Proceedings of the Weizenbaum Conference 2022: Practicing Sovereignty

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    Digital Inclusion of Low-Literate Adults: Challenging the Sequential Underpinnings of the Digital Divide
    (Weizenbaum Institute, 2023) Smit, Alexander; Swart, Joëlle; Broersma, Marcel
    Contemporary models of digital inclusion and the digital divide assume that developing the digital literacy that enables individuals to participate in society is a sequential and linear process that is more or less similar for all individuals in all contexts and requires basic linguistic skills. This paper challenges these understandings, arguing that such a technical, normative perspective excludes marginalized and disadvantaged publics, such as low-(digital) literate citizens. Based on a longitudinal ethnographic study of low-literate Dutch adults, we show that the often-described causal relation between (digital) literacies, (digital) participation, and (digital) inclusion is not as evident as it seems and neglects the important socio-cultural contexts through which (digital) literacies are often gained and enacted in everyday practice. Consequently, we argue that current conceptualizations of (digital) inclusion and (digital) participation need to be rethought in terms of the limitations, potential, and capabilities of low-literate people.
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    I Am Dissolving into Categories and Labels - Agency Affordances for Embedding and Practicing Digital Sovereignty
    (Weizenbaum Institute, 2023) Pop Stefanija, Ana; Pierson, Jo
    While the notion of digital sovereignty is loaded with a multitude of meanings referring to various actors, values and contexts, this paper is interested in how to actualize individual digital sovereignty. We do so by introducing the concept of agency affordances, which we see as a precondition for achieving digital sovereignty. We understand this notion as the ability to exercise power to, as autonomy and agency for (digital) self-sovereignty, and as power over the infrastructural sovereignty of the privately owned automated decision-making systems (ADM) systems of digital media platforms. Building our characterization of digital sovereignty on an empirical inquiry into individuals' requirements for agency, our analysis shows that digital sovereignty consists of two distinct but interrelated elements - data sovereignty and algorithmic sovereignty. Enabling practicable digital sovereignty through agency affordances, however, will require going beyond the just technical and extending towards the wider societal (infra)structures. We outline some initial steps on how to achieve that.
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    REUSE Software: Making Copyright and Licensing Compliance Easier for Everyone
    (Weizenbaum Institute, 2023) Lasota, Lucas
    Best practices for displaying data and metadata pertaining to software licensing and copyright are currently unharmonized. The multiple competing licensing requirements for communicating the chosen license of a software project and its copyright holders increase the compliance burden on project maintainers, especially for smaller free and open source (FOSS) ones. The "REUSE Software" initiative aims to remediate this situation by defining a set of easy-to-implement best practices for declaring copyright and licensing in an unambiguous, human- and machine-readable way, so that the information is preserved when the file is copied and reused by third parties. REUSE specifications facilitate management policies for digital commons, improving data and metadata communication for individuals, communities, governments, and businesses.
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    Community-Governed and Community-Paid Publishing: Resilient Support for Independent Open Access Journals
    (Weizenbaum Institute, 2023) Wrzesinski, Marcel
    Community-driven open access journals foster the idea of a biblio-diverse publishing ecosystem and challenge the prevalent commercialization of academic publishing. But despite their importance, their existence is threatened. With little to no budget they operate mostly on "gifted labor" (Adema/Moore, 2018, 8) by their editorial teams and free support by public infrastructures. The first part of this article describes the model, key functions, and governance principles of community-driven open access journals within the business of global academic publishing. In promoting fair, resilient, and gratis open access, they contribute to the evolution of an inclusive and biblio-diverse publishing ecosystem. In the second part I will detail ways to support community-driven open access journals, e.g., through substantial funding, coaching, and networking. Following-up on this, I will end with introducing a network developed by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society that provides information materials and increases visibility for these journals.
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    How to Enable Sovereign Human-AI Interactions at Work? Concepts of Graspable Testbeds Empowering People to Understand and Competently Use AI-Systems
    (Weizenbaum Institute, 2023) Wienrich, Carolin; Carolus, Astrid; Latoschik, Marc Erich
    Artificial intelligence (AI) strategies are exhibiting a shift of perspectives, focusing more intensively on a more human-centric view. New conceptualizations of AI literacy (AIL) are being presented, summarizing the competencies human users need to successfully interact with AI-based systems. However, these conceptualizations lack practical relevance. In view of the rapid pace of technological development, this contribution addresses the urgent need to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts of AIL and practical requirements of working environments. It transfers current conceptualizations and new principles of a more human-centered perspective on AI into professional working environments. From a psychological perspective, the project focuses on emotional-motivational, eudaimonic, and social aspects. Methodologically, the project presented develops AI testbeds in virtual reality to realize literally graspable interactions with AI-based technologies in the actual work environment. Overall, the project aims to increase the competencies and the willingness to successfully master the challenges of the digitalized world of work.