Following the interest shown to yesterday’s notes on Konferenz: „Ethik der Digitalisierung“ our intention was today to present you the themes and interventions at the conference in English.
But the feed to the voice of the translators did not work on our box and we are still searching for a solution.
What we can present is the English website of the Federal President speaking about the Launch of the project "The Ethics of Digitalisation", delivering an outline of the project and some insights into the partners’ involvements: The ethics of digitalisation – from principles to practices
We have a draft of his speech
and we have an online version.
And we have received the over voice of the first passage of his opening speech relating to the "most recent events in Eastern Europe. The images and the news that have reached us from Belarus are of dramatic nature. They are deeply moving at the same time..."
His own ideas are worth being highlighted:
Technology is there to serve people and to provide greater scope for self-determination. Virtual reality must not be allowed to become the only reality, we must never allow it to replace our public spaces and human interaction. Digital technology should overcome oppression and relieve poverty, facilitate debate rather than poison it, promote education and awareness, and where possible protect the environment and conserve resources. The spread of digital technology should boost our freedom and break the shackles that confine people where freedom is denied. Digital transformation needs to be in the service of humanity, not the other way round.
But his warning concerning virtual reality does not mean that he did not see - and even praise - its advantages as well. On the occasion of this year’s annual reception for fellows of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation the invitation into the park at Schloss Bellevue  had to be transferred to the internet. And Dr. Steinmeier said:
“The Humboldt Foundation’s Annual Meeting is a wonderful example of everything that can be done on virtual platforms. It shows how valuable digital meetings can be – even though they are no substitute for meeting in real life”
Following the track of this session you will hear those excerpts which were presented in English, including from time to time some introductions in German:
Dr. Sunimal Mendis, Assistant Professor, Tilburg University Law School
Malavika Jayaram, Executive Director, DIGITAL ASIA HUB, Hong Kong
Carlos Souza, Director Institut for Technology and Society. Rio de Janeiro