Humboldt Communication Lab

ComLab#4: Smart New Worlds

How AI, Robotics and Digitalisation Transform Our Lives: Digital Communication Lab for Exchange between Research and Communication on 5 and 6 November & 12 and 13 November 2021

Saturn-ähnliches Dekortationsbild

Humboldt Communication Lab

A conversation between science and the media: twice a year, ten Humboldt Fellows and ten early-career journalists get together with the aim of learning from one another.

ComLab at a glance


Artificial intelligence, robotics and new digital technologies are changing our lives. To which extent, benefit or at which cost is often hard to grasp for regulators, civil society and media. While transformative technologies hold great potential in medicine, industry, logistics and urban planning, hardly any other scientific fields spark so much speculation.  From automated mobility to biorobots and intelligent implants: The relationship between humans and machines is full of promise, but is also marked by misunderstanding and ignorance.

 Together, journalists and researchers can point out research trends and development trajectories of AI, robotics and digital innovations, assess designs and possible applications, and discuss their ethical implications. And this is not an easy task since the expectations of future technologies are high. They should have an innovative and effective impact on society and equally benefit the common good. The social complexity raises important questions:

  • Have diversity and participation been sufficiently considered in technological developments, especially in the areas of medicine, public health and connected living?
  • What will digital human rights look like in the future?
  • And how must the digital transformation be designed to counteract a monopolisation of knowledge and global inequality?

Programme ComLab#4 (PDF, 260 KB) 


Collage of the speakers at ComLab4
The speakers of the fourth Humboldt Communication Lab

Prof Cristian Becker-Asano, Media University Stuttgart; Dr Annegret Burkert, Science Media Center Germany; Vito Cecere, Federal Foreign Office Germany; Dr Federico Cugurullo, Trinity College Dublin; Alok Jha, The Economist; Prof Kristian Kersting, TU Darmstadt; Dr Jens Radü, Der Spiegel, Prof Iyad Rahwan, Max Planck Institute for Human Development; Prof Joacim Rocklöv, Umeå University; Prof Flora Salim, RMIT University; Hazel Sheffield,; Albert Steinberger, Deutsche Welle; Rebecca Winkels, Wissenschaft im Dialog



Humboldtians: Dr Utku Culha, Prof Henrique Fernandes, Priya Goswami,  Ivan Jimenez, Daphnee Iglesias, Dr Veronika Magdanz,  José Renato de Pereira, Dr Nelson Rosa, Dr Robert Sidall, Teng Teng

IJP-Alumni/Journalists: Lamiya Adilgizi Guliyava, Wella Andany, Ivan Andrejic, Fabian Franke, Nantke Garrelts, Alexandra Eul, Karsten Lemm, Mikiko Miyakawa, Slivia Prahl, Martin Schlak


Results of ComLab#4 

ComLab is where ideas grow wings. Great mentoring, lots of inspiration. Not to miss!
Karsten Lemm, journalist, IJP alumnus

For the fourth time, the Humboldt Communication Lab (ComLab) brought together ten researchers and ten journalists to share ideas and opinions on current social developments. For ten weeks they worked together in tandems to develop best practices in science communication.


The programme is financed by