With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility
With big data comes big responsibility — this is the motto of TechConference’s second edition at Goethe University. After more than 1,200 people attended the first edition of the student-organized conference last year, even more guests are expected this year. High-profile speakers from Google, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM will discuss current issues with students, members of the European parliament, academia, and social organizations.
With the increasing digitalization of everyday life, we continuously generate large amounts of data. How do the leading tech corporations process this sensitive data? Are we paying too much for mostly free search engines and social networks with our private information and analyzable usage behavior? Or should users be grateful to tech corporations for open and free access to information and communication?
The international Online-TechConference on October 8, which is free of charge for guests, will pose these questions to company representatives, academics, and politicians and discuss how a responsible approach to Big Data is possible.
Dr. Stefan Ebner, Head of AI at Google Cloud, will explain what artificial intelligence can already achieve today, beyond the hype and buzzwords. In another keynote, Facebook’s Chief of Staff for Central Europe, Felix Bauch, will discuss how the company behind the social network of the same name, Instagram, and WhatsApp handles highly sensitive user data. Directly from Silicon Valley, tech influencer Aishwarya Srinivasan of IBM will join the conference, as will Microsoft Germany executive board member Andre Kiehne from Munich.
Social networks and digital platforms are competing hard for user’s attention, sometimes using controversial practices. Can there be an “Attention Economy for Good”? Dr. Patrick Breyer, co-founder of the Pirate Party Germany and member of the European Parliament, and author and technology expert Nicole Formica-Schiller will discuss this question in a panel discussion.
“The substantive debate about digitization takes up too little space in the public sphere — especially shortly before the landmark federal election,” said the student organizers of TechAcademy e.V., explaining the initiative. “We want to change that with the TechConference and thus give our young generation a voice in the groundbreaking digitization decisions.”
In addition, the conglomerate Siemens, digital bank ING, controversial Chinese tech company Huawei, discount retailer Lidl, chemical company LANXESS, pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA, as well as venture capitalists from High-Tech Gründerfonds and DB Ventures, renowned AI expert Prof. Iryna Gurevych from TU Darmstadt and startup Optalio will present their perspectives on the conference theme in interactive sessions.
The patron of TechConference 2021 is the president of Goethe University:
“Our university is a place for important social debates — especially the future topic of digitalization,” said Prof. Enrico Schleiff. “I am particularly pleased that TechAcademy student volunteers are once again implementing such a high-profile program at our university and invite you to visit Goethe University virtually on October 8 at the TechConference.”
The TechConference is organized on a volunteer basis by members of the student initiative TechAcademy e.V. At TechAcademy, around 90 students from all fields at Goethe University can learn programming skills in Data Science and Web Development in an innovative concept every semester. For this effort, the students of TechAcademy were recently honored nationwide as “Students of the Year 2021” by the German Association of University Lecturers and the German National Association for Student Affairs. Students from all departments at Goethe University can apply until October 29 on tech-academy.io for the winter semester 2021/22.