© ETH Zürich/Giulia Marthaler

2019/2020

Dirk Helbing, Dr. rer. nat., Dr. h.c.

Professor of Computational Social Science

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Born in 1965 in Aalen, Germany
Studied Physics at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and at the University of Stuttgart


Arbeitsvorhaben

The Digital Revolution: a Fight for the Future of Our Society

In connection with the digital transformation, many imagine computers, the Internet, smart phones, and a more comfortable life. In reality, however, a perfect storm is brewing that could even surpass the impact and scale of the industrial revolution. In recent years, many new digital technologies have spread. Any of these technologies - such as Uber, AirBnB, digital currencies like BitCoin, or self-driving vehicles - could turn entire business models and business sectors upside down. Even established institutions are currently being challenged: besides traditional money, data has become a new currency. Suddenly, we live in an "attention economy", which is fueled with personal data collected by "surveillance capitalism". The fact that "code is law" currently allows one to surpass the legislation of parliaments, and with the methods developed for neuro-marketing one tries to exert behavioral and social control. Taken together, this changes the monetary and economic system, legislation and politics substantially. What are the opportunities and risks for businesses, democracy and human rights? What are the choices that are to be made to ensure that technology helps people manage the challenges of the future successfully and that we will create a trustworthy digital society that respects and protects human dignity? My planned book project will try to reconstruct the technological shifts, politics and discourse related to digitalization as well as the disruptive developments that have resulted from it. It also dares a look into our possible future(s).

Recommended Reading

Helbing, Dirk. Towards Digital Enlightenment: Essays on the Dark and Light Sides of the Digital Revolution. Cham: Springer, 2018.
-. Social Self-Organization: Agent-Based Simulations and Experiments to Study Emergent Social Behavior. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2012.
-. The Automation of Society Is Next: How to Survive the Digital Revolution. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2015.

Publikationen aus der Fellowbibliothek

Helbing, Dirk ( Washington, DC, 2017)
Optimal incentives for collective intelligence

Helbing, Dirk ( London, 2015)
Build digital democracy