BR launches "Homo Digitalis" future project

Homo Digitalis
© Bayerischer Rundfunk

 

Web series and test on the future impact of digitalization

What impact will future technologies such as artificial intelligence, chips in the brain and virtual lovers have on our lives? Now you can find answers at www.homodigitalis.tv. In addition to the Homo Digitalis web series, BR, ARTE and the ORF TV networks have joined forces with Fraunhofer IAO to develop a chat bot that playfully interacts with the user and gives them individual feedback about their possible future.

Homo Digitalis is a seven-part web series accompanied by an interactive test that explores how the digital revolution will affect us as people. The web series is presented by Helen Fares, who takes a journey through the technologies of the future, making virtual friends, controlling a drone with her brain and even attempting to hack her own DNA. Encounters with experts in the U.S., Japan and the UK show that people around the world are asking whether we, the homo sapiens, are becoming a new species – homo digitalis?

Real-time test enables direct comparison with other users

Homo Digitalis is also a scientific experiment. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, BR, ARTE and ORF have developed a fun quiz that looks at the future and provides real time analysis. Users can compare their answers with those of other users and answer questions such as “How will digitalization affect me?” and “Up to what point will I still be human?” What’s more, the quiz is available not only as a test widget on www.homodigitalis.tv but also as a chat bot in Facebook Messenger. All answers will be anonymized before being analyzed by Fraunhofer IAO, and will be published as part of a scientific study in spring 2018. To conclude, the TV documentary Homo Digitalis will be broadcast on BR, ARTE and ORF.

Focus on work, with questions on all aspects of human-robot collaboration

“We want to find out how people are using technology right now and what they want from their digital future,” explains Kathrin Pollmann, who coordinates the project for Fraunhofer IAO. Normally, she assesses how people feel when using digital products at the “User Experience Lab.” The online test in collaboration with BR is another, complementary approach that is based on similar scientific principles. In the section of the test dealing with “The future of work,” the focus is on “human-robot collaboration.” Here, researchers want to examine how humans and robots might work together in the future, and what sort of collaboration humans would consider and accept. “The more people take part in the test, the more meaningful the results and the more they help us to create a digital future that takes human needs into account,” says Pollmann.

Smartpone smoocher or analog Cowgirl?

Further information

 

Homo Digitalis web project

Homo Digitalis is produced by Bilderfest GmbH and the Bavarian broadcasting service, in co-production with ARTE and ORF, and in collaboration with Fraunhofer IAO. On October 20 at 12:15 a.m., BR will broadcast the 30-minute TV documentary “Homo Digitalis – How does connectivity affect you and your life?”, which acted as the inspiration for the Homo Digitalis web project.