Prof. Dr. Susanne Hahn

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Susanne Hahn

Responsibility in times of “artificial intelligence

The attribution of responsibility for damage that has occurred has already undergone significant changes with the use of technology. The established practice of attribution is being challenged again with the use of “artificial intelligence” in existentially significant areas of life. If, for example, with the involvement of algorithms, tumours are not detected in time or patients are not sent for preventive cardiovascular examinations at an early stage, then damages arise for which it is not clear to whom they are attributable.
A public discussion on promoting or limiting the use of artificial intelligence in existential life situations requires a comparison of opportunities and risks. This includes knowing which types of machine learning work how and what consequences this has for the areas of action in question. Only then can one make judgements about their (non-)acceptability – taking normative and pragmatic aspects into account.
The project sets itself the task of processing this problem situation using the example of medical diagnostics. Essential components are:

  • the explication of the concept of responsibility
  • the differentiation of different types of machine learning with regard to the challenge for the attribution of responsibility
  • possible changes in the attribution of responsibility in view of the identified challenge

Research focus

  • Normativity
  • Rationality
  • Methods in philosophy
  • Business ethics
  • Digitalisation

Curriculum Vitae

  • 1984 to 1992: Studies in History, Philosophy and German at the University of Essen
  • 1998: Doctorate (Dr. phil.) at the University of Essen; title of the dissertation: “Überlegungsgleichgewicht(e) – Prüfung einer Rechtfertigungsmetapher” (Equilibrium of Consideration – Examination of a Metaphor of Justification)
  • 2008: Habilitation at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (venia legendi: philosophy); habilitation thesis: “Rationality – A Mapping”
  • 2015: Appointment as associate professor at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • Professorships and lectureships at the universities of Duisburg, Bochum, Dortmund and Düsseldorf as well as at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
  • 2017 Awarded the German Prize for Philosophy and Social Ethics by the Max Uwe Redler Foundation

Lectures and publications

  • Scenarios of digital challenges. Responsibility, Steering and Care (Annual Conference of the Academy for Ethics in Medicine: “Medicine 4.0 – Ethics in Digital Healthcare”, 14.9.2018)
  • Digitalisation in the perspective of freedom and standardisation (Colloquia of the art project “Freedom 2.0” – What does BIG DATA have to do with freedom? – conceived by Florian Mehnert, organiser: Stadtpalais Stuttgart and State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Baden-Württemberg, 24.06.2018)
  • Dealing with digital technologies as self-determined action? (Main contribution to the session: The analogue person in complex digital worlds – remaining self-determined and capable of acting, BMBF conference “Integrated Research”, 29.05.2018)
  • Digitalisation in the perspective of participation, education and judgement (University of Teacher Education St. Gallen, 07.05.2018)
  • Truth – >Bullshit< – Lies. Philosophical orientation in dealing with Fake News
    (Rothenfels Easter Conference “Truth”, 28.03.2018)

Prof. Dr. Susanne Hahn

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Fellow at CAIS from March until September 2019