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Digitally confident Header© ZKM Karlsruhe

Digital Souverän

How do we assert ourselves in the digital society? Which tools do we have to master, which skills do we have to learn? ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe and the Goethe-Institut provide answers. Digital Confident provides food for thought and supports self-determined trade.

exhibition experiment „Open Codes“, 2017/ 2018 Photo: Anne-Sophie Stolz © ZKM Karlsruhe

Editorial by Peter Weibel
Democracy needs thinkers – how we learn to rethink in a digital world

In the future we will need digitally sovereign and culturally competent citizens. Because democracy needs thinking! That is why Peter Weibel, artistic-scientific director of the ZKM Karlsruhe, calls for new educational, social and democratic movements to be initiated and for museums to become places of free citizenship education.


Digitally confident: how it works

Have you ever wondered what personal data you have already disclosed online today? What information Internet companies have collected about you? You don't know? Then you're like most of us. Nevertheless, it is crucial to know what risks you are being exposed to and how you can protect yourself against them. Confidence means taking responsibility - digitally as well. It sounds exhausting, but it's not that difficult!

  • <b>Do you feel the same way? </b>While we navigate the Internet and popular software like a fish in water, we are sometimes completely in the dark about what the mechanisms behind it look like. What footprints are we leaving behind? Who can read them? And what decisions hinge on this? <i>Text: Tapping in digital darkness</i> graphicrecording.cool
    Do you feel the same way? While we navigate the Internet and popular software like a fish in water, we are sometimes completely in the dark about what the mechanisms behind it look like. What footprints are we leaving behind? Who can read them? And what decisions hinge on this? Text: Tapping in digital darkness
  • <b>But a lot in our lives has long since hinged on this:</b> Whether Google search results or the newspaper articles we are shown - everything is tailored to our personal data profile. Our data is used to influence our decisions and thus even election results. Whether we get a loan, an apartment or a job may depend on the information available about us. <i>Text: How shall I protect myself? Do I care?</i> graphicrecording.cool
    But a lot in our lives has long since hinged on this: Whether Google search results or the newspaper articles we are shown - everything is tailored to our personal data profile. Our data is used to influence our decisions and thus even election results. Whether we get a loan, an apartment or a job may depend on the information available about us. Text: How shall I protect myself? Do I care?
  • <b>The key: Thinking things through and questioning.</b> But not all information on the Web is neutral. What information is relevant for me? Where does it come from and what interests are behind it? If you don't think for yourself, others will decide for you - and only seldom for your own benefit. <i>Text: Think? Other people do it for me…</i> graphicrecording.cool
    The key: Thinking things through and questioning. But not all information on the Web is neutral. What information is relevant for me? Where does it come from and what interests are behind it? If you don't think for yourself, others will decide for you - and only seldom for your own benefit. Text: Think? Other people do it for me…
  • <b>There's plenty of information and knowledge out there.</b> Only those who are sufficiently informed can have a responsible voice. This has seldom seemed easier than it is today: vast amounts of knowledge and background information are available to everyone on the Internet free of charge. <i>Text: Free knowledge</i> graphicrecording.cool
    There's plenty of information and knowledge out there. Only those who are sufficiently informed can have a responsible voice. This has seldom seemed easier than it is today: vast amounts of knowledge and background information are available to everyone on the Internet free of charge. Text: Free knowledge
  • <b>What Kant already knew:</b> "Have the courage to use your own intellect!" What was true then is no less true today: an empowered citizen thinks for him- or herself. More than ever, it is important to question the information we receive, as well as ourselves and our attitudes again and again. <i>Text: Dare to know!   Intelligence  “Dig in!”</i> graphicrecording.cool
    What Kant already knew: "Have the courage to use your own intellect!" What was true then is no less true today: an empowered citizen thinks for him- or herself. More than ever, it is important to question the information we receive, as well as ourselves and our attitudes again and again. Text: Dare to know! Intelligence “Dig in!”
  • <b>Only the well-informed can have a voice.</b> The digital world is changing. In order to stay up to date and have a voice, we have to keep ourselves informed and educated. Education is participation, and participation is the common good. <i>Text: Education Is Participation</i> graphicrecording.cool
    Only the well-informed can have a voice. The digital world is changing. In order to stay up to date and have a voice, we have to keep ourselves informed and educated. Education is participation, and participation is the common good. Text: Education Is Participation
  • <b>Social commitment must become routine.</b> Do I consent to having self-driving cars in my city? Should artificial intelligence be allowed to make state decisions? Do I want to give companies power over my data? We should not shy away from these questions: social commitment must become routine. <i>Text: Social commitment? – Routine </i> graphicrecording.cool
    Social commitment must become routine. Do I consent to having self-driving cars in my city? Should artificial intelligence be allowed to make state decisions? Do I want to give companies power over my data? We should not shy away from these questions: social commitment must become routine. Text: Social commitment? – Routine
  • <b>Digital empowerment is also a part of this. </b>Anyone who is not concerned today about the opportunities and dangers of the digital world runs the risk of losing influence on an aspect of social life. Only those who understand and are able to interpret contexts can be involved in shaping the digital world. <i>Text: No confidence without digital confidence</i> graphicrecording.cool
    Digital empowerment is also a part of this. Anyone who is not concerned today about the opportunities and dangers of the digital world runs the risk of losing influence on an aspect of social life. Only those who understand and are able to interpret contexts can be involved in shaping the digital world. Text: No confidence without digital confidence
Matthieu Cherubini’s VR game “35,000 Feet“ simulates a flight over Syria. Photo (detail): © Matthieu Cherubini, 2017

Artificial intelligence and art
Seven artists breathe life into algorithms

They make algorithms dance and breathe life into software: Artists working with artificial intelligence are exploring and blurring the distinctions between man and machine. Fans of the sci-fi series “Black Mirror” will love these artists. 

Crossing a red light: Traffic offenders in China are named and shamed. Photo (detail): © picture alliance/dpa-Zentralbild/Klaus Grabowski

Algorithmic Governance
Total surveillance

Algorithms that reward or penalise the citizens of a country on the basis of collated data – in places like China and India, “algorithmic governance” has long been a reality. But even in Germany, computer software already takes decisions that have consequences for many people’s lives.

Model ADA GH5 humanoid robots in Turkey. Photo (detail): © picture alliance/AA/Ahmet Akbiyik

Industry 4.0
The end of human labour?

The next industrial revolution is just around the corner: Industry 4.0 describes the increasing automatization of production and logistics. Today the smallest computers can control huge machines and systems and are replacing more and more people.

Artificial Intelligence Photo (detail): © Adobe

Artificial Intelligence
Master or Minion?

Will Artificial Intelligence rule humanity at some point? – On the insurmountable distinctions between humans and machines. An essay by Peter Glaser.


More on the topic

Rayk Anders and his research team for the documentary “Lösch Dich. So organisiert ist der Hate im Netz”(Delete yourself. Organised hate on the Internet) commissioned by German broadcasters (ARD/ZDF). Photo (detail): © Paul Ruben Mundthal

Spreading hate on the Internet
“The three of us can make it seem like there are hundreds of us”

In their documentary “Lösch Dich. So organisiert ist der Hate im Netz” (Delete yourself. Organised hate on the Internet), YouTuber Rayk Anders and his team investigate how Internet trolls use hate to promote their political aims.

More and more women are working in gaming. Photo (detail): © Adobe

Women in the gaming industry
“You haven’t noticed us? Then you need to improve your network!”

Computer game development and programming was once a field largely dominated by men. But there is a sea change underway: we spoke to five women from the gaming industry.

Darknet desemnează zonele protejate ale internetului - utilizatorul fiind acela care determină pentru ce le folosește Foto (detaliu): © Adobe

Darknet
Redeeming the darknet in five examples

The darknet is often seen as the Cain to the internet’s Abel, as a hub for weapons and drugs and a paradise for paedophiles and terrorists. But, as it turns out, it’s not really so dark after all.


Goethe-Institut initiatives worldwide

How to read Social Media © Goethe-Institut Moskau

The Earth Is Flat – How to Read Media?

Dealing confidently with digital information sources: "The Earth Is Flat - How to Read Media? by the Goethe-Institut Moscow supports young people, teachers and media experts in exactly this respect.

Open Data Indonesien © Dwi Rahmanto

Access for all: Open Data

Government agencies publish data, members of the public can use them for their own purposes: this is the central concept behind the open data movement internationally. The Goethe-Institut Indonesia presents ways in which a culture of publically accessible data can emerge in Southeast Asia.

P3M5 © Goethe-Institut USA

Data Privacy in Five Minutes

What do the private sphere and data privacy mean in the digital age? The theatre project P3M5, initiated by the Goethe-Institut USA, revolves around this question. Dramatists from the USA and Europe present their answers in 5-minute films.


Cooperation with ZKM worldwide


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ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe
Stefanie Strigl Digital Communication
Regina Hock Press Officer

Goethe-Institut
Christine Ruhland Online Editor