Humans|​Machines|​Together

Hybrid Societies:
Humans interacting with embodied digital technologies

What is required to enable people to move in concert with robots, highly automated vehicles or virtual avatars, for example, without friction as with other people?

And how must technology be designed to meet these requirements?

Fundamental scientific research into these questions is crucial because in hybrid societies we share public spaces with increasingly autonomous machines

Prof. Georg Jahn

In order for interactions in hybrid societies to be effective and similarly smooth, human capabilities and technological functionalities must be analyzed and harmonized in novel ways.

Prof. Ulrike Thomas

Coordinating our movements with fellow humans is relatively smooth.

In order for interactions in hybrid societies to be effective and similarly smooth, human capabilities and technological functionalities must be analyzed and harmonized in novel ways.

Research into hybrid societies thus contributes to aligning the use of embodied digital technologies in public spaces according to human needs and skills and to advancing the technological innovations required for this.

SHAPING THE INTERACTION BETWEEN PEOPLE AND MACHINES

Autonomous vehicles, teleoperated and autonomously acting robots, drones, intelligent prostheses – all examples of embodied digital technologies. They have more and more functions and can take on an increasing number of tasks. We will encounter them in more places and in different forms. They interact with humans and thus – together with them – form hybrid societies.

SHAPING THE INTERACTION BETWEEN PEOPLE AND MACHINES

The research center “Hybrid Societies” is investigating how spontaneous encounters between people and intelligent technologies in public spaces can run smoothly and coordinated. The core issue is to determine what is necessary to allow people and machines to coordinate their activities and movements in a foresighted manner when they meet, for example, in a park or on the street. What is required to enable people to move in concert with robots, highly automated vehicles or virtual avatars, for example, without friction as with other people? And how must technology be designed to meet these requirements? Fundamental scientific research into these questions is crucial because in hybrid societies we share public spaces with increasingly autonomous machines.

SHAPING THE INTERACTION BETWEEN PEOPLE AND MACHINES

In order to address the yet unsolved challenges and to shape the coexistence of humans and machines in public spaces, it is necessary for a large number of disciplines, from psychology and engineering sciences to mathematics and computer science to the social sciences and humanities, to combine their strengths. The Collaborative Research Centre “Hybrid Societies: Interacting with Embodied Digital Technologies” at Chemnitz University of Technology is funded by the German Research Foundation as a Collaborative Research Centre from 2020 to 2023. An international group of scientists studies the conditions for successful coordination between humans and machines in public spaces. The Collaborative Research Centre Hybrid Societies works in four fields: Sensor and motor capabilities, artificial bodies, shared environments, and intentionality in hybrid societies.

Events and Communication

Asimov entdecken im Fahrradkino

Am 21. September lädt der SFB Hybrid Societies gemeinsam mit dem Fahrradkino Chemnitz e.V. zum Filmschauen an unserem Stadtlabor auf dem Brühl ein. In Kooperation mit dem Cultursommer zeigen wir den Film zum Buch “I, Robot” von Isaac Asimov.

A research stay in corona times

The possibility to cooperate with people and institutions from all over the world has always fascinate me. When I joined the CRC, almost one year ago, I was so happy to hear that international collaborations are strongly recommended and supported. The University of Naples Federico II, invited me to join them during spring 2021 in […]

In all conscience. Or: When the refrigerator buys an orange juice

When we try to mechanize our society, create robots, program artificial intelligence as intelligently as possible and do all this in a way that humans will accept, the focus is primarily on scientific and psychological research. However, it should not be forgotten that people’s trust in a safe coexistence is not strengthened by a trustworthy […]

Scholarships


The CRC “Hybrid Societies” offers One-Year-PhD Scholarships to young scientists to implement research in the context of the CRC and the planning of a CRC-related doctoral project. Details of the scholarship announcement for 2022 are linked below (application deadline: October 1, 2021). We are looking forward to your application!

Team

In order to address the yet unsolved challenges and to shape the coexistence of humans and machines in public spaces, it is necessary for a large number of disciplines, from psychology and engineering sciences to mathematics and computer science to the social sciences and humanities, to combine their strengths. Within the CRC Hybrid Societies more than 70 professors, doctoral candidates, postdocs, and supporting staff are working together.

Publications

Langer, A., Tran, B., & Gaedke, M. (2021). Extending a SKOS-based taxonomy catalog with collaborative features and an interface to provide terminologies to describe research data with interdisciplinary, semantic concepts. https://e-science-tage.virtual-venue.io/session/26/talk/39
Christian Pentzold, C., & Rothe, I. (2020). Science Busking, Recursivity, and Zones of Awkward Engagement in a Large-Scale Research Project on Embodied Digital Technology. https://mediaandparticipation.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/EASST-2020-print-program-abstracts-200825.pdf

Podcast

Epilogue – A new approach to human-machine interaction?

In five episodes, journalist and moderator Thibaud Schremser addressed various key topics of the Collaborative Research Center “Hybrid Societies.”. Now it is time for a résumé. In this episode Prof. Dr. Christian Pentzold, Principle Investigator of the public relations project within the CRC, and Matthias Fejes from the press office of the Chemnitz University of […]
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