Knowledge and Society in Times of Upheaval
Convened by: Andreas Eckert (HU Berlin), Simone Lässig (GHI Washington) and Franz Waldenberger (DIJ Tokyo)
The concept of a knowledge society has featured prominently in both academic and public discussions. In recent years, however, it has been supplemented by the internet, digitalization, big data, and the specter of artificial intelligence. While knowledge is always socially constructed, access to knowledge is economically and politically determined. Knowledge and its dissemination define, control and sustain power relations and social rank. In its applied form as technology and skills, knowledge constitutes a productive asset essential for competitive advantage, innovation and growth. But what happens when knowledge becomes data? How do technological innovations transform the relationship of the individual or the community to state and society? How do societies cope with the unprecedented growth of knowledge and the scale of its dissemination and control?