54th Digital Dialogue: Social aspects of digitalisation

From left to right: Christina Henrich (Silicon Alps), Harald Raetzsch (IOT40 Systems), Christian Tautschnig (Tautschnig Rechtsanwälte GmbH), Larissa Krainer (Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt)

54th Digital Dialogue: Social aspects of digitalisation

The DiDi in Klagenfurt for the first time!

The 54th Digital Dialogue was all about ethical and moral issues that are becoming increasingly important as digitalisation progresses. For the first time in the history of this successful format, the Digital Dialogue opened its doors to the south. The topic of social aspects of digitalisation was presented, leading to lively discussion in front of a large audience at the Lakeside Science & Technology Park in Carinthia’s capital. The interesting evening was led by Christina Henrich from the Silicon Alps Cluster, who also recorded and organised the 54th edition.

Ethical, legal and global challenges!

During her lecture, Dr Larissa Krainer, associate professor at the University of Klagenfurt and Austrian philosopher, identified five areas of tension that our society must face due to the digital revolution. She gave exciting insights into the multitude of ethical challenges and posed questions such as who will assume ethical and legal responsibility for autonomous, self-organising systems. In addition, due to the explosive nature and importance of this problem, a focus on the topic of “Humans in the Digital Age” is to be established at the university in the coming years.

Coming from a legal perspective, Christian Tautschnig outlined how digitalisation and artificial intelligence can lead to more personal service. Innovations in the legal sector, above all “legal technologies”, could very well reduce costs and lead to better service. Industries that charge by the hour have little interest in making things more efficient. But that’s not the case for this service-oriented and digitally savvy legal expert. The use of automated systems can facilitate legal work processes. This in turn results in less effort spent on research work and more time for and with clients.

Dr Harald Raetzsch, a digitalisation professional from the very beginning, presented his interesting observations in a lively way, drawing on global and economic contexts. Attitudes towards digital applications and technologies vary according to social tensions (private, corporate or government) and according to spheres of influence (USA, China or Europe). In the private sector, indiscriminate use of services and technologies is particularly common. For the most part, users barely inform themselves about the background and consequences. By comparison, the government sector shows differentiated behaviour: the USA dominates in the AI, IoT and big data sectors and is leading the market. China is currently the only serious competitor in the global context. Europe mainly reacts to digital competition with regulations and hidden champions.

The subject is inexhaustible!

The subsequent panel discussion was an animated one. All three speakers agreed that the subject of the social and ethical aspects of digitisation is inexhaustible. “Digital immigrants”, i.e. people who are cut off from digital media and technologies because of their age and regional roots, should have unrestricted access to these technologies. The clarification of legal responsibility if automated technologies fail or even lead to deaths will occupy us for some time to come. In these explosive times, Europe will have a decisive influence on the digital transformation, above all thanks to its strength as a moral and ethical conscience.

After the lively discussion, the event progressed seamlessly into the leisurely networking portion, where numerous conversations and different views and opinions were still actively exchanged. What is certain is that the digital revolution will keep us on our toes both socially and legally over the next few years. We look forward to it!


Christina Henrich

Larissa Krainer (University of Klagenfurt)
Christian Tautschnig (Tautschnig Rechtsanwälte GmbH)

Harald Raetzsch (IOT40 Systems AG)