Research area "Automatization and Datafication of Communication"
With the digitalization and profound mediatization of society, questions about the automation of communication and the role of digital data for various social, political and cultural processes are gaining in importance. This is exemplified by the current public discussion about chatbots and chatGPT, the influence of bots on political communication or the handling of user data by tech companies.
Whether social bots, voice-controlled personal assistance systems or new types of speech generation systems based on machine learning – automated systems that communicate with us are playing an increasingly important role in everyday life. The possible applications are manifold. In journalism, education, political communication or for entertainment: non-human communication participants are increasingly becoming a normal part of everyday media life. This not only affects direct interaction with humans, but also how communication dynamics in societies as a whole change with these systems.
This is precisely where the research focus "Automation and Datafication of Communication" comes in. Because of the rapid technological development, the great potentials but also the risks of communicative artificial intelligence (AI), its social scientific investigation is of particular social importance. For this reason, the ZeMKI is addressing the broad social consequences of automated communication systems and datafication with this research focus. Across the various individual investigations, there is an intensive exchange between the participating labs on questions of the automation of communication.