Many current technological developments, such as autonomous driving, AI-assisted medical diagnoses or robots designed to help educate children demonstrate the potential to serve a greater cause, but also raise societal and ethical concerns. By explicating normative implications of technologies, Ethics of Technology serves as a rational assessment for deciding how to design, regulate, adopt and cope with the (latest) technological advancements.

VDI-Pod­cast: Tech­nik­ethik für kluge Entscheidun­gen

Dient der Mensch der Technik oder die Technik dem Menschen? Ethik ordnen viele eher der Philosophie zu. Dabei ist Technikethik ein wichtiger Bestandteil bei der Entwicklung von Innovationen. Im Podcast „Technik aufs Ohr“ klärt Dr. Suzana Alpsancar den Begriff und spricht mit den Hosts über Konflikte bei der Energie- und Mobilitätswende.

Main fo­cus

Ethical evaluations need sound philosophical reflections of technologies. Philosophy of Technology analyses human-technology relations in concrete applications, uncovers forms of subjectification and objectification of typical socio-technical configurations, and exposes epistemological aspects that are intertwined with normative questions (e.g. explainable AI). Philosophy of Technology also explores different concepts of technology and the ongoing technisation of the modern world.

AI is about to permeate all areas of society. Much of the AI technology that is contributing to this success is opa- que, meaning that it is not obvious for a variety of reasons why it exhibits a particular behaviour. This opacity can become problematic, including from an ethical perspective, e.g. when a physician must justify the decision they made using software they only partly see through. Has this piqued your interest? Learn more here!

A major focus of the workgroup is the (post-)phenomenological analysis of automated and connected driving. How do auto- nomy and agency change with increasing degrees of vehicle automation? How can the interaction between humans and machines be ethically evaluated? What notions of the good life (good mobility) underlie different visions of (fully automated) autonomous driving?

Another research project of the energy-history of data centres is in preparation. First, an overview will be developed of when and how the energy demand of data centres has been accoun- ted for. Second, the epistemological and normative assumpti- ons of the used, and quite different, scales, concepts and data sources shall be explicated. Third, these findings will be reflec- ted in the light of the current EU recommendations according to the “Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centres”.

Net­works and pro­jects

Heinz Nix­dorf In­sti­tute

Associated Professional Group

Con­struct­ing Ex­plain­ab­il­ity

Head of project B06: "Ethics and normativity of explainable AI".


SustAInable Life-cycle of Intelligent Socio-Technical Systems

Year­book Tech­nophio­sophy


As­so­ci­ation of Ger­man En­gin­eers

Member of the VDI "Philosophy and Technology" and "Philosophy" groups

Co­oper­at­ive and Cog­ni­tion-en­abled AI

Member of the Joint Research Center


Algorithmic Fairness in AI

J. Pfeiffer, J. Gutschow, C. Haas, F. Möslein, O. Maspfuhl, F. Borgers, S. Alpsancar, Business & Information Systems Engineering (2023).

Faktor Mensch. Jahrbuch Technikphilosophie 2023

S. Alpsancar, A. Friedrich, P. Gehring, C. Hubig, A. Kaminski, A. Nordmann, eds., Faktor Mensch. Jahrbuch Technikphilosophie 2023, Nomos, Baden Baden, 2023.

What is AI Ethics? Ethics as means of self-regulation and the need for critical reflection

S. Alpsancar, in: International Conference on Computer Ethics 2023, 2023, pp. 1--17.

Language in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

S. Thomas, Technology and Language 3 (2022).

TA und Zeitdiagnosen. TA als Zeitdiagnose?

S. Alpsancar, in: S. Böschen, A. Grunwald, B.-J. Krings, C. Rösch (Eds.), Technikfolgenabschätzung. Handbuch für Wissenschaft und Praxis, 1st ed., Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2021, pp. 229–239.

„Vom Fahr-Zeug zum Fahr-Ding. Ein Heideggerianischer Kommentar zum autonomen Automobil“

S. Alpsancar, in: F. Sprenger (Ed.), Autonome Autos – Die Zukunft des Verkehrs und die Dispositive der Mobilität, 1st ed., transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, 2021, pp. 373–397.


S. Alpsancar, in: K. Liggieri, O. Müller (Eds.), Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion: Handbuch zu Geschichte – Kultur – Ethik, J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart, 2019, pp. 291–293.


S. Alpsancar, in: K. Liggieri, O. Müller (Eds.), Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion: Handbuch zu Geschichte – Kultur – Ethik, J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart, 2019, pp. 244–246.

Arbeit und Technik? Zur Anschlussfähigkeit des Arbeitsparadigmas am Beispiel Ernst Kapp

S. Alpsancar, in: H. Maye, L. Scholz (Eds.), Ernst Kapp und die Anthropologie der Medien, 1st ed., Kadmos, Berlin, 2019, pp. 104–122.

Wer handelt mit unsichtbaren Schnittstellen?

S. Alpsancar, in: M. Andreas, D. Kasprowicz, S. Rieger (Eds.), Unterwachen und Schlafen. Anthropophile Medien nach dem Interface, Meson, Lüneburg, 2018, pp. 105–132.

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