While it is true that digital technologies have merely accelerated processes already unfolding across the industrialized world, they have changed our world and our lives radically over the last four decades. Alongside the growing impact, unease and uncertainty are on the rise, leading the global tech industry into a crisis as we start to question more and more the impact of new technologies (fake news, human downgrading, cyber-crime, trade in personal data, etc.) on the fabric of our lives and society.
Therefore, institutions and initiatives around the globe, including Ars Electronica, are calling for a Digital Humanism that notices these omnipresent transformational processes and reflects on new pathways into a digital society. By initiating the European Platform for Digital Humanism, Ars Electronica and its partners from research, industry and cultural sectors take part in this urgent conversation focused on re-evaluating our relationship to the technologies we’ve created and how we use them – a conversation that is by no means confined to Europe but needs to be tackled on a global level.
User Manual for Digital Humanists is a new series hosted by Veronika Liebl, Director of European Cooperation, and Kristina Maurer, Head of European Projects at Ars Electronica’s Festival/Prix/Exhibitions department. The second chapter focuses on projects and artists tackling some of the biggest challenges we are facing today: How can we collectively work towards a more sustainable future? How can we foster a responsible approach to technological development that considers long-term impacts on our environment and living spaces? The hosts are joined by artist Kat Austen, who shares her approach to these topics with the audience.