Data Society: Multifaceted Interdisciplinary Conference for the University’s Anniversary in Paderborn

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Photo (Paderborn University, Johanna Pietsch): (from left) University President

Photo (Paderborn University, Johanna Pietsch): (from left) University President Birgitt Riegraf and keynote speaker Susanne Boll opened the anniversary conference ’Data Society’ organized by Paderborn University on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Download (1 MB)

In 2022, Paderborn University celebrates its 50th birthday with numerous events. In line with the anniversary motto "Celebrating the future", the interdisciplinary conference "Data Society. Opportunities - Innovations - Responsibility" from September 20 to 22 focused on society in the midst of the digital transformation. It provided a forum for exchanging views on the possibilities of artificial intelligence, the impact of the digital transformation on the work environment and ethical issues of digitalization. Presentations and discussion panels highlighted the diversity of research topics in this area at the Paderborn University.

"These are exciting times for scientists. What is new about this overall societal transformation process is that technical systems can expand or perhaps even replace the cognitive abilities of humans," said Birgitt Riegraf, President of Paderborn University, at the opening of the three-day program. To put this together, the Scientific Board around Artur Zrenner, Paderborn Professor of Experimental Physics, considered questions from a wide variety of perspectives: How do we deal with technology creating art? Where can we save electricity for more computing power? What does the future of computing look like? Will machines replace human labor in the future? And what ethical dimensions will be raised when technologies shape our society?

For a total of three keynote lectures, scientists from Oldenburg, Munich and Vienna have come to Paderborn. "Congratulations to Paderborn University - not only on its 50th birthday, but also on a great event," congratulated Susanne Boll from the Oldenburg Department of Computing Science during her lecture on "Humans at the Center of the Digital Society." In his keynote speech, Dieter Kranzlmüller from the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities put forward the thesis that quantum computers will not replace existing computers, but that both systems will exist in parallel, each performing specific tasks. With the topic "Digital Ethics", keynote speaker Sarah Spiekermann-Hoff from Vienna University of Economics and Business shed light on philosophical and ethical aspects of the digital transformation.

A poster session, in which young scientists from all faculties presented their research, provided an opportunity for a lively exchange. Professors were also able to gain an insight into the research of doctoral and post-doctoral students beyond their own field of expertise. The three best posters were selected by a jury of experts. Johannes Blömer, Vice President for Research and Young Scientists at Paderborn University, presented a prize of 750 euros for first place to Lukas Höper, research assistant at the Department of Computer Science. Second place, together with prize money of 500 euros, went to Jana Kim Gutt from the Department of Management at the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics. Third place and 250 euros went to Jessica Coenen, who works in the Department of Exercise & Health.

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