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Tue., 09/20/2022 - Thu., 09/22/2022
All day
Interdisciplinary conference

Data Society. Opportunity – Responsibility – Innovation

Location: Gebäude L, Universität Paderborn / Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum
Address: Warburger Str. 100 / Fürstenallee 7, Paderborn

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Interdisciplinary Anniversary Conference: “Data Society” – Society in the Age of Digitalisation


From Tuesday 20. September to Thursday 22. September, the University invited “Data Society. Opportunity – Responsibility – Innovation” to its 50th anniversary scientific conference. In keeping with the anniversary motto “Celebrating the future”, lectures, discussion forums and a presentation session were dedicated to the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation in various areas of our society. The interdisciplinary conference was designed in collaboration with the five faculties. University President Prof. Dr. Birgitt Riegraf opened the programme on 20. September with a welcome address. On the second day of the event, after the lunch break, participants went on to the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum (HNF).

Digital technologies have become an indispensable part of contemporary life: automated vehicles, smart watches and intelligent manufacturing processes. But how can we understand decisions made by machines that are controlled by artificial intelligence? When technology starts to create art, how do we deal with it? Where can electricity be saved for more computing power? Will machines replace human labour in the future? And what happens to our data? The conference participants got to grips with these and many other questions. Scientists from the University, Aachen, Berlin, Bielefeld, Essen, Detmold, Jena, Mannheim, Munich, Oldenburg and Vienna provided insights into the current state of research. “Science thrives on exchange, especially across disciplinary boundaries,” said the university president.


Keynote lectures and panel discussion with experts

In addition to numerous discussion forums and presentations, one keynote lecture was scheduled for each day of the event, in which renowned guest speakers highlighted a selected aspect of their field. On Tuesday 20. September, Prof. Dr. Susanne Boll from the Institute for Computer Science at the University of Oldenburg spoke about “Humans at the Centre of the Digital Society”. On Wednesday 21. September, Prof. Dr. Dieter Kranzlmüller from the Leibniz Computing Centre of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities focused on “The Future of Supercomputing: Saving Power for more Computing Power”. In a subsequent panel discussion, different disciplines at the University discussed their perspectives on the future of computing. On Thursday 22. September, “Digital ethics” was the topic of Prof. Dr. Sarah Spiekermann-Hoff, professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.


Evening event at the HNF

In the run-up to the conference, young researchers from Paderborn, from different faculties, had already created presentations to illustrate the future topics they are researching in the context of  “Data Society”. On Wednesday 21. September, at an evening event in the HNF starting at 6 p.m., they presented their results and were available for further discussions with conference participants. Prof. Dr. Johannes Blömer, Vice President for Research and Young Academics at the University, awarded prizes to the best three presentations during the evening.