Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Intelligent algorithms have radically chan­ ged the way we think, learn, work, play, and live our lives. They determine which news items we see in our social media feeds. They decide which products we are shown in on­ line shops. They translate texts, trade stocks, steer cars, and control machines. These changes pose major challenges for both individuals and societies—challenges that cannot be solved by computer science alone. The Center for Humans and Machines, which was founded in 2019, takes an inter­ disciplinary approach to understanding how machines are shaping human society today and how they may continue to shape it in the future. Researchers from fields such as mathematics, computer science, economics, machine learning, political science, psycho­ logy, and physics work with collaborators from media, arts and humanities to under­ stand the digital revolution, predict uphea­ vals, and shape change. The researchers are primarily concerned with how algorithms and intelligent machi­ nes are changing humans and the environ­ ments around them. How do search engines influence our behavior? How does social media change politics and governance? Can intelligent decision aids make our lives ea­ sier? Information technologies can help to make the world a better place, but they can also limit people‘s ability to make decisions freely. Against this background, the Center for Humans and Machines aims to provi­ de society with a scientific foundation for the discussion and negotiation of rules for dealing with algorithms. Center for Humans and Machines Director: Assoc. Prof. (MIT) Iyad Rahwan, Ph.D. 3

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