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What can Responsible Innovation learn from Science Fiction?

What can Responsible Innovation learn from Science Fiction?

Written by Nina Peitler | Reviewed by Barbara Hofleitner

Created on: 10 Mar 2021 | Updated on: 10 Mar 2021

News category: "News on Living Innovation"

Marc Elsberg, bestselling Austrian author: What can Responsible Innovation learn from Science Fiction

Our guest in this week's Responsible Innovation Story is Marc Elsberg. He is the author of international bestsellers such as "Blackout", "Zero", "Helix" and "Gier" (English "Greed"), which all sold millions of copies worldwide and recently published a new book, which critically observes what happens when fiction becomes reality. By building on a strong scientific background and focusing on the consequences of key technologies, his books appeal to a broad audience. For him, digital innovation requires thinking ahead and monitoring of digital technologies.

“Surveillance exerts great conformity pressure, which leads to self-censorship and aggression. This is a danger for an open and diverse society.”

The comfort offered by digital technologies causes people to become more compliant. This also leads to decreased innovation capability.

“I am surprised that the economy does not respond more strongly to this impediment of creativity, as their competitiveness is built on innovativeness.”

Can digital technologies improve human behavior?

“As there are apps that enable users to make better decisions, we outsource human competences to Artificial Intelligence tools. By that, people are able to develop new competences. However, the question is: who determines the optimization of the behavior proposed by technologies.”

Our most important insights from this Interview with Marc Elsberg:

  • Conformity pressure, self-censorship and aggression are negative side effects of digital surveillance and lead to decreased innovation capability.
  • However, by delegating tasks to digital technologies, new human competencies can be developed.
  • Responsible Innovation has to ensure control over Artificial Intelligence by understanding the tasks and decisions behind digital technologies.

Enjoy watching the full video with Marc Elsberg at

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