Beyond the horizon
The brief topic profiles , which have now been published for the first time following a decision by the members of parliament, are short presentations of current TA-relevant topics. They are the result of the open horizon scanning, with which technological trends have been continuously observed and placed in the context of social debates since 2014. The scientific and technical background and the expected future development, the foreseeable social and political relevance as well as considerations for a possible in-depth treatment of the respective topic by TAB are presented in a compact form (on 5 to 12 pages). The respective bibliography not only discloses the sources, but also offers interested readers suggestions for further reading.
The brief topic profiles provide impulses in the topic identification process of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment (ABFTA). From the topic profiles of this and last year, the ABFTA has selected one each for in-depth processing by the TAB in the form of TA preliminary studies: in 2016 the much-noticed topic »Social Bots«, in 2017 the topic »Legal Techs - algorithmic legal advice«, which will be processed from December this year.
Open Horizon Scanning is designed as a combination of qualitative, software-based data analysis and an expert-based process. As a result, it combines the advantages of in-depth expertise from our experts with the benefits of a high sample size of coded text passages from popular science sources and leading media in the printed press, as well as foresight reports, internet blogs and scientific articles.
The basis of the 2017 topic short profiles was formed by 1,521 sources (2016: 1,027) and from these around 7,528 (2016: 6,993) coded quotations (as a cumulative source base), which were systematically examined and processed in the form of qualitative content analyses. In the process, the topics finally elaborated were condensed in several stages and evaluated in terms of their relevance, and elaborated in an iterative process by multi-member teams of authors from VDI/VDE-IT in close coordination with the TAB core team.
The topic profiles 2017 (availabl only in German as »Themenkurzprofile«):
- Autonome Logistiksysteme für Ballungsräume (Autonomous logistics systems for metropolitan areas)
- Legal Techs – algorithmische Rechtsberatung (Legal Techs - algorithmic legal advice.)
- Wettlauf in eine neue Weltraumära (Race to a new space era)
- Neue Weltordnung – digitale Plattformunternehmen als neuartige Nationen (New world order - digital platform companies as new nations)
- Voice Computing – allgegenwärtige Spracherkennung (Voice computing - ubiquitous speech recognition)
- Welt ohne Bargeld – Veränderung der klassischen Bezahl- und Bankensysteme (World without cash - changing traditional payment and banking systems)
- Geschlossene hydroponische Agrarsysteme (Closed hydroponic agricultural systems)
- Microtargeting: psychometrische Analyse mittels Big Data (Microtargeting: psychometric analysis using Big Data)
The topic profiles 2016:
- Digitale Dividende – bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen (Digital dividend - unconditional basic income)
- Digitale Nachlassverwaltung (Digital estate management)
- Fleisch 2.0 – unkonventionelle Proteinquellen.(Meat 2.0 - unconventional protein sources )
- Netzkolonialismus (Net colonialism)
- Parental Control – elterliches Monitoring und Tracking (Parental Control - parental monitoring and tracking)
- Personal Carbon Trading – neue Potenziale durch Digitalisierung? (Personal Carbon Trading - new potentials through digitalization?)
- Predictive Policing
- Social Bots