TU Wien Informatics

Statement of the Digital Humanism Initiative on ChatGPT

  • 2023-03-28
  • Public Lecture
  • Event
  • AI

Following the recent occurrence of ChatGPT, Helga Nowotny and George Metakides will outline a possible new online world.

Statement of the Digital Humanism Initiative on ChatGPT

  • This is an online-only event.
    See description for details.

This online talk by Helga Nowotny (Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria and Former President of the ERC) and George Metakides (President of Digital Enlightenment Forum, Visiting Professor, University of Southampton) will be moderated by Hannes Werthner (TU Wien Informatics).


The release of ChatGPT has stirred worldwide enthusiasm as well as anxieties. It has triggered popular awareness of the far-reaching potential impact of the latest generative AI, which ranges from numerous beneficial uses to worrisome concerns for our open democratic societies and the lives of citizens.

This development offers an unexpected, but welcome, occasion to explain to the wider public and policy-makers what AI tools like ChatGPT are and how they work; to highlight beneficial uses, but also to raise concerns about its considerable risks, especially for liberal democracies; to underline the urgency for public discussion, society-wide response and the timely development of appropriate regulation; and to argue that academic research needs a fair chance to set research directions independently of the large corporations and their huge investments that are now being poured into further commercial exploitation.

PDF: Statement of the Digital Humanism Initiative

About Helga Nowotny

Helga Nowotny is Professor emerita of ETH Zurich and Former President of the European Research Council, ERC. Currently she is Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria and Visiting Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her active engagement in scientific advisory boards includes the Walling Falls Foundation; Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings ; Complexity Science Hub Vienna (Chair); Centre de la Recherche Interdisciplinaire, CRI, in Paris; Institut des Etudes Avancées, Paris and others. She has received numerous awards from Academies of Science and Honorary Doctorates from Universities in Europe and abroad, most recently an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oxford and the Leibniz- Medal from the BBAW in Berlin. Her latest book publications are „The Cunning of Uncertainty“ (2015) and „An Orderly Mess“ (2017).

About George Metakides

George Metakides is visiting professor at the University of Southampton, Adjunct Professor at the European University of Cyprus, President of the Digital Enlightenment Forum, and Advisor to several international organizations. He is involved in the analysis of the economic, political and social impact of digitization, related cybersecurity, data protection and regulatory issues and the promotion of international cooperation towards a digital ecosystem respecting shared human values.) With a Ph.D. in Mathematical Logic earned from Cornell University in 1971, he pursued an academic career at MIT, Cornell and Rochester University before returning to Greece as Chair of Logic at the University of Patras. Since 1984 he has held senior positions with responsibility for Research & Development policy, funding and international co-operation in European institutions including the Directorship of the ESPRIT program He has contributed to the establishment of international institutions (including the launch of the World Wide Web consortium in 1993), has received a number of awards and honorary degrees and is a corresponding member of several National Academies.


We are looking forward to seeing you:

  • Participate via Zoom (Password: 0dzqxqiy).
  • The talk will also be live-streamed and recorded on the DIGHUM YouTube Channel.
  • For further announcements and information, please visit the DIGHUM website, which also provides slides and recordings of all our past events.


Digital Humanism deals with the complex relationship between man and machine. It acknowledges the potential of Informatics and IT. At the same time, it points to related apparent threats such as privacy violations, ethical concerns with AI, automation, and loss of jobs, and the ongoing monopolization on the Web. The Corona crisis has shown these two faces of the accelerated digitalization—we are in a crucial moment in time.

For this reason, we started the DIGHUM Lecture Series, a new initiative with regular online events to discuss the different aspects of Digital Humanism. We will have a speaker on a specific topic (30 minutes) followed by a discussion of 30 minutes every second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 PM CEST. This crisis seriously affects our mobility, but it also offers the possibility to participate in events from all over the world—let’s take this chance to meet virtually.


Find our faculty’s latest contributions on the topic of ChatGPT here.

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