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AI - these two letters trigger a wide variety of associations across all sections of society. Expectations of a future in which many of today’s problems will be solved by technological advances as well as fears of the very same advances. One thing is certain: artificial intelligence has a vitally important role to play for each and every one of us, be it in the workplace and in our economic lives, in science or for our social fabric. This is why it is so important to find answers to the many questions, to establish connections and engage in discourse. This is what the Observatory for Artificial Intelligence in Work and Society – or the AI Observatory – is working on with a scientific approach.

The work of the AI Observatory is divided into five fields of action: anticipating effects, administration, legal frameworks, international networking and dialogue. Collectively, these five building blocks enable a design-oriented and multi-perspective approach to the topic of artificial intelligence and are prerequisites for reproducibility, security and progress in the use of this technology.

  • How is AI changing individual jobs, the everyday lives of employees and society in general? How do we integrate AI into people's everyday working lives? In this area of action, we seek to answer these questions with the help of technological impact assessments as well as economic and interdisciplinary analyses. Specifically, we analyse how new AI solutions affect the workplace, for instance, and develop human-centric and responsible solutions for introducing AI systems to organisations. Our social partners, science and international organisations such as the OECD support us in this. A key task in this area is to establish and expand an objective information basis in the field of AI in the workplace and society. These indicators are designed to identify trends promptly and evaluate them.

  • How can AI improve administrative processes for citizens? What criteria are used to select and use  AI applications? How can high quality be guaranteed and administrative processes made comprehensible and fair? These are the central issues in the area of action AI in labour and social administration. We aim to find examples of best practice at national and international level and examine how we can incorporate these into our administrations. We also promote dialogue between administration experts and engage in participatory processes to develop policies for using AI in labour and social administration.

  • 3a. A regulatory framework for AI

    One of the goals of the German Government’s AI strategy is to deliver transparent, comprehensible and secure AI. To achieve this goal, a legal framework must be put in place. This is necessary not just at national level but also at European level. By participating in the AI white paper process, the AI Observatory is helping to formulate a future regulatory framework at EU level. In the regulatory framework action area, we are developing concepts for an ecosystem to ensure the implementation of the future statutory framework and enable the transparent, comprehensible and secure use of AI in the workplace and in society.

    3b. Social technology design

    The social technology design action area addresses the question as to how humans and machines can collaborate in the future and how socio-technological systems will be organised. Humans and AI-based systems will increasingly engage with one another in the future, especially during production processes and in the delivery of services but also in a social context. This marks a fundamental change in the relationship between man and machine and gives rise to new systems. The handing over of decisions to AI-based systems raises ethical, social or legal questions. To ensure that we can navigate this new terrain safely, we will scrutinise existing principles and regulations and formulate new ones where necessary.

  • AI and how we handle it are not just of concern to us in Germany but are topics of discussion worldwide. What European and international regulations and institutions do we need to ensure the responsible use of AI and applications based on it? The area of action entitled Building international and European structures aims to link German considerations and plans on the topic of AI with international structures – from the OECD to the Global Partnership on AI and all the way to the EU. To this end, the AI Observatory cooperates closely with international partners. The goal of these cross-border initiatives is, among other things, to exchange best practices and to establish a common basis of knowledge and evidence to support objective policy formulation. At European and international level, we are committed to the responsible and trustworthy development and use of AI. Our leading partners in this area alongside the EU member states are Japan, the USA and Canada.

  • How do we involve different stakeholder groups in the AI policy debate? How do we make AI usable for all of society? The focus of the Social dialogue and networking action area is to gather all stakeholders around a single table. We want to incorporate as many different segments of the population and perspectives as possible into the work of the AI Observatory and raise their awareness of the numerous facets of the topic. The core task of this action area is to provide a continuous flow of information about relevant developments in the field of AI, but also about the progress of the diverse measures of the AI Observatory. From workshop series to international symposia or research reports – this is where we create the framework for the productive exchange of expertise around the of the Observatory’s wide-ranging AI topics. Our goal is to make the application and development of AI a key social topic that is discussed impartially and openly.

A person is holding a tablet and is looking at some statistics.

Understand

What are the developments and trends in AI applications that we observe in the labour market, workplace, work organisation and society? To understand the developments and consequences of AI and respond in scientific or policy terms, we need key figures. The AI Observatory is continuously further developing this selection. For this reason, we are always interested in suggestions and ideas about additional indicators.

 

AI indicators

Rubrics

  • A microphone points to a voice assistant. A woman holds her hands on it. - Link: Inspiration

    Category

    Inspiration

    Artificial intelligence is many-faceted: its extensive application possibilities are matched by the numerous perspectives on the technology. This is why it is important for us not to analyse and evaluate AI from a single, purely scientific or economic point of view. Instead, we want to gain a more complete understanding of artificial intelligence. To this end, we also examine media, cultural or social trends and remain open to external inspiration.

    6 articles
  • A laptop and a tablet. A person using the tablet. - Link: Knowledge

    Category

    Knowledge

    Even though artificial intelligence is already being used today, we cannot yet anticipate all the effects that this technology will have on work and society. What’s more, AI systems are also evolving dynamically, which makes it all the more important that we continue to monitor and investigate them from a scientific perspective. We not only need innovative research projects to shed a closer light on the different partial aspects of the technology. We also need indicators – or key figures – that can record and evaluate the developments. Only in this way can the introduction of AI systems be designed actively and on the basis of reliable information.

    6 articles
  • [Translate to English:] - Link: Use

    Category

    Use

    Artificial intelligence is no longer a vision of the future but is long since part of the present. AI solutions are already being used in areas of the administration, in research fields and in many companies. This raises the question as to which requirements, principles or regulations should govern the use of artificial intelligence so that it is comprehensible, trustworthy as well as transparent and fair.

    3 articles
  • [Translate to English:] - Link: Cooperation

    Category

    Cooperation

    Knowledge through transparency and cooperation – this also applies to the topic of artificial intelligence. Thanks to dialogue and cooperation – be it at national, European or international level – we are better able to research and therefore understand how AI affects the workplace and society. Therefore, the AI Observatory offers a variety of dialogue formats, is involved in cross-border expert committees and networks with research institutes in other countries.

    4 articles

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