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Digital Truths? Between skepticism towards science and confidence in technology

On September 26th there was a special trip in the DRESDEN-concept Science Tram from 5 pm, which especially aimed at participants of the summer schools “Henry Arnhold” and “Voice Interaction and Voice Assistant in Health Care” as well as scientists of DRESDEN-concept. Passengers worked in seating groups on various aspects of technology trust and scientific skepticism.

“But Alexa said it’s true!” Information from search engines and virtual assistants is increasingly being used to obtain supposed truths. But just what is the truth and what lies behind the information found using search engines? Do technologies dictate our worldview? If so, how do they influence our work and our relationships? Based on the Henry Arnhold Summer School “The Battle for the Truth. Cultural Institutions at the Centre of Social Polarisation” and the Summer School “Voice Interaction and Voice Assistants in Health Care”, five topics were discussed using an interdisciplinary approach during a special trip aboard the DRESDEN-concept Science Tram:


  • disruptive technologies and their social consequences
  • digital acceleration and knowledge
  • sources of knowledge in the digital age
  • the power of technology
  • the authority of AI // trust in computers.

The passengers, consisting of participants from the Summer Schools and scientists from the DRESDEN-concept Scientific Area Networks (an interdisciplinary networking platform on alternating topics), had the opportunity to select three preferred topics.

During the tram ride through Dresden, participants had the opportunity to discuss these topics in two working groups, facilitated by a moderator, thus transcending the boundaries of their own Summer School. At the same time, participants enjoyed the view from the tram while it traveled past numerous DRESDEN-concept partner institutions and sights. After approximately 90 minutes, the tour ended in front of a pub, where the discussion continued over local beer and food.