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Autonomy and Risk

Autonomy and Risk

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The concept of autonomy is known as the founding ideal of the enlightened individual. In times of digitalization, datafication, and an increasing influx of artificial intelligence into many sectors of society, autonomy has gained new attention. The idea of autonomy – formerly tied exclusively to human actors - is itself called into question, and hence requires a categorical re-location. This goes hand in hand with new challenges in terms of 'Autonomy and Risk', since the relationship between humans and digital technologies is under constant change.

Societal transformation processes and their social, legal, political, economic and cultural consequences and challenges are the core objects of a larger transdisciplinary research project at the University of Bonn, as the potential of expanding, simulating and substituting human agency by technology calls for interdisciplinary collaborations. Particularly the attribution of autonomy to technical objects such as robots, voice assistants, drones or vehicles, will be examined in more detail. The shared research concern is the response to ethical, regulatory, political and cultural issues generated by autonomous technologies. Additionally, specific, solution-oriented recommendations for political security concerns and human rights-related perspectives on so-called 'autonomous' weapon-systems will be part of our research on ‘autonomy and risk’.


Participating Researchers

Philip Engelhardt, M.A.

Research fellow

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