Algorithms are the driving force behind the digital revolution, increasingly determining how society is organized and how humans interact with one another. Nowhere is the power of algorithms more evident than in the plethora of neologisms they have inspired: algorithmic analysis, algorithmic regulation, algorithmic prediction, artificial intelligence, etc. Behind the promising rhetoric, however, lies a more somber reality embodied by such terms as black-box society, social credit score, and dataveillance. Enlisting ideas from German thinkers such as Simmel, Cassirer, Kant, and Hegel, the talk will cover the ethical implications of (self-learning) algorithms and the sociological and philosophical consequences of the changing relationship between humans and technology.
Roberto Simanowski is the author of *Digital Art and Meaning* (University of Minnesota Press 2011) *Data Love* and *Facebook Society* (both Columbia University Press 2016 and 2018), *Digital Humanities and Digital Media: Conversations on Politics, Culture, Aesthetics and Literacy* (Open Humanities Press 2016) as well as *The Death Algorithm and Other Digital Dilemmas* (CHOICE award for Outstanding Academic Titles for 2019) and *Waste: A New Media Primer* (both MIT Press 2018). His latest book, *Digitale Revolution und Bildung. Für eine zukunftsfähige Medienkompetenz*, has just appeared with Beltz. Simanowski has taught at Brown University, at the University of Basel and at City University of Hong Kong. He is Distinguished Fellow at the Excellence Cluster *Temporal Communities* at the Freie Universität Berlin.