In an increasingly digitally interconnected world, the rise of hate speech poses a particular threat to tolerance, diversity, and respect. To address the escalating issue of online hate speech, representatives from science, business, the public sector, media, and civil society gathered last week at the TUM Think Tank and the Bavarian State Center for New Media (BLM) in collaboration with the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, the Society for Civil Rights, Lumen at Harvard University, and the reporting center REspect! for a two-day workshop. The goal was to build and strengthen a network that collaboratively explores strategies against the escalation of online hate speech and harmful content on the internet.
The program covered legal aspects of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and how they will be implemented in the future, the redesign of content moderation through participatory risk management, and the potential benefits of public-private partnerships in the prosecution of hate speech. Furthermore, the workshop provided insights into the perspectives of the Public Prosecutor's Office, police, and media regulatory authorities on the issue of hate online and explored strategies, tactics, and tools that democratic societies can employ to combat online hate speech. Special emphasis was placed on discussing sectoral boundaries and active participant exchange.
Participants emphasized the importance of actively involving users in the legislative process. Lena-Maria Böswald from Das NETTZ underscored that there is still much room for improvement in legislation and that civil society organizations should also have an influence on shaping these laws. "To achieve a healthier online discourse, it is crucial to work together on the root causes of online hate by collaborating not only with civil society organizations but also with legislators and scientists. Progress can only be achieved through such combined efforts."
The main insights and takeaways from the two days:
- Promoting active collaboration among different sectors is vital for exploring effective strategies and tools within democratic societies to combat hate speech online.
- In implementing the DSA, we face various challenges like transparency, inclusion, legal complexities, workload, and disparities in engagement between organizations and regular users. Clearly defining responsibilities among platform operators, regulatory bodies, civil society, and justice is a work in progress.
- Active user involvement in legislative processes emerged as a pivotal focus. Collaborating among civil society, lawmakers, and researchers is essential for meaningful progress. By exploring economic incentives in reporting, engaging citizens and academia via online forums, and educating the public on reporting methods, we can bridge the gap between users and other stakeholders.
- There is an urgency in simplifying and popularizing reporting processes, as well as making roles clearer in the process of combating hate speech. Addressing inclusivity and accessibility issues for diverse victim groups, utilizing social media and influencers to boost reporting, and recognizing the pivotal role of bystanders in amplifying reporting initiatives are key topics to promote the reporting of online hate speech.
Dr. Thorsten Schmiege, President of the BLM, outlined the diverse and longstanding commitment of the BLM to extremism prevention and against anti-Semitic hate. The BLM addresses issues such as incitement to hatred or Holocaust denial, has launched the initiative "Justice and Media – Consistently Against Hate" in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, is a member of the Bavarian Alliance for Tolerance, and strengthens user resilience through numerous media literacy initiatives such as the Media License Bavaria. Schmiege called for even more networking: "Let us together send a signal for freedom of expression and against hate, anti-Semitism, and incitement to hatred online! Only the power of many can counter the power of many."
Did you know?
Disenchantment with politics and the rise of disinformation are pressing challenges in today's democracies. In peri-urban and rural areas, where 40% of surveyed citizens feel left behind by society and politicians, the impact is even more pronounced. Ideas for Europe (I4E) and Alliance for Europe (A4E) are committed to addressing this issue head-on, and you can be part of the solution.
About the workshop
The online workshop, 'Who is lying now? Identify and Fight Disinformation!' is a unique opportunity to gain insights and practical tools for combating disinformation. It's designed for international media literacy experts, lifelong learning professionals, and journalists as a train-the-trainers initiative.
What you will learn
- Understand the cognitive process behind disinformation's influence on human behavior.
- Discover effective strategies to disrupt and counter disinformation.
- Learn how to categorize and map out disinformation content.
- Acquire the skills to communicate your actions in countering disinformation.
Register now and join us in our mission to tackle disinformation and empower communities.
This workshop is part of the EU-funded CERV project 'Ideas for Europe' (I4E) and funded by the European Commission.
COVID-19, home office, Deutschlandtakt and Deutschlandticket: A lot has changed in public transport in recent months and years. At this event, speakers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Deutsche Bahn, MOIA, fairtiq, Wiener Linien and Agora Verkehrswende will take a look at the future of public transport.
- How can the potential of the Deutschlandticket be exploited, for example by further developing the service, integrating new forms of mobility and digitizing ticketing?
- What mobility guarantees are necessary for a successful transportation turnaround?
- What can we learn from the often cited 365-euro ticket in Vienna?
- How will changes in public transport affect different population groups (positively and negatively)?
Scientists from the Technical University of Munich will report on the role of research in the monitoring and evaluation of these changes and the challenges they pose. Other experts will present and discuss their ideas for the future of public transport. Our guests include:
- Lennart Adenaw, Fabienne Cantner, Allister Loder (TU München)
- Mario Theis (DB Regio)
- Paula Ruoff (fairtiq)
- Philipp Kosok (Agora Verkehrswende)
- Nikolas Feichtinger (Wiener Linien)
- Felix Zwick (MOIA)
After the event, on-site participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the new approaches in mobility research in an exchange with experts from science and practice and to discuss the role of research.
The event is organized by Agora Verkehrswende and the TUM Think Tank in close cooperation with MCube, the Munich Cluster for the Future of Mobility in Metropolitan Regions.
For participation in presence on site in Munich please register here:
Click here to register to participate online in the livestream:
Participants on-site and online can contribute with questions during the event via Slido.
Recording & Presentation
We will record the event and publish the recording as well as the presentations afterwards on this page.
The Women in Data Science Munich Conference, held on June 19, 2023, marked a significant step towards promoting gender diversity and empowering women in the realm of data science. Through its diverse range of activities, exceptional speakers, and inclusive approach, the conference demonstrated the immense potential of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in shaping the future of data science. The event served as a testament to the ongoing commitment to fostering innovation, inclusivity, and excellence in the field, while inspiring and connecting individuals passionate about data science, regardless of gender.
The WiDS Munich Conference featured an array of engaging activities designed to facilitate inspiration, learning, and networking
- Speed Dating: The conference commenced with a unique "speed dating" session, allowing participants to connect and exchange ideas in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.
- Lightning Talks: Data scientists from academia and industry delivered insightful lightning talks, covering a diverse range of topics within data science. Of particular interest were talks discussing the role of women in AI development and robotics, as well as a comparison of career opportunities in industry and academia.
- Small Group Discussions: Attendees had the opportunity to participate in small group discussions, enabling in-depth conversations and the exchange of perspectives on various data science subjects.
- Finger Food and Networking: The event concluded with a networking session accompanied by finger food, providing a relaxed atmosphere for attendees to further connect and forge meaningful relationships.
The WiDS Munich Conference boasted a distinguished lineup of participants, including accomplished data scientists from renowned organizations such as Google, Sixt, borisgloger consulting, and Cornell Tech Information Science. Moreover, the event showcased the research contributions of women from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and TUM, highlighting the local expertise in the field.
Impact and Future Implications
The conference exemplified the power of collaboration and shared knowledge in advancing gender diversity and innovation within the data science domain. By connecting experts, learners, and enthusiasts, the event succeeded in creating a vibrant community where ideas were exchanged, challenges discussed, and inspiration kindled.
Women of TUM
Women of TUM is a rapidly growing, living network which connects women with one another – 15,468 female students, 110 female professors and more and more alumnae every year. This lively network is quickly spreading and bringing together women across the boundaries of continents, generations, hierarchy levels and specializations.
In the Women of TUM network, women are forming a community in which they mutually support and inspire one another, regardless of their academic disciplines or industry sectors. Here women also find a unique platform which makes them more visible to the public, anchors the role of the woman in the working world and thus establishes role models for future generations.
Women in CS@TUM
Women of CS@TUM is a group of members from the Computer Science and the Computer Engineering Departments of TUM School of Computation, Information and Technology. We are working towards equal participation of women and of other under-represented groups at the School. It is a joint initiative of students, scientific staff and professors who are involved in the topics of diversity in our departments.
TUM is at home between museums in the middle of Munich's Kunstareal. In July, the neighborhood's institutions invite visitors to a four-day festival. On July 15 and 16, Gabelsbergerstrasse will be closed to traffic at the Alte Pinakothek and will become a promenade with many hands-on activities. The Munich School of Politics and Public Policy will be present with the TUM Think Tank under the motto: Future Technologies: A Whole New World?
In the pavilion of the TUM Think Tank, visitors can experiment with generative AI and discuss with the researchers: How do we deal responsibly with the applications? How do they change us?
Saturday 15.7.2023, from 12 – 18 pm
Pavilion on Gabelsbergerstraße in front of the Egyptian Museum
Free admission, no registration necessary!
On the 4th of May, IEAI researchers Auxane Boch, Ellen Hohma, and Maria Pokholkova hosted the workshop “System of AI Accountability in Financial Services” as part of their current project “Towards an Accountability Framework for AI Systems” in collaboration with Fujitsu Global.
The main objective of this event was to foster meaningful discussions and knowledge exchange among experts in the field of AI ethics, with a specific focus on quantifying ethical considerations in AI applications. The participants comprised a diverse group of specialists from the financial industry, including insurance, fintech, and financial services. Their backgrounds spanned various domains, such as data science, AI ethics, AI governance, and strategy.
Over the course of four immersive hours, the workshop attendees collectively worked towards formulating and achieving a consensus on five crucial scalable characteristics that define the ethicality of an example use case within the realm of AI Credit Scoring. The intention was to develop a framework that enables the evaluation of the ethical aspects of AI applications in a scalable and standardized manner.
The identified characteristics aimed to reflect the extent to which AI products adhere to the ethical principles of AI, focusing specifically on the principle of 'explainability & transparency' in this instance. By establishing a clear set of characteristics, the workshop participants aimed to provide a robust foundation for assessing the ethical implications of AI Credit Scoring and similar use cases.
To facilitate a quantitative comparison of the ethicality of the use case application, the workshop participants devised a numeric scale. This scale would enable the scoring of the defined characteristics, thereby enabling a more objective and measurable evaluation of the ethical considerations associated with AI Credit Scoring.
The workshop was a resounding success, with lively discussions, insightful perspectives, and fruitful collaborations taking place throughout the event. The engagement and expertise of the participants contributed to the development of a framework that promises to enhance the accountability of AI systems in the financial services sector.
The outcomes of this workshop are expected to have a significant impact on the ongoing research and development of AI accountability frameworks. The scalable characteristics and the numeric scale generated during the event will serve as valuable tools for organizations seeking to assess the ethical implications of their AI applications, particularly in the domain of AI Credit Scoring.
- The workshop resulted in the identification of five characteristics representing the degree of adherence to the ethical principle of ‘transparency & explainability’ in credit scoring systems.
- A scale was developed to assess the current implementation of these characteristics and thus quantify the ethicality of the investigated credit scoring application.
- Our preliminary results pave the way for further steps in quantifying AI systems' adherence to ethical principles.
Overall, the workshop on the "System of AI Accountability in Financial Services" proved to be a vital step forward in addressing the ethical challenges posed by AI systems. By bringing together experts from various fields and establishing a consensus on scalable characteristics, this event has paved the way for greater transparency and accountability in the financial industry's adoption of AI.
The AI Ethics in Educational Technologies seminar at the TUM Think Tank on March 28th was a successful exploration of facilitating critical thinking about AI Ethics Principles within educational contexts. During the day-long seminar, graduate students (Master's and Doctoral level) from interdisciplinary fields engaged in insightful discussions and future-oriented prototyping related to the risks and benefits of AI Tools in education. Through small group work, the students critically unpacked the complexity of AI Ethics in education. One of the groups discussed the use of facial recognition technology in classroom settings and highlighted both the challenges and affordances for teaching and learning. Another group analyzed the potential of AI Ed Tech to decrease the digital divide but also the possibility to increase the digital divide among learners, as students without the resources needed could be even more disadvantaged compared to students who have access to AI-supported learning and therefore are enabled to make use of its full potential.
A key takeaway from the seminar was the crucial role of ongoing competency and knowledge development in navigating the rapidly evolving AI-in-education landscape. Students ideated and visualized several ideas for tools and programs for fostering AI ethics literacy among educators and students. One example was a webpage, which could offer a variety of formats (Videos, Podcasts, Apps) to learn about affordances and constraints regarding AI in education. Another example was the idea of creating a collaborative forum that could provide workshops and teaching material.
The course was conducted by Verena Kappes, a doctoral student at the Department of Education Sciences at TUM, and co-facilitated by Camila Hidalgo, a doctoral student at the Chair of Public Policy, Governance, and Innovative Technology, and supervised by Anna Keune. The course stands in the context of the interdisciplinary research project Co-designing a Risk-Assessment Dashboard for AI Ethics Literacy in EdTech funded by the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (IEAI; PIs: Prof. Dr. Urs Gasser (SOT), Prof. Dr. Anna Keune (SOT, IAS), and Prof. Dr. Matthias Grabmair (CIT). The course was organized as part of the TUM Plugin Module initiative to foster novel teaching and learning formats across the university.
After more than a decade of fundamentally transforming societies around the world, social media and our relationship with online platforms are being currently re-examined. In this pursuit, it is crucial that stakeholders from as many fields as possible have a seat at the discussion table.
This workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners from various sectors in order to discuss pressing issues related to hate speech and other forms of harmful content online and how to address them.
The workshop is part of our ongoing activities within the Reboot Social Media Lab. It is organized by the TUM Think Tank and the Professorship of Public Policy, Governance, and Innovative Technologies in collaboration with the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice.
In this fifth report published by the project team Mobilität.Leben, we present several analyses of the data collected between April 2022 and September 2022 via a smartphone tracking app to learn more about the people’s mobility behavior. The report focuses on the evaluation of the socio-demographics of the study sample group. In this way, we gain a deeper understanding of the participants’ activities, considering their different social backgrounds.
The analysis of the participants' mobility behavior considering trip purposes, age, and income sheds light on how the 9-Euro-Ticket impacts different social groups and activities. We find that age, income, and trip purpose significantly influence the impact of the 9-Euro-Ticket on the observed modal split.
Several key findings can be highlighted for this report:
First a total of 665.114 trips was correctly reported during our observation period with a total length of 6.550.250 km. Walking was the most prominent mode of transport with 372.430 reported trips, followed by car (108.944 trips), public transport (101.265), bike (80.088) and airplane (786) and all other forms of transport (1.601).
Second, the introduction of the 9-Euro-Ticket had a visible positive effect on the use of public transportation vis-à-vis the use of car. The use of bikes was not affected while a slight decrease for walking shorter trips can be observed during the observation period.
Third, the analysis of mobility behavior shows significant influences of trip purpose, income, and age on the use of public transportation:
- The 9-Euro-Ticket led to a general increase of mobility, especially on weekends and holidays. Here, we can observe that public transportation was used for trips more frequently compared to periods without cheap tickets. Work and education trips during workdays were hardly affected by the 9-Euro-Ticket, while we see an increase in public transportation usage for errands, leisure, and shopping activities during the 9-Euro-Ticket.
- People with higher incomes use public transportation less frequently – and the car more often and vice versa. Additionally, the availability of the reduced ticket appears to have a particularly strong effect for low-income households compared to high-income households, especially on non-working days.
- Age seems to have an adverse effect on public transportation usage in our sample with younger age groups using public transportation. However, the introduction of the 9-Euro-Ticket had a positive effect on the usage of public transportation across all age groups – except for those between 30 and 49.
The fourth report published by the project team Mobilität.Leben presents the results of the latest survey wave. It gives an overview of the stated and observed mobility behavior before, during, and after the period of the 9-Euro-Ticket. In addition, the report concentrates on the question of how much people in and around Munich as well as nationwide are willing to pay for a successor ticket to the 9-Euro-Ticket.
The introduction of the 9-Euro-Ticket and the fuel tax cut changed the lives of many: considerable parts of participants stated that their daily routines have been change, that they were more mobile, and that the 9-Euro-Ticket was as one of the key reasons for their increased mobility.
Several key findings can be highlighted for this report:
First, the analysis of the participants' mobility behavior shows a clear effect of the 9-Euro-Ticket with more public transportation during than before or after the cheap ticket. Interestingly, for some people we can observe that they partly maintain their increased use of public transport after the end of the 9-Euro-Ticket. However, people who already used public transport almost daily or never did so the entire time, irrespective of the availability of a cheap ticket.
Second, based on our analysis of the willingness-to-pay it can be expected that around 60% of all previous 9-Euro-Ticket owners would either buy the nationwide successor ticket for 49-Euro or a new local travel pass at around 30 Euro per month. In comparison, a successor ticket priced at 69 Euro per month would only be bought by 25%. This would lead to an increase of travel pass ownership in Germany of more than 20%.
Third, we do not find an income effect in the purchase decision for a successor to the 9-Euro-Ticket – whereas we found an effect in previous studies. Further analysis will have to show the exact willingness-to-pay based on income. We however do find that other factors like living in an urban environment, having no car or being male increase the likelihood for the ticket purchase.