IT& Humanity


In the faculty of humanities, ICT research is addressing four major topics: (1) the impact of ICT on the social and societal live (private, public, and professional context), (2) the design, use and evaluation of ICT tools and environments (e.g. in terms of usability), (3) trust, acceptance and credibility, (4) linguistic refinement of text technology and natural language processing approaches. Projects focus on ICT in the context of the demographic change, eHealth, urban living, mobility, energy, industrial production environments, or e-governance. The research is strongly interdisciplinary oriented and created new and vibrant forms of interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration.


Major Topics IT & Humanity

Impact of ICT on the Social and Societal Live (Private, Public, and Professional Context)

Within modern societies, ICT applications increasingly change vital domains in people’s private, public and professional life. This necessitates a highly sensible treatment of social consequences and factors modelling individual needs and requirements when using ICT services and applications. The research is dedicated to get a deeper and broader insight into the individual and societal consequences of a rapid changing world shaped by technology, e.g., the impact of ICT on socio-cultural and professional patterns, practises and formats or value systems and norms of behaviour.

Design, Use and Evaluation of ICT Tools and Environments (e.g. in Terms of Usability)

The research topic refers to user diversity and the impact of age, gender, user and task type on the experience of ICT applications (how must ICT tools be designed to meet age-, user-, task- and context-related requirements). The research focuses on the investigation of cognitive-ergonomic, visual and communicative principles of ICT design, the development and testing of multimodal help systems and new generations of interfaces (e.g. gesture-based interfaces), and usage barriers. Relevant research questions apply to multimodality (which modality is working for which purpose and user) and the interrelationship of new forms of interaction patterns and modalities (like real-time acting, collaborative communities, shared content, serious virtual games or feedback in mobility and security support).

Trust, Acceptance and Credibility

A highly relevant research issue is the question of trust, acceptance, and credibility of ICT applications and its theoretical conceptualization (models, methods and parameters). Mobile technology is increasingly incorporated in private areas and might overstep personal intimacy limits, raising concerns about privacy, data security and loss of control. Misuse is a highly sensitive issue (e.g. password fishing, stalking, terrorism or misuse of intellectual property). Sensitive and detailed information regarding various topics is available everywhere and anytime. This may implicate both positive effects (productivity, mobility and growth) but also negative effects (violations of privacy, security concerns, infrastructure constraints and user distrust in mobile applications). On the other hand, socio-cultural concepts of trust, perceived security and safety are continuously changing by the use of digital media. In consequence, (ethical, legal, social and cultural) value systems are affected accordingly, which need to be considered in a socially responsibly ICT research.

Linguistic Refinement of Text Technology and Natural Language Processing Approaches

A main research topic addresses the development of linguistic based research methods for the analysis of large text corpora (digital texts, tweets, blogs, etc.). This includes the refinement of natural language processing and text mining methods with linguistic concepts and components, such as linguistic multi-layer annotation systems, as well as new methodological approaches that allow to reconstruct and visualize complex argument topologies semi-automatically. The methods are used for different research fields, such as applied linguistics, opinion-forming in the Internet or acceptance research.



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