Online Correspondences EU DIGITAL FUTURES

Unfold, Elena Falomo
© Elena Falomo
At the latest since the Corona crisis, it has become clear to a broad public that almost all areas of our social life will be translated into the digital sooner or later. However, the conditions under which this transformation will take place are still to be negotiated.
What values should guide our digitized lives? What does democratic digitization look like? How can civil society become aware of and exercise its central role in the digital transformation process?
In order to promote an exchange across borders and disciplines, the Goethe‑Institut, together with the grassroots think tank Polis180, organized a five-week digital dialogue on European digital policy under the motto “EU Digital Futures” in May and June 2021.
Five tandems, each with a representative from the fields of data science and art, devoted themselves to a weekly changing focus topic in a free format. Through the artistic perspective, we could illuminate further facets of these often technically and economically oriented debates and build playful and sensual bridges to these complex topics for a common exchange with all citizens.

In our five correspondences the interdisciplinary tandems entered into a dialogue on the following questions:

Topic 1: European Values and Digitization – what do we stand for?

Marco Antelmi, visual artist and engineering theorist / Italy
Bennet Etsiwah, Doctoral Researcher at Weizenbaum Institute / Germany
First Results
Meta Refresh EU Values
Marco Antelmi and Bennet Etsiwah created a website that refreshes the values of the European Union every seven seconds and contemplates the meaning of values, their duration and their transformation as social constructs.
Topic 2: Data is everywhere - what are the key factors for a democratic use of data and how can we enable an educated discourse in civil society?
Tiz Creel, artist, AI Residency Program / UK

Martin Skrodzki, researcher at the Computer Graphics and Visualization group at TU Delft / The Netherlands

First Results
Random Questions: The Test
Tiz Creel and Martin Skrodzki worked on an experiment inspired by the personality quiz popular in the 2000s. The experiments intention is to infer personal biometric data based on seemingly random questions. They formulated and designed four questions to enable them to mine information without the participants knowing …
Topic 3: Artificial Intelligence - What are the requirements for trust in AI systems and what decisions are best left to them?
Tom O’Dea, artist and art practice-based researcher / Ireland
Mathias Riechert, Strategic PM & Data Science Coordination at Allianz Digital Health / Germany
First Results
Can AI be trusted?
Tom O’Dea and Mathias Riechert used the platform Kialo to map out their debate on AI onto an interactive tree featuring arguments both pro and con. So on one hand, AI can be trusted, for example „if the AI models are transparent, explainable, interpretable, and fed/trained with non-biased data”. But on the other hand “most AI techniques make decisions based on factors that cannot be communicated outside of the system.” …
Topic 4: Fighting misinformation, online fraud and data breaches - how can our fundamental rights best be protected when using digital services?

Elena Falomo, designer, engineer and artist / Italy
Matthias C. Kettemann, Senior Researcher “Regulatory Structures and the Emergence of Rules in Online Spaces” at the Hans-Bredow Institut / G“rmany
First Results
Fight for the Net – Card Game
Elena Falomo and Matthias Kettemann started to work on a card game. With they want to let players of all ages discover the different actors of online misinformation, disinformation, hoaxes, conspiracy theories, ....
  • Fighting misinformation, online fraud and data breaches © Elena Falomo, 2021
  • Fighting misinformation, online fraud and data breaches © Elena Falomo, 2021
  • Fighting misinformation, online fraud and data breaches © Elena Falomo, 2021
  • Fighting misinformation, online fraud and data breaches © Elena Falomo, 2021
Topic 5: AI and Inclusion – for whom and by whom are AI applications developed?
Hannah Pelikan, PhD student at Linköping University / Sweden
Tereza Hendl, Postdoctoral Researcher and Project Co-lead on the project “META – mHealth: Ethical, legal and societal aspects in the technological age”, University of Augsburg / Germany
Yifan He, artist / UK
First Results
Gather Town map: AI for whom and by whom

Hannah Pelikan, Tereza Hendl and Yifan He created a huge map and collected different perspectives on the question of “AI and Inclusion”. They collected articles, chats, quotes of activists, artist and researcher together with a lot of other materials to stimulate critical reflections about broader unequal social structures that AI and digital platforms are embedded within …
AI and Inclusion © Yifan He, 2021


At our grand finale on June 30, 2021 at the Future of Europe Conference all participants of the correspondences could once again exchange their demands and questions directly with the citizens of Europe. On June 7 the first tandem shared the insights from their exchange at the “Long Night of Ideas”:


7 June 2021, 19:00-20:00 pm CEST

At the “Long Night of Ideas” our first tandem - consisting of the distinguished media researcher Matthias Kettemann and the designer and engineer Elena Falomo - will share the insights and open questions from their exchange with the audience. Based on Elena's artistic works with the collective “News World Order”, which has developed speculative media platforms against Fake News or an interactive sound installation to manipulate news voices in terms of their “Trumpiness” and “Truthfulness”, we want to discuss with you the question: How can our fundamental rights be best protected when using digital services?
Elena Falomo, designer, engineer and artist
Matthias Kettemann, Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut
Violeta Mezeklieva
The event will be held in English.