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Global AI Narratives, Cambridge / Berlin: Panellists

Aljoscha Burchardt


Aljoscha Burchardt is Deputy Site Director of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH) in Berlin. He is an expert in Language Technology and Artificial Intelligence. Burchardt is co-developer of the MQM framework for measuring translation quality and co-editor of the book “IT für Soziale Inklusion” (“IT for social inclusion”). He has a background in semantic Language Technology. After his PhD in Computational Linguistics at Saarland University he coordinated the Center of Research Excellence "E-Learning 2.0" at Technische Universität Darmstadt. Burchardt is Senior Research Fellow of the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society and Deputy Chairman of the Berlin Scientific Society (Berliner Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft). He is also a member of the Enquete-commission on Artificial Intelligence of the German Parliament.

Michelle Christensen


Michelle Christensen is a Visiting Professor for Open Science at the Technische Universität Berlin / Einstein Center Digital Future, as well as heading a research group on Critical Making at the Berlin University of the Arts / Weizenbaum Institute together with Florian Conradi. She wrote her Ph.D. in the field of Design Research, prior to which she studied International Development, Conflict Studies, Gender Studies and Integrated Design. She has worked at the Crisis Department of Amnesty International, was a Lantos Fellow in the United States Congress, and worked as a researcher for the Design Research Lab and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Berlin. Her work focuses on decolonial, feminist/queer and sustainable approaches to design and free/open technologies.

Christopher Coenen


Christopher Coenen is at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) within Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Trained in social sciences and humanities, he has worked for KIT-ITAS since 2003, also in 20+ research or public dialogue projects. He heads the ITAS research group ‘Life, Innovation, Health and Technology’, is KIT’s expert on the “human enhancement” topic and edits the journal ‘NanoEthics: Studies of New and Emerging Technologies’. Currently he coordinates the transnational NEURON-ERANET research project FUTUREBODY and leads the KIT-ITAS work in the German research and technology development project INOPRO (‚Intelligent Orthotics and Prosthetics’). A research interest of him is the (pre-)history of transhumanism as a worldview at the intersections of science, ideology, (ir)religion, and science fiction.

Florian Conradi


Florian Conradi is a designer and researcher combining critical theory and design as an approach to critical practice. He studied design and art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, the KISD in Cologne, and wrote his Ph.D. in the field of Design Research at the Berlin University of the Arts. Since 2008 he has been initiating socio-political design projects with institutions in the field of critical media and political advocacy. Currently, he is a Visiting Professor for Open Science at the Technische Universität Berlin / Einstein Center Digital Future and heads a research group on Critical Making at the Berlin University of the Arts / Weizenbaum Institute together with Michelle Christensen.

Sarah Fischer


Dr. Sarah Fischer works on the project "Ethics of Algorithms" at the Bertelsmann Stiftung. The project deals with the social consequences of algorithmic decision-making and aims to contribute to the design of algorithmic systems that lead to more participation for all. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the postgraduate program "Trust and Communication in a Digitalized World" at the University of Münster. There, she earned her doctorate in communication science on the subject of trust in health information on the Internet.

Maya Indira Ganesh


Maya is a technology researcher and writer with a hybrid portfolio across cultural organisations, academia and NGOs. Her doctoral research at Leuphana University, Germany, investigates the material and discursive construction of the ‘autonomous’ machine through computational ethics, metaphors, and the changing role of the human. Maya spent 15 years as a researcher in the non-profit sector at the intersection of human rights, gender and technology. She has written about affective computing; big data and discrimination; gender, feminism and technology; security and privacy in human rights defence. Her research has been supported by Hivos, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Berggruen Institute, and the Volkswagen Stiftung’s  ‘AI and the Society of the Future’ award to the University for Arts & Design, Karlsruhe.

Stephanie Hankey


Stephanie Hankey is a designer, curator and social entrepreneur with 20 years experience exploring the social and political impact of technology on society. She co-founded Tactical Tech in 2003, which is now the largest international NGO at the forefront of capacity building and public education on technology and civil society. She has been awarded an Ashoka Fellowship for her work as a social entrepreneur, in 2016/17 she was an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and in 2017 she was made a Visiting Industry Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. Stephanie has a degree in the History of Design and Art from Manchester Metropolitan University and a Masters in Computer Related Design from the Royal College of Art, London. Stephanie currently teaches, writes and speaks on ethics in technology design. In 2016, Stephanie she co-curated the award winning touring exhibition, the Glass Room; which has since enabled over 150,000 people worldwide to reflect on their relationship with technology and its impact on their environment. She is the co-author of the essay Efficiency and Madness and is currently an Artist-in-Resident at the Onassis Foundation, where she works on a project exploring the human impact of AI and Catastrophe.

Isabella Hermann


Isabella Hermann is a political scientist by training and holds a doctorate in International Relations. Her general research interest is in the question of how discourses on new technologies frame global power structures. In particular, she investigates into the science fiction genre as part of the discussion on new technologies, (political) value systems and global politics. As research coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Research Group “Responsibility: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence” at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) her work focuses on the ethical and socio-political effects of AI systems when it comes to human responsibility.

Christian Katzenbach


Christian Katzenbach is a Senior Researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin. He is Co-Head of the Research Programme ’The Evolving The Digital Society’ and PI for a H2020 project on platform governance and copyright and various other research activities. His (multi)disciplinary background is in media and communications, computer science and philosophy. His current research focusses on the formation of platforms and their governance, and on the discursive and political institutionalization of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Christian is Chair of the Section Digital Communication of the German Communication Association.

Thomas Küber


Started at Fraunhofer research, worked up and down the design industry in Europe, Asia and the US. Focus on helping corporations and communities to embed design strategies that enable not only economic growth but generate genuine value for real people.

Wenzel Mehnert


Wenzel Mehnert is working as a research assistant at the Berlin University of the Arts since 2016. He researches, writes and teaches experimental methods of future studies at the intersection of science and art. He is doing his PhD on „The practice of speculation in literature, design and foresight“.

Jessica de Jesus de Pinho Pinhal


Jessica De Jesus De Pinho Pinhal is a research associate and PhD candidate at Berlin University of Technology. Jessica obtained an MSc in Physics and Computer Science from Telecom Physique Strasbourg in 2012, a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Nice in 2015, and an MBA from ESCP Europe Business School in 2017. She has worked as an engineer at Amadeus, as a business and innovation consultant for Hannover Re and early-stage start-ups, and an entrepreneur in residence for a venture capital firm. Her research focuses on (artificial) intelligence, ethics, and more broadly on human and machine relations.

Diana Serbanescu


With a double background in computer science and performing arts, Diana Serbanescu works on interdisciplinary approaches to culture, society and technology, with a strong focus on human factors. As team lead of the group researching the Criticality of Artificial Intelligence at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, she promotes a practice-led research on the topics of bias and explainability in relation to machine learning algorithms, revealing inherent symbolic power structures in current technological systems. She also co-founded REPLICA, a performing arts platform inviting creatives and scientists to collaborate on imagining hybrid behavioural models for humans and machines, and to prototype future tools, cultures and rituals.  As the artistic director of REPLICA, Diana Serbanescu envisions the dance-theatre of the future: playful, subversive, interactive, underpinned by new technologies. She explores the potential of sentimental machines: the new human, the measurability of emotion, or the continued validity of traditions in an era of artificial intelligence and digital colonisation, when technologies permeate the collective unconscious and generate new aesthetics. Her previous research work ranges from stage-screen montage to testing software for real-time systems.

Rainer Stark


Prof. Rainer Stark is professor for Industrial Information Technology at the Technical University of Berlin and Director of the Virtual Product Creation division of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK). His main research areas are: Smart Product Engineering, Model-based Systems Engineering; CAE, CAD/CAM system & modeling; PDM technology, Virtual Engineering: Digital Mockup, VR, Smart Hybrid Prototyping, Digital Factory, Product creation process optimization.

Andreas Wegner


An award-winning designer, Andreas worked for 20 years both in Los Angeles and Berlin for big, global brands. Trained as communication designer, former Head of Design at iconmobile, Andreas is an expert in connected devices, meaningful, data-enabled experiences and a jury member of the Webby Awards.



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