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On new technologies in times of crisis – a debate at the University of Warsaw

Category: Events, II.3.4, Results

On March 14-15, 2024, an international scientific conference “Human Tech Transition: Crises in Mediatized Politics, Society & Economy” was held at the University of Warsaw, attended by more than 130 scholars from nearly 30 countries around the world.

The conference was co-organized by Jagiellonian University, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Maria Curie Sklodowska University in Lublin, Wrocław University and Vilnius University. The researchers debated the coexistence of man and technology in the context of contemporary global crises. Among the issues discussed were the growing importance of artificial intelligence, disinformation in wartime and communication about the climate crisis. The conference was organized within the framework of Activity II.3.4 “Gamification of worlds in the service of modern society in the 21st century” of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” Program, led by the UW Media Studies Laboratory team under the direction of prof. Tomasz Gackowski from the University of Warsaw.

Earlier, as part of the preconference, a workshop for researchers was held at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews on March 13 – one on generative artificial intelligence and another on CLARIN infrastructure. This is the first initiative of its kind, in which important regional universities have united to debate, together with researchers from other foreign academic centers, the importance of media technology in political, social and economic life especially in the context of the crises of modern times. The conference was organized under the patronage of the world’s most important scientific society dealing with media and communication – the International Communication Association (ICA). The event also received the honorary patronage of Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski.

The conference was opened by Prof. Alojzy Nowak, rector of the University of Warsaw; Tomasz Bratek, vice-president of the City of Warsaw; and Prof. Agnieszka Hess, PhD, vice-president of the Polish Society for Social Communication.

During the dozens of panel discussions, the following topics were discussed, among others:

  • Communication in times of war – new media, old strategies
  • Manipulation using artificial intelligence
  • Disinformation, polarization and populism in the context of health communication
  • Media and the discourse of climate change
  • Disinformation in social media
  • Digital public sphere in the context of algorithmization and datafication

In addition to panel discussions, conference participants also heard plenary lectures given by world-renowned researchers. Post-conference publications are also scheduled.

Check out: a detailed program of the event.

More information is available on the conference website: https://htt.events/.