Research at TU Dortmund University. more

Responsibility on the part of policy-makers, business and the individual

But I think the most important thing is to recognize the opportunities. To be able to do that, we have to engage intensively with the processes and – I think this is especially important – actively work to help shape them. Ranga Yogeshwar, science journalist. more

I want my children's generation to be more than just consumers. Ranga Yogeshwar, science journalist. more

The digital revolution will be a democratic revolution if it can get citizens actively involved in shaping things. If that doesn't happen, then the very democracy we sought to strengthen will have been incapacitated. Ranga Yogeshwar, science journalist. more

Let's be the drivers, not the driven! Rüdiger Grube, CEO Deutsche Bahn. more

Smartphone use

Smartphones enable completely new kinds of productivity and levels of productivity that were previously unknown to us. But at the same time, these many interruptions: I just need to check something, or my friends have sent me something and it's beeping at me. This makes for a highly fragmented daily routine and eliminates any kind of flow, that is to say, any kind of extended focus on one thing that you can somehow immerse yourself in. But flow was the root of feelings of happiness and productivity. Getting that back – that is now the challenge. Alexander Markowetz, computer scientist and author. more

I think that in Germany, we are still somewhat stuck on this question of guilt - morally good or bad. But that's stupid. In fact, we are in the middle. Of course I can't stop it, but nor am I going to accept it just as it is. The question is: how can I help to shape it? And then what you realize is that, unfortunately, being in the middle is really tricky. Alexander Markowetz, computer scientist and author. more