Research Hub for Human-Centered Media and Technology

About the Research Hub

Nowadays, online technologies are widely enhanced and interfused by intelligent algorithms. Numerous Internet services increasingly build on machine learning techniques and AI. Moreover, cyber-physical systems are increasingly networked, so that the boundaries between the Internet, interactive intelligent systems and “touchable” technology become more and more blurred. The user is confronted with systems that act autonomously, display their own agency and control the users’ actions by suggesting or even executing their own decisions. Examples are social media algorithms which autonomously suggest content or decision support systems. Research needs to address these new forms of human-AI collaboration in order to take human needs better into account and to ensure that control is not yielded completely from human to machine.

The research hub brings together PIs from psychology and computer science. Interdisciplinary synergies are achieved by jointly focussing a) on understanding human behavior in the described online environments and b) developing measures and technological solutions to empower human users to use intelligent technologies to their advantage. Based on this, the hub strives to improve intelligent digital technologies (both in the Internet as well as more “touchable” IoT technology) by rendering them truly human centered. This means that technology should enable humans to achieve their goals without patronizing them and respect human values, safeguard ethics and rights.

In doing this, the research hub builds on a rich tradition of excellent interdisciplinary research that was funded by various competitive grants such as the DFG Research Training Group “User Centred Social Media”, the DFG Research Group ACSID (FOR 2974), the EU Horizon 2020 Project “RISE_SMA - Social Media Analytics for Society and Crisis Communication”, the research platform “Bildung in der digitalen Welt” (ForBild) and projects in the NRW program “Digital Society”.

Associated Members