The semester started and once again it was time for a student exchange between Students from the Magdeburg-Stendal UAS and the Johannes Kepler University met for a research workshop in Linz, Austria. During a very interesting visit in the ARS Electronica Center, the Museum of the Future which combines innovations in art and technology, we could test different prototypes and see how intelligent artificial intelligence is compared to human intelligence. The exhibition presented e.g. a study that analysed the bias of AI programs in facial recognition. Buolamwini and Gebru found out that there is a clear discrimination in popular programs towards gender and skin color. More importantly, the exhibition raised the question which consequences the digital progress has in this area on our society. With these impressions on our mind we met together with the students and teachers of Linz for dinner.
The next day was dedicated to the students’ presentations. They introduced their preliminary research designs for this semesters. The topics were quite impressive, ranging from e-governance services and digital divide in school to fitness influencers. The group aiming to shed light on the underrepresentation of women in leading positions in the IT sector was granted with the best-proposal award as they convinced the audience of their innovative methodological and feasible organizational design.
What came as a little surprise to the German students was the classroom check-in through the student ID. The Austrian students were advised to register on a card station which was fitted next to the entrance door. Immediately the teachers could see who of the students were present (and who was not). Attending in lectures and seminars is not mandatory in German universities, though highly discussed. Therefore, it was very interesting to see how the obligation to attend classes and university surveillance is conceived.