Subproject Ö in the SFB 1410 "Hybrid Societies": Knowing, understanding and accepting embodied technologies (Knowing, Assessing, and Engaging with Embodied Technologies)

enlarge the image: Quelle: Jacob Müller/TU Chemnitz
Quelle: Jacob Müller/TU Chemnitz

Shaping the interaction between people and machines

The Hybrid Societies research association is investigating how people and intelligent technologies can interact with one another. At its core, it is about determining what is necessary so that people and machines can coordinate their activities and movements with one another. What is required so that people can coordinate with robots, highly automated vehicles or virtual figures, for example, as smoothly as they do with other people? And how does technology have to be designed so that it meets these requirements? Fundamental scientific research into these questions is important, as we increasingly share our everyday lives in hybrid societies with machines that think and act independently. To the website

The public relations work (sub-project Ö) of the Collaborative Research Center aims at core elements of the changing society, which the SFB 'Hybrid Societies' wants to research and shape. For this purpose, communicative interfaces are provided for mutual exchange with three central target groups: civil society, political actors and decision-makers in industry.

With its three complementary goals (knowing, understanding, accepting), the project goes beyond the usual framework of science communication: It creates a circular exchange process between scientific progress in the research network and its diverse public and social environment.

Autonomous driving, robots in factories, in your own home, drones, intelligent prostheses - all examples of embodied digital technologies. These can do more and more things. We encounter them in more and more places and in different shapes. And they interact with people and thus form hybrid societies with them.

The coordination with our fellow human beings works relatively smoothly. So that the interactions in hybrid societies are effective and run smoothly, human skills and what is technologically feasible must be analyzed and coordinated in a new way. Research into hybrid societies therefore helps to align the use of embodied digital technologies in public spaces with human needs and skills and to advance the necessary technological innovations.

The Public Relations (Ö) project follows a three-dimensional approach: Knowing, understanding and accepting embodied technologies.

Module 1: Knowing - We want to inform about embodied technologies and thus spread and increase knowledge about them and the research involved with them.

Module 2: Understanding - We want to know how embodied technologies are understood and enable society to gain a deeper and more critical understanding of embodied technologies.

Module 3: Accept - It's about getting to know existing ideas, fears and expectations about embodied technologies. With this in mind, we want to make technology accessible in order to show ways to become familiar with it.

The practical implementation of these three modules leads to three tactical elements:

  •  Publicity
  •  Mediation
  •  Experience

These lead to eight work packages:

I to III:

  •  Development of a website, short, reg. updated flyers and more exten. information brochures
  •  Establishing a regular science newsletter and podcast series
  •  Running a science blog with news from the entire SFB, Twitter and Instagram accounts

IV to VI:

  •  Organization of a public lecture series and organization of "town hall meetings"
  •  annual symposia for actors from industry and politics
  •  Participation in an international exhibition / conference
  •  Organization of lab sessions on site in terms of "research you can touch"


  •  Organization of an exhibition (in cooperation)
  •  Operation of a living lab in the city center as a place to experience and try out

The sub-project Ö does not see itself solely as a driver of the communication of the research activities resident in the SFB, it also sees itself as a research project that pursues the perspective of an international media discourse analysis and makes it available for the group.

Head of Project

Prof. Dr. Christian Pentzold

Prof. Dr. Christian Pentzold


Media and Communications
Nikolaistraße 27-29, Room 5.05
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-35701
Fax: +49 341 97-35749

Project Members

 Ingmar Rothe

Ingmar Rothe

Research Fellow

Media and Communications
Nikolaistraße 27-29, Room 5.13
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-35707
Fax: +49 341 97-35749

In order to handle the as yet unsolved challenges and to shape the coexistence of man and machine in public space, it is necessary that a large number of disciplines, from psychology and engineering to mathematics and computer science to the social and human sciences, join forces. A total of 15 sub-projects, two cross-sectional projects and three projects that deal with the coordination of the graduate school, data management and public relations work are involved in the collaborative research center.

The location of the Collaborative Research Center Hybrid Societies is the Technical University of Chemnitz, the sub-project Ö is a project of the Institute for Communication and Media Studies (IfKMW) at the University of Leipzig.

2020 to 2023

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)