Digitalisation of Working Worlds
Conceptualising and capturing a systemic transformation
The interdisciplinary DFG priority programme “Digitalisation of Working Worlds” aims to empirically capture the fundamental change in the working world that can be observed in the course of digitalisation while placing this change in a historical context and analysing it from a social-scientific perspective.
Industry 4.0 and Platform Economy
“Industry 4.0”, “Work 4.0” or “New Work” – digitalisation is increasingly changing our working world. The Covid crisis shed a glaring light on this fact: Whether we look at working from home or at critical infrastructure professions, many things in the crisis would not have been possible without digitalisation. For several years, science, business and society have been thinking about the extent to which digitalisation is changing our working world. Which professions and jobs are being made redundant and which new tasks and competences are needed? The rise of tech behemoths such as Google, Facebook or Amazon leads to questions for established sectors and proven business models – but also for policy-makers when it comes to regulations.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly networking the physical and digital realms as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence enable new dimensions of automation: From lightweight robots in the industrial sector to wearables in logistics. From predictive maintenance in large technical facilities to humanoid robots or chatbots used by banks and insurance companies in customer service. From the use of drones in agriculture to machine learning in medicine. From self-driving transport vehicles to learning systems in human resources or finance departments. From automated text creation and processing in journalism or legal fields to voice recognition of emotions in call centres.
Focus on Transformation
Everywhere you look, digitalisation is changing work and how work is organised. And everywhere in society we are discussing the consequences for the labour market and employment, for education and learning, and for the working conditions of employees and individual self-employed persons. For years, controversial discussions and applied research have been carried out to discover how dramatically and fundamentally this is also transforming work and society.
The priority programme 2267 is looking into not individual technologies or cross-sections of the working world but instead the changes in working society as a whole. With interdisciplinary basic research, we ask whether the socio-technical process of digitalisation has the characteristics of a systemic transformation. In more than 15 individual projects, historians, social scientists and economists are investigating not only the consequences of the transformation, but also its complexity and contradictions as well as its varying dynamics.