Taking place on 20 and 21 September in Graz, the international conference "Human-Centered Digitalization" is devoted to interdisciplinary discussion of the safe and effective interplay of people and machines with a view to creating what is known as Society 5.0.
At the conference, which is taking place at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), speakers from Europe and Asia will take a holistic view of this highly complex topic, putting people centre stage in the digital transformation. As one of the conference organisers, Dietrich Albert from the Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science at TU Graz and the University of Graz’s Institute of Psychology explains: "If humanist and ethical aspects such as digital maturity, digital personality and digital competence are not taken into account, any attempt to find technological solutions will be extremely difficult."
The topics on the agenda include the road to creating Japan’s ultra-smart, fully networked Society 5.0, and the role played by robots in the rapidly-aging society in the Land of the Rising Sun, as well as the requirements for trustworthy, human-centred artificial intelligence (AI). Smart ecosystems will shape societies in future, so all-pervasive digital connectivity in everyday life will require solutions tailored to citizens and their needs, expectations and capabilities.
A series of workshops on the second day will take an interdisciplinary look at ethics-related issues connected with digitalisation, as well as contrasts between societies in the West and East. There is also an emphasis on opportunities for collaboration between Japan and Europe in terms of AI and cybersecurity, on innovative digital education formats, and more generally on the impacts of the digital transformation on the economy, society and the labour market.
According to Dietrich Albert: "This conference aims to highlight ways in which human integrity and values can be protected and preserved in an age shaped by ubiquitous technological developments, in which integrity and values are receiving less and less attention when it comes to the way technology functions."
The cross-disciplinary agenda includes research topics from a variety of fields, from computer science, social science and business to philosophy, humanities, educational science and law.
From Europe to Asia
The conference is part of celebrations marking 150 years of diplomatic ties between Japan and Austria. The event is being organised jointly by the European Japan Experts Association (EJEA), TU Graz , the University of Graz and the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP).