Digitalization permeates vast areas of human life. It bears both opportunities and risks for human coexistence, the consequences of which cannot adequately be assessed in many areas today. Yet one thing is certain: Digitalization is accompanied by profound processes of change. With its research area “Humans in the Digital Age”, the University of Klagenfurt endeavours to make a decisive contribution to generating scientific knowledge about humankind in the digital age.
The focus will not be restricted solely to the human or the individual in her or his institutional or professional context. We also aim to examine how the individual fares within the social setting in his or her private and daily life under the shifting conditions of the digital age. However, it is not only the case that the life of humans is changed by technology, the reverse is also true: Human modes of behaviour and daily routines influence the demands for technological solutions and consequently have the potential to trigger further innovations and transformations. Therefore, the guiding theme adopts a perspective directed at the human and human behaviours, in which technical and non-technical aspects are interwoven. In other words: The guiding theme reflects a social science and cultural studies view, which also incorporates technological and engineering perspectives.
Initiatives & projects
Extensive preparations led up to the establishment of the University Centre “Digital Age Research Center (D!ARC)” by the University of Klagenfurt in January 2019: At the beginning, there was a university-wide workshop, which was followed by a competition for ideas. Starting in 2019, projects and initiatives (accompanied by the announcement of new professorships) will be implemented on a continuous basis. Here, we are pleased to present the measures that have reached the implementation stage.
Additional information regarding projects and new professorships (incl. recruitment announcements) will be published here in due course.
Graduate school “Decision-Making in a Digital Environment (DECIDE)”
Here, decision-making behaviour in the digital age is at the centre of scientific attention: This includes the impact of digital technologies on human decision-making behaviour (e.g. the influence of automated recommendations on purchasing decisions), the question of how opinion is formed in (social) networks, new technological means of supporting decision-making in the sense of Insight (data science, machine learning), but it also includes the possibilities and the limits of technical systems, which reach autonomous decisions (e.g. self-driving vehicles). Finding answers to these and similar questions requires an interdisciplinary team, which integrates economic, technological, and psychological perspectives. Against this background, the university is establishing a graduate school with 8 doctoral candidates (75% part-time contract).
Digital Lives.at – Digital biographies in Austria: Synthesis and cross-linkage of individual life stories from the www
In terms of content, this research project focuses on the – intentional or unintentional – “digital traces” of Austrian citizens on the www and explores how these traces can be joined to form an individual digital biography. The humanities offer numerous docking points for this topic (e.g., aspects of style and text type, the image of Austria as a cultural nation as transported in biographies, biographical media literacy). Against this background, researchers seek to closely integrate problem-solving methods from the realms of computer science and the humanities.
The area of potential “Humans in the Digital Age” is embedded in the University Centre “Digital Age Research Center (D!ARC)”.