Statements 2019

  • Santner Friedrich

    Digital developments in the USA show Europe where the journey will take us.

  • Wolfgang Rehner

    BlessU2 was first introduced in 2017 at the World Exhibition in Wittenberg to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, as the world’s first blessing robot. In March 2019, the Artistic Director of Ars Electronica, Gerfried Stocker, caused a furore by announcing that people would rather rely for spiritual support on a robot than on

  • Christopher Drexler

    eHealth can bring about substantial improvements in the quality of healthcare provision and increase efficiency, effectiveness, safety, timeliness and equality of opportunity, while taking account of the individual needs of patients. Christopher Drexler

  • Manfred Prisching

    Digitalisation means: unknown levels of complexity; uncertainty about what we are and what other people are; new concepts of humanity; new ways of attributing meaning. Our previous concepts are in ruins and we have no idea about what kind of random heap of stones (or chips) we are now dealing with or how to live

  • Josef Pesserl

    Digitalisation should benefit workers in Styria and improve their working conditions. It is also advantageous to companies to have well-qualified employees.

  • Klaus Poier

    Buzzwords such as mass surveillance, big data and fake news hint at the key issues of freedom and security, self-determination and external control – of the individual and of political systems – that arise in connection with the impacts of the digital revolution on society and democracy, but without adequately capturing them.

  • Christiane Wendehorst

    Rapid developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) are forcing us to discuss ethical guidelines for using it as quickly as we can. Under no circumstances must people become objects, either the objects of AI or in the eyes of people using AI.

  • Clemens Maria Schuster

    Digital industrialisation is characterised by scaling, networking, directness and immediacy. Because of its historic responsibilities, Europe is able to contribute not only the digital-liberal economic order of the platform economy but also aspects of democracy and ethics, as well as their ecosocial implementation in society.

  • Gerhard Krachler

    A vehicle’s total CO2 balance can only be objectively evaluated and regulated in a way that leads to real benefits for the climate by digitalising and linking the different sections of the supply chain.

  • Peter Rosegger

    Digitalisation is leading to a critical rethink about the Neolithic Revolution. Blind confidence is just as misplaced as burying our heads in the sand. The “Geist & Gegenwart” event is a high-profile laboratory for finding humanity in digitalisation and democracy in a global context.

  • Robert Schischka

    Digitalisation affects all areas of life – whether as a conscious decision or as the result of processes controlled by others. Unfortunately, we often only realise how dependent this makes us on the permanent availability of the IT infrastructure when this lifeline of the digital society fails.

  • Muckenhuber Johanna

    The digital transformation is happening. From the point of view of social sciences and psychology, we should play an active role in shaping it. We need to analyse the opportunities and risks for the individual in society to ensure that digital Europe continues to advance in the interests of people.

  • Manfred Prisching

    What we have not yet understood is the sudden rupture in our history. It is not a radical development; not an advance in productivity; it is not the information society; it does not simply mean more pictures, more bytes, more channels, more networking. Digitalisation is all this and much more.

  • Leodolter Werner

    Digitalisation is also changing trust as one of the foundations of our society. With all the “deep fakes” and so on, can we still agree at all on what actually “is”? The vision is for artificial intelligence and digitalisation to make human intelligence more valuable than ever. Europe can (help) make that happen!

  • Ingrid Brodnig

    Europe must develop its own vision for the digital era and answer the following questions: how can we maintain European values such as civil rights? And how can we ensure that the Internet enriches as many citizens as possible, and not just a few digital giants?

  • Peter Sloterdijk

    “Problems of identity are more prevalent than ever before. All the differences between people that are woven together to create modern society are in turmoil. All the existing dichotomies have started to shift, everything is in a state of flux, but not in the way that Heraclitus meant. I harbour a suspicion that there must

  • Wilhelm Krautwaschl

    In 2019, the former bishop’s residence of Seggau Castle is hosting “Geist & Gegenwart” for the eighth time, this year on the theme of “Das digitale Europa. Digital Europe”. This interdisciplinary forum in a European format takes place close to Austria’s borders with Italy, Slovenia and Hungary, and addresses questions relating to the boundaries between

  • Ina Wagner

    Experience shows that the potential for automation is vastly overestimated and that the need to involve human expertise in the development of technical systems is not taken seriously enough.

  • Thomas Mayer

    All of Europe has undergone radical change in the last 30 years as a result of three major upheavals: firstly, liberation and the end of division as a result of the fall of the Iron Curtain; secondly, digitalisation and thirdly, globalisation. We are currently all battling with the complex consequences of this new realm of

  • Winkler Stefan

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently suffering from exaggerated expectations. In many ways, AI will never be able to replace people completely. Instead, the challenge is to improve the way users and AI work together.

  • Antonella Mei-Pochtler

    The digital transformation offers all kinds of new possibilities, opportunities and challenges for the whole of society – primarily of a social nature. We must therefore have a public debate to learn how to handle them responsibly, in order to bring about an improvement for as many people as possible in their everyday life, work

  • Martin Engelberg

    We are in the middle of a digital revolution. To it we owe positive developments in almost all areas of life. Our everyday lives are constantly being transformed. Yet fear of technological progress is the worst advisor for us Europeans. Both in Austria and at European level, policy-makers are working on a digital Europe in

  • Wolfgang Bartosch

    The advance of digitalisation is unstoppable and we must take care that the digital divide does not become ever wider. Education is the best “inoculation” against the risk of unemployment.

  • Elisabeth J. Nöstlinger-Jochum

    The transition from specialised AI to a super­intelligence is getting close. There is therefore an urgent need for a code of ethics for the era of AI – a digital humanism that involves the constructive interaction between humans and digital machines including a future superintelligence.

  • Rotter Franz

    The implications of the digital transformation are having a disruptive effect on power relationships in global and regional competition. System boundaries in the market environment that have built up historically are being broken down. The basis for a successful digital transformation within a company is, firstly, to have an efficient skills network, and, secondly, to

  • Christian Derler

    Increasing interconnection enormously increases the potential areas for attack. At the same time, dependency is increasing because systems are becoming ever more complex. Yet freedom from errors remains as remote a prospect as ever. This means that information security is a key element of digitalisation.

  • Peter Umundum

    Industry 4.0 presents logistics, like many other sectors, with some entirely new challenges, but it also opens up immense opportunities. To remain competitive in this environment, it is essential to be fast and innovative. Recent years have shown that we are moving in the right direction with our “last mile” initiatives, but we must not

  • Peter Schöggl

    Mobility is changing, with automated driving for increased safety and convenience, possibilities for new in-vehicle activities and hybrid and electric vehicles to reduce emissions. These developments pose major challenges for development and marketing; at the end of the day, customers must buy the cars.

  • Leopold Neuhold

    Digitalisation reinforces the tendency to confuse objectives and the means of achieving them, so that the claim that “people mean everything” threatens in reality to become “people are the means to an end”. This gives even greater importance to the ethical question.

  • Peter Sloterdijk

    “During the 20th century, the filter of eternity which stabilised our world view for so long gradually fell away. And this is undoubtedly a genuinely modern phenomenon: the changes have accelerated so much that they become noticeable within our own lifetimes.” (Peter Sloterdijk “Die Sitten verwildern, die Gerechtigkeit ist obdachlos [Morals are running wild, justice

  • Stefan Mangard

    The huge potential of new digital technologies is inextricably linked with the subject of information security. Research in this field is the key to establishing open technologies and standards which will combine security, privacy and new business models.

  • Heinz Mayer

    Digitalisation now affects all areas of life. Data collection and the rapid availability of data are the backbone of the global economy and also of our private lives. Modern information technologies, and digital networking that is advancing in giant strides, offer tremendous convenience and many new opportunities. Artificial intelligence in the form of learning systems

  • Katharina Scherke

    Technology is never good or bad in itself – it all depends what people do with it. The same is true of digital technologies.

  • Antonella Mei-Pochtler

    The life of every single individual is affected and changed by digitalisation. How can we ensure that sufficient attention is paid to the human dimension of the transformation?

  • Andreas Gerstenmayer

    Digitalisation is essential for the industrial and economic development of Europe. Europe must lead the way as a trendsetter for regional development in the European context and as a proactive partner for the other regions of the world.

  • Wolfgang Burtscher

    More than ever before, we depend on research and innovation and on modern technology. It is only through them that we can find solutions to the pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change, or ensure that development is sustainable.

  • Spiekermann-Hoff Sarah

    If we do not establish a positive concept of humanity and digital business models that are compatible with that, then we will find ourselves subject to a neo-liberal concept of humanity that is not at one with the concept of Europe and that undermines our democracies.

  • Markus Mair

    The digital world requires quality awareness and ethics all the more now that “fake news” and “alternative facts” have come sharply into focus in recent years. This is fortunate for people who put conscientiously and thoroughly researched material on the Internet, because they will enjoy greater awareness and stronger confirmation of the value of their

  • Ladewig Katharina

    Digitalisation in healthcare also throws some central ethical issues into confusion. Medical ethics, with their insistence on patient autonomy, come up against information ethics, which are to do with moral aspects of using new information and communication technologies. How can e-health function in this context?

  • Karl P. Pfeiffer

    Big data and the methods of artificial intelligence make precision medicine and personalised medicine possible for the first time. Providing care by telemedicine will become an integral part of the healthcare system.

  • Karl P. Pfeiffer

    • eHealth can substantially improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare • eHealth can support personal health management • Digital medical files are becoming your personal health record

  • Norbert Mayer

    Is there a future for analogue media? That is the wrong question. How necessary are they? When more and more people get their information exclusively from digital giants such as Facebook, when US President Trump publishes his “truth” as a Tweet, it is reassuring to know that printed material can be a relatively reliable source

  • Gerhard Krachler

    Digitalisation and the interlinking of supply and demand across different industries are the basis for new mobility concepts in passenger and freight transport which will reduce traffic congestion and, as a consequence, environmental pollution.

  • Robert Schischka

    The security and availability of IT systems are key factors which must be taken into account right from the start of the planning process. However, unless you are an expert, assessing these criteria is difficult and often not at all transparent. Quality seals and certifications can help but themselves cause a series of new problems.

  • Norbert Mayer

    Specialists in the digital world tell billions of people the so-called truth: the US corporations Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and the like dominate the market, promising unlimited communication. In truth, their interest is in the consumers whom they control totally.

  • Leopold Neuhold

    Digitalisation is associated with indirectness. What implications does this indirectness have for decision-making?

  • Heinz Mayer

    Innovations in information and communication technology (ICT) are, firstly, being reflected in new products and are therefore opening up entirely new markets. Secondly, ICT is enabling the product development process to be as efficient as possible in the light of the Industry 4.0 concept. In both areas, Graz and Styria as a whole have proved

  • Khinast Johannes G.

    The digitalisation of Europe is advancing at enormous speed – and this is offering pharmaceutical companies the chance to communicate directly and frequently with individual patients for the first time. The development of intelligent medical products is helping to increase the quality of life and the life expectancy of patients, significantly and for the long

  • Ewald Verhounig

    Digitalisation is spurring on structural change and transforming our economic system for ever at enormous speed. However, it should not be seen as a threat for that reason, but rather as an opportunity that must be seized in the interests of economic growth, employment and prosperity.

  • Antonella Mei-Pochtler

    In times of rapid change and ever-advancing digitalisation, it is all the more important to safeguard the competitiveness of Austria and Europe by charting an appropriate and sustainable course, to guarantee the affluence and quality of life of future generations.

  • Martin Engelberg

    Artificial intelligence is driving the greatest change since the Industrial Revolution. Data is already being treated as “the new oil”. It is therefore all the more important for us to place this development in an ethical context, so that this aspect can be taken into account from the start. Policy-makers are aware of their great

  • Markus Mair

    We live in a time when part of being successful is being able to convey your message skilfully, and being smart about balancing the traditional and the trendy – i.e. digital and analogue. Making digital services even better in future calls for constant innovation and endless curiosity about technological developments, without losing sight of the

  • Wolfgang Pribyl

    The JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH carries out top-level international research and plays a key role in technology and knowledge transfer, both nationally and internationally. Handling research, technology and innovation responsibly is a high priority. That is why JOANNEUM RESEARCH has been involved in the “Geist & Gegenwart” Whitsun Dialogues for many years. The theme of

  • Philipp Amann

    Security by design, privacy by design and resilience by design must be guiding principles if organisations and society as a whole want to be better able to withstand present and future cyber threats.

  • Schinagl Wolfgang

    Artificial intelligence is a marketing term. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will only be possible once we have created artificial consciousness.

  • Jeremias Prassl

    Technology is changing the world of work – whether for better or worse depends on our choices. The future of work isn’t something that is happening to us: we need actively to shape it.

  • Christiane Wendehorst

    The widely-heard lament about discrimination by algorithms, biased training data and black-box effects is understandable but one-sided: we should seize on this development as an opportunity to identify and minimise the weaknesses in all decision-making, including by humans.

  • DATLER_Bernd © ASFINAG-Felicitas-Matern

    Individual mobility will continue to have an important place in future, even in a multimodal context. The digitalisation of the infrastructure is supporting the introduction of automated vehicles and enabling safer and more efficient mobility. Customers can use the data that is being produced to make informed mobility decisions.

  • Birgit Kolb

    Digital technologies are a huge opportunity for humanity that we must use for the good. Never was it so easy for an individual to be globally active. However, this opportunity also brings with it great responsibilities and it is essential that we are aware of these.

  • Manfred Prisching

    Digitalisation means neither euphoria nor the apocalypse. To a great extent, it is unimaginable. It cannot be compared with Gutenberg or television; nor with the Reformation or the commencement of the modern era; nor yet with the wave of democratisation after the First World War; or with the introduction of assembly line production. It is

  • Ana Alibegova

    Shaping and re-shaping who and what we are today, we should never forget the big “why”. And in that tiny letters lies the direction in which we should all go.

  • Heinz Mayer

    Despite the continuing truth of Moore’s Law that computing speeds double every two years, recent years have seen more evolution than revolution in computer science. Current expectations among scientists are that the relevance of Moore’s Law and this evolutionary phase are coming to an end. The methods of artificial intelligence and cyber-security will be implemented

  • Christian Lagger

    Borders in Europe have become relative. In fact not only in Europe but worldwide. As a result of digital media and digitalisation, Europe is in the world and the world is in Europe. This applies to quasi-real presence in the political, social, cultural, economic and medical arenas and elsewhere. The digital world has become a

  • Markus Fallenböck

    When it comes to digitalisation, Europe and Austria need to stop reacting from a defensive position. For this to happen we need training for creative – and radically innovative – minds. And freedom for start-ups to operate without excessive regulation.

  • Spiekermann-Hoff Sarah

    Digital Europe only stands a chance if it charts its own course, if it builds its own data space that is directly controlled by European democratic institutions.

  • Elisabeth J. Nöstlinger-Jochum

    Asimo, my companion! When I am old, you will look after me. You will pass me my food, hand me drinks, organise my medication. Perhaps you will read to me, make me laugh. In the end you will wash me and apply cream and perfume. Unembarrassed, I shall let all this happen. Will I also

  • Clemens Maria Schuster

    It has never been easier for creative practitioners, artists and cultural businesses to take advantage of the current, contemporary digital changes. Investment costs are falling, the entry hurdles are lower, but at the same time the struggle for attention and active engagement is tougher than ever.

  • Ladewig Katharina

    Digitalisation in healthcare faces numerous challenges. Firstly, the rapid changes in products and services associated with e-health and telemedicine are unstoppable and will increasingly be demanded by patients. Secondly, because of the strict data protection guidelines, the healthcare industry in Germany is one of the least digitalised sectors in the country. What are the possible

  • Christopher Drexler

    Making artificial intelligence – in whatever form – usable by society is a complex balancing act that involves utilising forward-looking development opportunities while also putting the necessary boundaries in place. We need to approach these issues with great sensitivity and in a spirit of open-mindedness.

  • Ana Alibegova

    The Fourth Industrial Revolution is already knocking on the door. We will question time and space and cities, not the companies, will be competing against other cities for the top talents. One third of the skills we have today, won’t be as important in 5 years from now. And empathy will be the most important

  • Schubert Maximilian

    Fake news and hate speech are not new phenomena, but the Internet enables both to spread far more quickly and more widely than before. It is therefore important not only for Internet companies to fulfil their responsibilities but also for the foundations of digital media skills to be laid while children are still at nursery

  • Charlotte Stix

    Digitalisation and AI know no national borders. That is why it is important to take a global perspective from the start and work together to design a strategy that is advantageous for everyone. The European Union has some important lessons to teach others here.

  • Martin Engelberg

    Digital change must take place; a digital Europe is our future. Notwithstanding all the benefits that current technological developments deliver, it is essential that we also talk about current challenges and trend-setting decisions from an ethical perspective.

  • Kriesche Richard

    the children of the modern age, who have been able to develop as individuals and eventually discover themselves, will now have to undergo a radical rebuilding process if they are to survive in the digital modern age in future. they will have to shape their identities not as a unique individual but as a being

  • Ladewig Katharina

    The growing use of technology and digitalisation in the healthcare industry has implications not only for the industry itself but also for doctors’ training. Doctors are taught too little, if anything at all, about artificial intelligence and big data. Yet this is urgently needed, because patients are increasingly challenging doctors on these issues. How fast

  • Spiekermann-Hoff Sarah

    Progress requires wisdom and courage – machines lack both.

  • Christiane Druml

    Digitalisation is the defining process of this decade and it needs to be the subject of comprehensive interdisciplinary and international debate. Ethics plays a crucial part in this: innovation must be pursued without detriment to people’s integrity and human physical and psychological wholeness.

  • Barbara Eibinger-Miedl

    In what is now the eighth “Geist & Gegenwart” Whitsun Dialogue, we turn our attention to the prospects for Europe in a digital age. In Styria, research and development accounts for more than five percent of regional gross domestic product, making it one of the leading research regions in Europe. Our universities, research institutes and

  • Sabine Köszegi

    AI systems have the potential to bring fundamental change to our lives in many ways. Only the responsible development, implementation and use of AI systems, in accordance with ethical principles and values, can ensure that everyone benefits from this technology.

  • Stefan Thurner

    We have shown with our research that a whole new kind of medicine could emerge based on health data. We can see, virtually in real time, which illnesses correlate with others, which therapies work and which preventive measures would be the most efficient for avoiding secondary conditions and the associated suffering and costs. We can

  • Judith Denkmayr

    The (social) web enables any user to become a potential publisher; the traditional gatekeepers have lost much of their reach and relevance. People often talk nowadays about the fragmentation of society. Whether this trend marks the end of democracy or just the start of a different kind of democracy is too little debated, or in

  • Stark Gerhard

    Our understanding of eHealth is changing rapidly from the general digitisation of processes to the use of digital technologies in health and knowledge management (big data, clinical decision support software…) in medicine.

  • Johanna Pirker

    It is no secret that the games industry has been making more money than Hollywood for a long time. It must be our objective to strengthen this industry, and education and research in this field, here in Austria as well, and to take advantage of the potential for the technological cornerstones of this industry to

  • Wutscher Werner

    Business Angel and founder of New Venture Scouting, a consulting firm that builds bridges between startups and established businesses. Expert in public administration, food production and trade and green tech. Previously in senior management positions at Agrana, REWE and the Austrian Federal Administration.

  • Günter van Aalst

    Digitalisation offers real solutions in the form of inter-sectoral network structures for telemedicine, the sharing of treatment decisions, the application of artificial intelligence and the digital use of patient data.

  • Charlotte Stix

    The concept of Europe entails addressing and preserving fundamental rights and values. These should also influence the digitalisation of our world and the development of artificial intelligence (AI). If that happens, Europe can develop into a leading force: AI with people at the centre.

  • Elisabeth J. Nöstlinger-Jochum

    Robo Nanny, Working Assistant, Geminoid robots are the assistants of tomorrow. Humans of flesh and blood still find it hard to accept the soulless machines. Set against the enormous efficiency gain is the loss of humanity.

  • Alexander Wrabetz

    Digitalisation brings new challenges and opportunities for the media, too. If we are to drive forward digitalisation, we need regulatory “liberalisation” across Europe for all public broadcasters so that they can compete on equal terms with their globally operating rivals.

  • Alexander Wrabetz

    Naturally, the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) must also change, from a traditional broadcaster to a platform company. However, to do so it needs different framework conditions, for example in relation to streaming, the cloud, IP and the use of blockchain technologies. The ORF must be allowed to use all of these. We are not only

  • Michael Hofbauer

    In the future, robots and humans will increasingly work with and alongside one another. The physical safety of humans is of paramount importance here. But is that enough? What conditions must robots meet if we humans are to accept them as trustworthy partners/assistants?

  • Günter van Aalst

    Modern care structures require interdisciplinary, networked cooperation and the use of digital information and communication technologies. Work together for more efficient treatment!

  • Günter van Aalst

    The self-sovereign patient expects that the digital healthcare world will deliver fast, local, quality-oriented treatment based on interdisciplinary cooperation, access to expertise and transparency, and that data will be both available and used.

  • Schinagl Wolfgang

    The most interesting hypothesis at the moment is that artificial consciousness is an algorithm.

  • Tim Cole

    Why do some companies find it so difficult to get to grips with the changes of the digital age, while others succeed? Why is Apple now worth more than GE, Wal-Mart, GM and McDonald’s combined? And the big question: why is there not a single company in Europe that can take on the GAFAs –

  • Franz Lackner

    In my encounters with confirmation candidates, I repeatedly notice how much the world in which we live – and in particular the world in which young people live – has changed as a result of digitalisation. Partly – and this is undisputed – for the good: distances are overcome, information is available at the press

  • Bernhard Pörksen

    In an age when the authority of traditional journalism is vanishing, the shouting of the “lying press” is getting louder and news can be converted into a swirl of information confetti, everyone has become both a broadcaster and the gatekeeper of their own rights. And now the irate citizen, who previously raged in lonely isolation,

  • Judith Denkmayr

    The fear of possible manipulation in public debate should not tempt us to demand countermeasures which would do real damage to democracy.

  • Clemens Maria Schuster

    Machines lack empathy, the ability to share the feelings of another – one of the few human attributes that cannot currently be simulated with either artificial intelligence, machine learning or big data – and therefore they lack the ability to enjoy and indulge in cultural or artistic pleasures.

  • Norbert Mayer

    Algorithms are practical. These magic formulae allow the digital industry to operate with unprecedented precision. They put it in the position to use big data in such a way that the “transparent citizen” is already becoming a reality. There is no limit to the opportunities for manipulation.

  • Iris Eisenberger

    We should be regulating new technologies at a time when they are not yet firmly embedded in our society and when we as a society can still help to influence them. We need legal instruments that are capable of coping with the multiple opportunities presented by new technologies and will at the same time enable