Research Areas

The Centre for Human | Data | Society focuses on three main research areas: The datafication of the Social, Human-Data-Interaction and Human-Centred Socio-Technical Systems. The approach to these research areas is informed by behavioural, cultural, and computational research.

Research Area 1 - Datafication of the Social

The processes of discovering new correlations, patterns, or trends, using statistical and algorithmic techniques to extract, distribute, (re-)produce, and gain knowledge from large amounts of data are commonly referred to as “Datafication”, which has become key to our data-driven world with a vast societal, economic, and scientific impact. The multi-layered interconnections of humans and society with datafication processes in all fields (politics, culture, economy, law) result in mutual influences and interdependencies between the different actors involved. A one-sided focus on the various processes of datafication bears the risk that aspects that are not (or only poorly) captured by data get pushed into the background. In Konstanz, we equally address the state of research in datafication as well as the legal, ethical, and sociocultural possibilities and conditions of our contemporary Data Society, focusing to the same extent on the potential of datafication as well as its downsides.

Research Area 2 - Human-Data Interaction

In trying to understand the relationships between humans, data, and society, it is important to have a close look at the interactions between humans and the data they produce, own, or base their decisions on. It is widely agreed upon that the interactions – and the technical systems enabling them – need to become more reliable, accountable, and trustworthy. To reach this goal, novel ways of human-data interaction have to be developed which make the underlying data and systems transparent and allow humans to understand them, control them, and incorporate their knowledge into them.

Research Area 3 - Human-Centred Socio-Technical-Systems

In the Human | Data | Society, individuals, data, and society interact in their pursuit of specific goals involving the collection, analysis, and processing of data. For a detailed understanding of these interactions, we need to model the complex interplay of humans, data, and society as a socio-technical system, characterising the interactions among the different actors.